This month we are asking for an update on the housing needs in our village – unbelievably its been nearly 3 years since you told us all about not only your housing aspirations, but also many ideas about heritage, roads, green spaces, business, etc. We have built many of these ideas into our draft Neighbourhood Plan, and shared with you the sites around the village where there is potential for any small developments.
In order to satisfy our examiner and to reassure both villagers and landowners, we are working with partners at Midlands Rural Housing to update any details about people who are looking to move within the village – be they young families, single people or downsizers – and the types of accommodation they’re looking for (for example affordable, rented, plots for self build). Midlands Rural Housing will handle the returns and analysis of surveys, ensuring an objective statement of what our needs are in 2019/2020.
The short surveys will be with everyone (the Neighbourhood Plan Group will post them through everyone’s letterbox) before the end of November. Once again, we’re pleased to offer a £100 prize draw for entrants. If everyone can complete just the first part, and then the remaining questions if you are looking to move, we’ll have up to date numbers that we can use in the plan. The survey will be short (unlike our first Neighbourhood Plan survey!) and if anyone needs support to fill it in, all the members of the Neighbourhood Plan Group will be on hand to help. Please post returns by the date that will be on the letter inside, and don’t forget to include your prize draw ticket for a chance of winning £100.
The Neighbourhood Plan is built on the support and ideas of our villagers, so thanks in advance for your help in making the plan both as up to date as possible, and robust in its recommendations.
Tony Clewett, Tom Dodd, Sue Corner and the NHNPG Group
For more information on Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan visit the website:
Heyford Patchwork Group
This active group is run by Carole Wood and Jane Rimell who are both very experienced patchwork and quilting tutors.
They run classes Tuesday mornings 10am to 12:45pm and Tuesday afternoons 1:15pm to 4pm although many people stay all day and bring a packed lunch. The cost is £10 per session and you can either work on a project of your choice with help from Carole and Jane or you can request tuition on a particular technique, the choice is yours.
We meet every Tuesday except June, July, August and December when we meet only on one Tuesday each month.
We would be delighted to welcome new members so if you are interested in joining and learning how to do patchwork or wish to learn some new techniques then please feel free to call in one Tuesday and have a look at what goes on or contact Carole on 07940 256400 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
At our October meeting we had a talk from Malcolm Dickson of Hookgreen Herbs who gave us an insight into the exigencies of running a herb nursery, no doubt disillusioning anyone with dreams of having their own little nursery. There was also a wide range of herb plants and seeds for sale.
The evening also featured a competition for the best Autumn Arrangement. The winner was Rosemary Dunkley with a colourful display which was even displayed in a pumpkin shell! Mary Newstead came second with Anne Haynes and Gil Guglielmi in joint third place.
Our next meeting will be on the 11th November when we will have a return visit from Caroline Tait who will tell us about her work at Longwood in Philadelphia.
Breaking the rules
In gardening many jobs have to be done at the right time, but sometimes I find that we have more freedom than you might expect. This year in June I had some gaps that needed filling and I had some annual seeds left over. The instructions on the packet said sow in April, but I went ahead anyway, and the result was a good display of flower in late summer and autumn.
In the past I had always struggled to grow leeks, finding them difficult to establish from sowings in the early spring as advised. One year having seed left over in May I sowed it in the vegetable patch, and found to my surprise that the seedlings grew lustily despite dry and hot conditions and made decent plants for the winter. I have done this again each year since with the same result. I wouldn’t win any prizes with the plants but they are fine for the kitchen. Leeks are obviously tougher than you might expect. Sometimes a bit of experimentation can pay off.
I have been growing hardy cyclamen for some years now, and have been keeping the special varieties in pots in an unheated greenhouse. Last year owing to shortage of space I released some plants into the garden. These have prospered beyond my expectations, no doubt helped by the hot, dry summer this year which would have been like the conditions they would experience in the Mediterranean area where they originate. Recently I have noticed drifts of seedlings appearing next to the mature plants. They may look delicate and dainty but they are bruisers and can tough it out with the biggest weeds when they are somewhere they like.
Some Things to do in November
1. Clear up leaves from paths and ponds (but don’t be too tidy!)
2. Plant tulips in pots or beds
3. Put grease bands on fruit trees to stop winter moth
4. Plant winter bedding.
For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page
View from The Wildlife Patch
We have been busy preparing the patch in preparation for sowing the wildflower seed on the designated meadow area. We have removed the weed smothering covers and raked over the soil ready to receive the seed; all we need now is for the rain to stop and the seed can go in.
We were extremely pleased to find during the uncovering operation that our resident toad is still in situ.
We shall have to ensure that we keep an area covered over for it to lurk in. Toads, unlike frogs, are very conservative creatures and will only lay their eggs in the place where they themselves were tadpoles, so it is unlikely that we will have toad spawn in our new pond. However we shall almost certainly find frogs and newts in there fairly soon.
As the days shorten and cool, the amount of insect life in the patch is reducing, but the flowering ivy is still producing things of interest. Recently there has been a group of large black flies with showy orange wing bases hanging out there; these were noon flies, something I don’t remember seeing before. A large orange flying insect also appeared, looking at first like a hornet, but it turned out to be a species of hoverfly. This creature not only looks like a hornet, but flies and moves like one too. Its larvae actually live in hornet and wasp nests where they eat the rubbish in the bottom of the nest, and so are tolerated by their hosts.
On a recent trip to Suffolk (prior to the wet weather) I was astonished to see on lawns and patches of grass numerous little bees flying just above the ground. These were mining bees which had just hatched from their burrows in the soil. This is something that would normally happen in the spring (I have seen that at Harlestone Heath in the past) but September would seem too late for the bees to get enough pollen and nectar to make the nests to raise the next generation. If we keep an area of close mown grass we can hope for a similar colony of bees on our own patch in due course.
If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:
alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.