Blog

Community Flood Group – February 2020

The Weather

2019 ended with a final month of excessive rainfall which resulted in another flood event on 21.12.19 bringing the total for the year to five. An analysis of the years rainfall data at local gauging stations in Daventry, Dodford, Towcester, Pitsford and Nether Heyford showed many similar trends, namely Jan-May below average whilst every month from June to December significantly exceeded the monthly averages. In particular June and October witnessed twice their monthly averages and although there were local variations, Nether Heyford recorded the highest yearly level of 826 mm, ie.18.8% above average. In spite of this Northamptonshire remains one of the lowest rainfall Counties in the Country, possibly due to its central location and surrounding elevated terrain.

These seasonal and now annual variations in weather patterns can clearly be attributed to the erratic behaviour of the jet stream and the effect of global warming. The warming in the polar regions have effected both the northern and southern hemisphere jet streams which coupled with increased El Nino activity have contributed to extreme variations across the UK. 2019 saw record July temperature of 38.7 degrees centigrade in Cambridge whilst Scotland recorded 18.7 degrees centigrade in December. Further evidence of global warming was seen in extreme levels of flooding, forest and bush fires, hurricanes and volcanic activity.

Already January 2020 has started with moderately warm weather interrupted by cold winds from storm Brendon and local flooding on 15.1.20 due to moderate rainfall on 14.1.20 falling on an already saturated catchment area. However the longer term forecast for the remainder of January is generally dry and sunny with overnight frosts. Day time temperatures will be nearer to the January average.

In spite of this let’s hope the World’s 2020 weather settles down!

J.Arnold

PS: My thanks to Tony Clewett for Nether Heyford rainfall data.

Heyford Singers – February 2020

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Flower Society – February 2020

Bugbrooke and District Flower Society

We invite you to join us at our monthly meetings to relax and watch demonstrations by a fully qualified NAFAS Area or National Demonstrator. This is followed by refreshments and the opportunity to win one of the arrangements in our raffle. Learn how to arrange and enjoy flowers.

Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of the month at 7.45pm in Nether Heyford village hall.

At our next meeting on the 24th February we welcome Lucy Allan with her demonstration “Between the Covers”. A warm welcome awaits both new members and visitors and those new to flower arranging are especially welcome.

For more information please follow us on Facebook or contact Dianne on 01604 830063 or Simone on 01327 342167.

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The Bugbrooke and District Flower Society meet every fourth Monday in the month in the Village Hall. Our meetings start at 7.45pm and usually take the form of a Demonstration when a qualified demonstrator will create several floral designs which are raffled at the end of the evening and lucky members take home the beautiful flowers.

Flower Society affiliated to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) promoting Floral Art. www.nafas.org.uk

Heyford Picturedrome – Sometimes Always Never – Thursday 20th February 2020

SometimesAlwaysNever

The next film will be Sometimes, Always, Never – a 2018 British comedy-drama to be shown at the Village Hall on Thursday 20th February 2020. The film stars Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Jenny Agutter and is about an old man who is searching tirelessly for his son who has been missing for years. When a body is found, the whole family’s life is turned upside down and they must all learn how to reconnect with each other. It is an off-beat comedy with lots of dry ‘Brit’ humour.

Doors open at 7pm for a start to the film at 7.45pm.

Admission remains at £4.00 per person and there is no joining fee.

There is free tea or coffee and a biscuit on arrival and there will be a licensed bar for the purchase of wine and soft drinks both before the film and during the interval.

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March Picturedrome:

The March film will be The Horse Whisperer, by popular request. It stars and is directed by Robert Redford and co-stars Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Neil. It is a 1998 American film about a Montana horse healer (Robert Redford) who helps a girl and her horse who were both traumatized in a bad accident.

The film is 2 hours 50 minutes and therefore the start is being brought forward to 7.15pm with doors open at 6.30pm. There will be an interval.

 

Tony Clewett – Phone: 01327 341533

Nether Heyford W.I. – February 2020

WI-Logo

We ended our 2019 Meetings in The Barn Restaurant at the Old Dairy Farm for a delicious Christmas meal. Good food and good company – it was a happy way to end what had been a very successful year for Nether Heyford WI.

However, our last job in 2019 was to make the ‘bacon butties’ for the Crafty Club Sale. It is a long way from ‘Jam & Jerusalem’ and is always great fun. Who knows, it may even encourage some of you ladies who were there to come and join us.

We started 2020 in a similarly happy frame of mind as we welcomed several gentlemen to join us in hearing Geoff Allen re-living his sporting life. Geoff has a great ability to bring things to life and it was great to hear about people and places that we had perhaps forgotten. As well as this there was the inside view of some of the problems encountered as amateur rugby changed into professional – all alongside some of the more humorous moments. Thank you, Geoff.

The speaker for our February meeting is The Rev. William Adams, Director of the Banbury Branch of the Samaritans. His talk for the evening is entitled ‘Who we are and what we do’. The Samaritans is a wonderful organisation providing round the clock telephone support to anyone in emotional distress and which, I would imagine, is much needed during the darker winter months. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and is in the Village Hall on Thursday February 6th. Should you like to join us for the evening the charge is £5 and refreshments are included.

Mary Rice – Heyford Lodge – 01327 340101

Revitalising the Allotments – February 2020

Weather

It’s soggy on the allotments at the moment and too cold to do much sowing of seed, although bare root fruit bushes and trees can be planted, as long as there is no frost in the ground. It is also the perfect time to prune bushes and trees but plums, cherries and other stone fruit should not be touched until April as they are susceptible to a fungal disease called “silver leaf” if cut during the winter.

If you grow rhubarb you can also cover a few crowns with an old bucket. This will force the rhubarb to seek light and in a month or so you should have beautifully pale but succulent fruit to pick.

If that doesn’t give the allotmenteer or fruit and veg gardener enough to do, these early months of the year are a good time to do structural work such as building compost bins or raised beds.

The Community Orchard, Jam Patch and Cut Flower Beds

These community areas go from strength to strength, although the prospect of carrying out our first major prune is a little daunting. The trees have grown well but if we want them to thrive and take on the attractive shape that marks out a really productive tree, they need some fundamental cutting back. If it looks as though someone has given our young trees a serious haircut, it is all for their good. It means that we should all have more succulent fruit to pick in the years to come.

Several volunteers have recently brushed up their pruning skill by attending fruit tree pruning courses at Waterperry Gardens and with Andy Howard, from the Heritage Fruit Tree Company.

The Jam Patch is looking good and there are now three rows of raspberries, two beds of strawberries and a good range of currant and gooseberry bushes. Once they begin to fruit later this year we will let you know so that you can come and “pick your own”. Depending on how well things progress with the cut-flower beds we are also hopeful that villagers will be able to pick some flowers for themselves. Issues surrounding imported flowers, their carbon footprint and bio-security have led many people to consider the virtues of homegrown flowers.

If, when sorting our their gardens this Spring, any villagers find they have surplus plants, tubers or bulbs, we would be most grateful if they could consider us before disposing of them. Please contact one of the numbers below.

Signs

Further information about what is available and where to find things will be signposted in the next few months. We will be installing a number of attractive notice boards around the allotment making it clear what is a community resource and what is privately owned. Goodwill and respect will be important if our venture is to succeed.

Help

We have a small band of volunteers working on the community aspect of the allotments but are keen to enlist as many additional helpers as possible. This can involve heavier, more labour intensive activities such as digging and clearing, or lighter, low level work such as removing the weeds from around the fruit trees. As an example, if everyone visiting the allotment were able to pull up a dozen shallow rooted weeds from the bark chippings surrounding each tree, it would save a small group of people many hours of work.

A noticeboard outlining the range of different jobs to be done will be attached to the shed situated in the middle of the allotment site. We would like the community aspect of the allotment to be as inclusive as possible and although some people are able to give more time than others, it is, as a certain supermarket says, a case of “every little helps”.

Equipment

A range of equipment is now available for allotment holders to borrow when working on the allotment site, this includes mowers, rotavators, wheelbarrows, brooms and watering cans. Many people will own some or all of the above, but for those who wish to get access to such equipment, please contact either Bill Corner (sue.corner@sky.com 01327 342124) or Mike Langrish 01327 341390). We can ensure that you get the equipment you require at a mutually convenient time.

Although it could not be described as “equipment”, we also have a large pile of good quality topsoil available for allotmenteers to use on raised beds or for topping up existing areas of their allotment. This can be found in one corner of the orchard – you can’t miss it at the moment as it is many barrow loads tall! Please help yourself.

Allotment Holders

As always, if you are considering growing your own fruit and veg and you want to try a small tester plot, or something larger, here are the usual telephone contacts: Sue Corner on 01327 342124 or Lynda Eales on 01327 341707.

As the soils warms up and the evenings get lighter, now is the time to give it a go – and it is cheaper than the gym! They’d love to hear from you.

Mike Langrish

Heyford Gardening Club – February 2020

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

We held our AGM at our January meeting at which Mike Langrish stepped down for a well deserved rest after ten years as our Chairman. Avril Minchin now takes over the helm for a year which looks to be full of exciting talks and events. We also held a competition for the best winter arrangement which was won by Chris Watts. Looking at the offerings on display our gardens are full of colour and interest even in midwinter.

After everybody had filled up with wine and cheese, I was allowed to update them on the progress on our wildlife area.

Our next meeting will be on the 10th February when we will welcome Liz Taylor of the Woodland Trust who will talk to us about woodland flora. We will also hold our annual Art and Craft competition; the classes will be

A photograph (on a theme to be decided)
A piece of visual art in any medium
An item of craft work.

Programme for rest of the year
March 9th: Anita Thorp: Snowdrops Mini Show – Daffodils
April 6th *: Clare Price: Propagation; Mini Show Tulips
May 11th: John Lee; Penstemons; Seed Swap ; Mini Show of Spring Flowers
June 8th: Patsy Raynor: Plants in Literature and Anecdote; Mini Show Roses
June 20th: Village Hall Fete
July 13th: Summer Party
September 14th: Autumn Show
October 12th: Philip Aubury: Garden Ponds
November 9th: Plant Swap
December 14th: Christmas Tree Festival
*(NB a week early due to Easter)

Things to do in February
1. Plant bulbs in pots for the summer
2. Plant bare root trees and shrubs
3. Sow broad beans and sweet peas.

Mark Newstead

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www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments