Our Vice-Chairman and biodiversity expert Dr Martin Angel recently gave an online talk to a local primary school about insects found in Farnham. He was representing the Farnham Biodiversity Group. We consider the quality and variety of photographs in his PowerPoint presentation are of potential interest to many members and others, so it is available on request from email@example.com .
The photos of a stag beetle and dragonfly show two to be seen at this time of year.
Our winter this year seems to have been a series of unusually warm periods separated by chilly spells with particularly cold nights. This affected the migration or frogs and toads on Boundary Road to the extent there were only three nights when large numbers had to be rescued from the passing traffic. However, our teams went out most nights all through March just in case and we are extremely grateful to them and their helpers who did such a good job. The exercise was called off for this year on 1st April. Since then there has been much enjoyable spring sunshine which happily provided a wonderful day for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral for which Windsor Castle looked absolutely stunning. The weekend of 17th -18th April also coincided with the easing of lockdown regulations, bringing out lots of people walking and driving, with the Fox car park once again noticeably full to overflowing. Daffodils have all died back now but the tulips at the Crossroads are fully in bloom as pictured.
It is greatly to be hoped that Coronavirus remains under control in the UK in the coming weeks and that the Government’s cautious lifting of the restrictions on our lives continue as planned in the Road Map. This should allow the country and BCG in particular to get back to something like normality.
The Easter issue of the Parish magazine contains an illustrated article about the wildlife of the Old Churchyard, contributed by our Group. Thanks to Noel Moss and Martin Angel for providing it.
We are proud to maintain this historic and peaceful corner of The Bourne which is much appreciated by visitors, both people and wildlife. Our good relationship with the Church as owners of the site is important.
We have been given more of Fiona Walberton’s excellent photographs, which will be of interest to our members and friends. The first group is entitled “Restorative power of nature “ – pictures of Thursley Common recovering after the terrible fire last year. The second is “ My encounters with fantastic beasts…”.
Anyone who happened to pass the Old Churchyard in Vicarage Hill on Saturday 23rd January would easily have known that some tree surgery was taking place by the large trucks parked outside. The job in hand was in fact the removal of two large trees growing in a very close clump of three trees. All the main work was very successfully completed in a single day and that almost concluded the protracted story of this felling operation. The word “almost” is used because there is still one element of work to be completed.
In common with many other people, Fiona Walberton, who is the Group’s Treasurer, has been taking local walks during the current period of lockdown and has kindly shared her excellent photos for others to enjoy. We have them of three well known locations.
In mid-December 2020, out of the blue, we received an email from the leader of a group of students at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) studying Film and Digital Art asking for our help. They had been set an assignment called “People and Place” and had decided to meet this by making a short documentary film about graveyards as a site where those who have passed on may rest and be visited by loved ones. They were particularly interested in how those graveyards are tended and maintained as an important link between the living and the departed, and the cultural history behind them. After finding our website and seeing about our work in the Old Churchyard (OCY) they wondered if we would participate.
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.
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.
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.
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.