A Note from the Chair

Dear All,

I thought it was  time for an OBCG update.

Firstly, thank you for your very  helpful responses to my last email about how we spend the Waitrose Windfall, and thank you to those  who were able to attend the work party, last Saturday, or have been doing work there at other times. Every bit makes a difference.

What has been going on?

  • The  five-year mowing contract for OB Parish, including the Wildlife Conservation Area,  (WCA) is being put out for tender again. Colin and Martin have  been very  busy reviewing the mowing regime in the WCA, and drawing up  a new plan of the  WCA, to represent how it is now, labelling the different habitat areas. This will help the Parish Council and  contractors (and us!) correctly identify areas for  mowing and other works through the year. Thanks C and M for this; I know you have spent many hours on this project.
  • Colin has been actively removing blackthorn and other shrubs which have been encroaching on what is supposed to be meadow around the benches, (now area F) using a tool called a root popper. Don’t worry, there is plenty of scrub left elsewhere in WCA!  I find it  astonishing just how quickly these species can get a hold and then  take over sensitive meadows or downland, (for example Yew Hill butterfly reserve has required a lot of scrub clearance, too, to maintain  the desired habitats).  I am sure you will agree grassy area F looks a whole  lot better now it is rid of the invasive scrub.
  • Last Saturday 20th November, Clare, Brian , Jane Stedman, Martin  and I did  a  good hour’s work strimming and raking the area near the main  entrance (welcome plot,  Area A) to encourage the wildflower seeds, which we are sure are lying dormant in the soil, to germinate and grow. We also pruned the trees overhanging the gate and cut back brambles threatening to over grow the paths and meadow areas.  
  • I have found the  inventory of tools and other equipment belonging to OBCG. However, as it is nearly 5 years old, I am sure we need to assess what is still fit for purpose, what needs to be repaired/serviced and what may need to be replaced. Thanks for your ideas regarding additional items we could acquire. Any other suggestions welcome.

What to the future?

I am proposing  work parties on the second Saturday of each of the next few months, from 10am.So, the dates will be 11th December, 8th January, 12th February and 12th March, all subject to favourable  weather conditions. Please do come if you can, and if you want to meet at additional  times we can arrange that too.

At our next work party meeting, 11th  December ,we plan to have a bonfire,(so bring potatoes  for baking!) do some more pruning, coppicing (for bean poles), discuss  growing & planting some more pollinator friendly  plants, and think how we can reach out to more people in our community. It would be good  to get more people involved directly in  the WCA activities but,  it  would be better still, if we could also encourage  more people to make their  gardens wildlife friendly, and interest children and other young people in growing a range of plants to benefit  wildlife.

That’s all from me, for  now!

Thanks again for your support. Please do  keep in touch.

Hope to see you soon.

Best wishes,


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