A Memorable Month: July 2022

July started well for BCG. Sharp at 8.30am on the lovely morning of Saturday 2nd July, Bryan Snashall’s van pulled up at our Tool Store to be loaded with the considerable pile of gear we needed to set up our stand at The Bourne Show, an event we always enjoy but had not taken place during the pandemic years. We had remembered, however, our well tested drills for a good Show and on arrival at The Green the van was directed to our allocated place by our Pathfinder and in no time at all the setting-up gang commenced the erection of the gazebos. This turned out to be quite tricky because of the gusty wind which, despite the welcome sunshine, went on throughout the day.

Our stand consisted of two gazebos: the information post and the book stall. The latter, under the direction of our Treasurer, Fiona Walberton, set out a fine array of second-hand volumes kindly donated by members and did steady business right from the outset. In the Information post, attractive graphics panels displayed the 20 year history of our Group and the biodiversity of The Bourne. One of the first visitors there was the Mayor of Farnham who stayed for quite a time chatting to our members. A stream of other interesting visitors passed through during the day.

The general atmosphere of the Show this year was excellent. It seemed like The Bourne Village was coming alive again after a few lean years. This due in no small part to the organisation of The Bourne Show Committee which includes our Membership Secretary, Vicky Hill, who holds a key role on it. Our results were good. The book stall made £257 which at £1 a book represents an excellent effort as well as being a good example of re- cycling. In the information post several new contacts were made and some old ones re-established. We were also delighted to sign on some very promising new members.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work of the 16 members who took part including 3 of our Duke of Edinburgh Award candidates. Thanks are expressed here to all who contributed on the day as well as those that donated books.

There was little time to relax after The Bourne Show for in two weeks we knew we had to be ready for the first phase of judging in the Britain in Bloom Competition. Preparations for this had already begun but these now had to be stepped up including making sure that regular watering took place to keep plants alive in the hot weather that gradually intensified during the month. This required a number of work sessions at both The Bourne Crossroads and the Middle Bourne Lane Community Wildlife Garden, often at short notice in order to cope with the changing conditions. One of the issues this year is exactly how to respond to the greater emphasis on environmental criteria typified by having to decide how much grass should be cut or indeed whether it should be cut all.

All went well on the day thanks to the friendly and helpful approach of the two judges for the South East Regional Competition. Highlights of our presentation in MBL were the piece spoken by D of E student Will Herbert on Manmade Habitats and the fine selection of moths caught by Martin Angel the previous night including three Hawk Moths.

We can be proud of the standard reached on our sites not only on judging days but also throughout the year as part of our contribution to enhancing the appearance and biodiversity of the village.

Thanks are due to all who have helped so far. Now we need to carry on to meet the demands of the judges in the National Competition on 28 th July. Also, we must not forget other tasks of importance such as carrying out a balsam bash at an early opportunity.

July 2022 is likely to go down as one of the more memorable and enjoyable months.