News

Christmas 2020

To All Members and Friends of The Bourne Conservation Group

As Christmas 2020 approaches we are probably all in a slight state of shock at the strange situation we find ourselves in. We are in a slightly privileged position in Waverley and have thus escaped the added restrictions of Tier 4, but the boundary is very close and we hope that none of you have had your Christmas plans too disrupted by the recent announcements.

May 2020 at the Old Churchyard

Looking back, it has been a memorable year, not only because of the Pandemic but also because of some good events culminating in the truly moving ceremony in November to recall the Burial of the Unknown Warrior and the unveiling of the Cenotaph in Whitehall a hundred years ago. More recently, everyone has been greatly encouraged by the vaccination programme getting under way which the Farnham Herald informs us is taking place locally in Farnham Hospital.

Socially distanced pause at Middle Bourne Lane

Our group activities have been curtailed but we have nevertheless achieved much as was presented in our Annual Report sent out in September. Our sites have been greatly appreciated by residents as they explored the area on their exercising walks during the first lockdown and we received many
compliments about our work. We have had very good support from our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award candidates and have also attracted a few excellent new members. It was good that with everyone’s help we were able to get under way again after the lockdown, working to a special set of local rules which have served us well despite also leading to the loss of morning coffee breaks! Much has been achieved including completion of a flower bed project at Farnham Hospital in appreciation of the work of our NHS friends in the Farnham Dene Medical Practice. We are also making a strong
contribution to the work of the newly formed Farnham Biodiversity Group.

Thus we are in good shape as the end of the year fast approaches. As always there are still things to do on our regular sites but we plan to open the New Year with a popular woodland management task in Burnt Hill Wood on Sunday 3rd January.

At this time with many uncertainties in the air Christmas will be somewhat different than in the past but we hope you are all able to enjoy it. Thank you everyone for your help and support throughout the past year. Our Chairman Noel Moss and the Committee wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a stable and safe year in 2021.

Autumn 2020 Update

From March until June this year we only took on essential maintenance tasks because of Lockdown 1 but, as soon as possible, we re-started regular sessions using a set of compliant rules based on groups of 6 only although on a couple of occasions we managed two such groups working on different tasks. This arrangement allowed us to catch up on most of the outstanding work. This included keeping all of our main sites looking well managed as well as a thorough Balsam Bash in The Bourne Stream near Redhill House.
We also instigated and completed a small new project at Farnham Hospital which has been very well received by the NHS team working in the Farnham Dene Medical Practice. Thanks are due to everyone who coped with the conditions and did excellent work even though there was no coffee! A special Thank You is given to all our Duke of Edinburgh Award students who supported us splendidly throughout the summer.

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Conservation Group’s Project to Thank the NHS

Update – see at bottom of article

The Bourne Conservation Group (BCG) has had a good summer after resuming its work of looking after and improving the open spaces and footpaths of The Bourne. Members have continued to support the Group following the end of Lockdown and interest has been shown from potential new members, perhaps inspired by the growing interest in nature and the environment.

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Focus on Farnham’s Green Spaces

Burnt Hill Wood

Our Group’s earliest work back in 2002 concentrated on some of the woodland sites in The Bourne such as Paradise Wood and Burnt Hill Wood. As our experience widened and our overarching aim became the enhancement of biodiversity in the area, we saw our local sites as part of a broader pattern linked together by the river valleys, roadside verges and footpaths to form the Green Infrastructure of the town. This is of fundamental importance to the human population for relaxation and also to the wildlife for which it provides habitat and corridors to facilitate movement of species. These ideas have gathered strength and relevance in more recent times as the problems facing the natural world have worsened and become better understood.

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Annual Report 2020

Things are slowly getting back to something like normality and the arrival of September means that it is time to send out our Annual Report to Members and Friends. It records another successful period for our Group despite the major interruption our work has suffered.

If you have not received the report and would like a copy please request it through the last page of our website or by email to info@bourneconservation.org.uk

Further information about the AGM will be circulated when available.

Work Programme for remainder of 2020 published


The photographs are of Underdown, a site maintained by our Group on behalf of Surrey Wildlife Trust. We are fortunate to have this wild, unspoilt area within the urban area.

During the past months, while work has been seriously curtailed by the Pandemic crisis BCG has kept an eye on all its sites and undertaken a small amount of urgent work affecting health and safety. This was accomplished using our own set of Local Rules based on Government Guidelines to ensure
the safety of our volunteers and members of the public.   With the easing of restrictions a start was made on some more comprehensive work on Sunday 12 th July with a session based at the Underdown Nature Reserve. A total of 10 volunteers took part working in two teams, one on the main site and the other doing much needed clearance along the footpath by the stream. Six Duke of Edinburgh’s Award students including two new recruits took part and were glad to have some practical tasks to do after their disrupted summer.

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Resumption of Work Programme

The Bourne Conservation Group’s Committee has given careful consideration to the resumption of working parties and has given its approval to make a start within the limits of Government Guidelines, provided the general Covid-19 situation in the country continues on its present trend. This is a positive development and we welcome enquiries from potential new members who would like to contribute their time and knowledge – details can be found on the ‘Join Us’ page.

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Rare moth sighting and Garden Watch update

Goat moth – Cossus cossus

The Bourne Conservation Group is continuing to collect and share responses to the Garden Watch survey reported last month. BCG’s expert on biodiversity Dr Martin Angel undertakes his own surveys and on Monday 8th June recorded an exceptional sighting in the Middle Bourne Lane Community Garden. He caught three goat moths (pictured) in a single night.

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BCG News Sheet June 2020

The beginning of June is a good time to bring our members and friends up to date on a number of activities, so we have put together our first News Sheet of 2020. It has been issued by email and is also available to be downloaded below. We hope you find this useful and look forward to comments on any of the issues raised.