The bee fly is a true sprite of springtime

The following article by our partner the Farnham Biodiversity Group appeared in the Farnham Herald issue of 11th March 2022.

After the recent storms in February, there are signs of spring in the Farnham area. An annual harbinger of spring is the dark-edged bee fly (Bombylius major). This large furry fly is commonly seen on sunny days in gardens in March, hovering noisily in front of spring flowers using its long proboscis to suck up the nectar. It is an important springtime pollinator of both fruit trees and garden flowers. Some people are scared by them, mistaking their long proboscis as a sting; actually, they are totally harmless to us and should be welcomed in the garden and on the allotment. They are frequent visitors to a great variety of flowers, be they white (apple, blackthorn, plum, viburnum), yellow (colt’s foot, dandelion, primrose, celandine) or blue/purple (bluebells, bugle, green alkanet, and germander speedwell).

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Join Us!

The Bourne needs you. Here is the poster we are using in suitable places to attract new active members, who are greatly needed. We are also stepping up our use of social media. The time commitment is flexible – please share with your friends and others who may want to help preserve the environment and character of our area.

When the storms came to The Bourne

2022 is now well under way and it is good to report that our Group has made a very good start for which the foundations were well and truly laid in the last weeks of the previous year. The work then included re-lining the leaking pond in the Middle Bourne Lane Garden and carrying out a major overhaul of the raised bed at Lower Bourne Crossroads. The pond site is looking good as it is full to the brim and surrounded by the fresh turf while, at the Crossroads, the crocuses are flowering and the newly planted alliums and tulips in the raised bed are already visible.

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A busy start to big year for Bourne’s volunteers

This article appeared in the Farnham Herald of 14 January 2022

Eleni Knox carrying a bundle of cuttings.

The Bourne Conservation Group made a good start to the New Year by carrying out clearance operations in Burnt Hill Wood on behalf of the Borough Council. Parts of this attractive green space had become overgrown in places by gorse, holly and laurel which was impeding access for walkers and joggers. The volunteers therefore opened up the pathways in such a way as to enhance the natural habitat for lower storey plants such as heather and bilberry which will provide substance for wildlife in the spring.

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Seasonal wishes to all

The Bourne Conservation Group wishes all residents of The Bourne, and particularly our members and friends, a joyful and peaceful Christmas, followed by a happy and successful New Year.

Your Committee is very grateful to all who have supported us this year, which has seen us continue to maintain and improve the sites and public footpaths for which we have taken responsibility. Some of our work has been recorded on the website.

At a time when many have been confined to the local area by the continuing pandemic, we have all been aware of the significance of our environment and appreciation of our workhas been expressed by many who use the public spaces and footpaths of our area. We are always mindful of the needs of wildlife in all its forms.

The year 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Group, and announcements will be made about how this is to be marked. We will use the opportunity to renew our appeals for new volunteers to assist in our work. We are gratified by the number of young people who wish to volunteer with us for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; we need to match their enthusiasm with some new members who will be able to continue the work after the students have moved on.

Once again, we wish you a very merry Christmas.

Sunday work session in the Old Churchyard

Although a cold wind was blowing and rain seemed likely, seven adults and five Duke of Edinburgh Award students turned out for a work session in the Old Churchyard on the first Sunday in December 2021. Work on cutting back the summer’s grass in the centre of the site and clearing moss off the roof of the lychgate, two tasks which we had started on at our last session at the beginning of November, was finally completed. Alongside these tasks, Bryan Snashall and two young ‘apprentices’ (Alex and Eleni) set about reconstructing the compost bays, which had become very dilapidated over the years. Meanwhile, Noel Moss and Wendy Scobie undertook some much needed tidying up round the edges of the pond area.

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