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

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.

Newts in Middle Bourne Lane Garden

We are very grateful to our member Liz Chart for the excellent photos she sent recently from the pond in Middle Bourne Lane Community Garden and which deserve to be shared. We believe they are all palmate newts which can be identified by the rather broad toes on the hind legs. Palmates stay in the ponds longer than the commoner smooth newts. We have been pleased by the interest shown this year by visitors to both Middle Bourne Lane and the Old Churchyard to the new life in our ponds there.

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