Tree felling in the Old Churchyard

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.

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Students’ film project includes Old Churchyard

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.

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Christmas 2020

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.

May 2020 at the Old Churchyard

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.

Socially distanced pause at Middle Bourne Lane

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.

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.