Formation of a Farnham Biodiversity Group (FBG)

Although our group has always limited its practical work to The Bourne we have also been very aware of the wider ecology of the rest of Farnham and its surrounding area. This enabled us to make significant inputs to the Neighbourhood Plan and to draw attention to the value and importance of the town’s green spaces. We have also maintained contact with other excellent local groups with similar aims and aspirations to our own. Despite all this good work, evidence has been growing of the serious threats to the environment both locally and on a global scale and this caused us to ask whether there was more we could do to improve matters. Gradually we formed the view that combining with other groups to create a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for Farnham would help to make a difference. It would also be a logical extension of the Neighbourhood Plan which calls for the enhancement of biodiversity but does not say how this is to be achieved.  The approach was discussed in committee and the idea floated at our Social in January where it was favourably received. So, to better gauge feelings across town, we called a meeting of all interested parties in the Council Office for 8th February 2019.

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Langhams Recreation Ground

On 27th March we held a morning session at Langhams Recreation Ground, a popular site that lies between Ridgway Road and Aveley Lane.  We began to take an interest in it some years ago when it  was in poor shape and no one seemed to care. We met with Waverley officers and agreed a joint programme to keep this attractive site in better condition. At our suggestion Waverley agreed to leave some areas of grass uncut and it is a pleasure now to see wildflowers growing in those parts. Right now there is a good crop of dead nettles blooming and these are supporting bumble bees which badly need sustenance at this time of year.

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The Old Churchyard in the crocus season

The Old Churchyard in Vicarage Hill has a beautiful display of crocuses each year that flourish under the trees. The recent very warm and sunny weather in late February 2019 gave us one of the most stunning shows in memory, though the flowering season was probably shortened as a result. The flowers were much admired by visitors, who could also see snowdrops and early daffodils and primroses.

We are pleased to share a selection of photos:

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Martin Angel receives award for Services to Farnham

Dr Martin Angel, Vice-Chairman of the Bourne Conservation Group, was one of this year’s recipients of an award recognising his outstanding services to Farnham. The awards are organised by Farnham Town Council and were reported in full by the Farnham Herald. They were presented by the Mayor of Farnham on 25th February 2019.

Martin’s award was for his services to the environment and biodiversity – the full citation is shown:

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New Year social event enjoyed by Members and Friends

On Sunday 6th January 2019 the Bourne Conservation Group returned to Paradise Wood for the first time in several years for a successful session clearing overgrown and invasive plants. Later in the afternoon we invited all Members and Friends to join the Committee for our annual social gathering in St Martin’s Hall, Lower Bourne to thanks them for their efforts on behalf of the Group. It was very well supported and seemed to be appreciated by all present.

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New paving for historic lychgate at Old Churchyard

Shortly before Christmas, our Group completed a significant piece of work in the Old Churchyard, Vicarage Hill. The surface through the lychgate had remained unchanged since the 19th century and was rough, stony and muddy in bad weather. With the agreement of all parties concerned we have now replaced this with paving which has been generously funded by a donation from John Maddox in memory of his wife, Wendy Maddox, who died on 22nd April 2018. Wendy had collated information about those who are buried in the churchyard, as well as other extensive local history research throughout the area.

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Bourne Conservation Group’s 16th AGM

Twenty one Members and Friends of the Bourne Conservation Group attended the 16th Annual General Meeting at Noel and Edelgard Moss’ home on Sunday 16th September 2018. Everyone was saddened to hear of the recent death of Wendy Maddox who had undertaken so much historical research for the Group.

As Chairman, Noel Moss presented the Annual Report covering the achievements of the Group for the year ended 31st March 2018, a biodiversity report, on which Martin Angel spoke, and a look forward to the work the Group will undertake in the coming year. He stressed the need to recruit new members, while welcoming the involvement of a number of young people pursuing their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. The Financial Report showed no great change from the healthy position last year, but arrangements were in hand to acquire more funding for projects in 2019.

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