Nether Heyford Garage Sale – Sunday 19th April 2020

Nether Heyford Village Hall are pleased to announce the return of the popular Village Garage Sale in 2020.  Sunday 19th April 2020 – 10am – 4pm

BUYERS: The village hall is the place for buyers to start at 10am, when doors open and the map of all the registered garages is available.

Refreshments & maps available in the village hall throughout the day from 10am to 4pm.

SELLERS: It costs only £7.50 to register your garage on the map. Please contact either Eve or Patricia before the closing date of Sunday 5th April.

Eve Matthews, 19 Watery Lane, 07540 599904 ematthews@sky.com

Patricia Paterson, 1A Watery Lane, 01327 340992 NHVHevents@gmail.com

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Nether Heyford Village Hall on Google Maps

Garage Sale Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/559527211298810

Village Hall website: www.netherheyfordvillagehall.org

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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

Nether Heyford Community Wildlife Area – February 2020

View from The Wildlife Patch

Well, 2019 ended very wet and 2020 has begun just as wet. This has meant that not much work has been done on the patch since Autumn last year. Before the rain came we did put the pond in place and fill it with water. However, there is still some tidying up to do round the pond edge and the pond needs planting ready for use by frogs etc. We will choose plants which provide habitats that attract species already known in the area or even attract new species. Although we have still to make a detailed list of what these plants will be. We will mostly use plants that are known to grow in the wild locally, then after establishing them in the pond, allow it all to develop with as little intervention as possible.

On the rest of the patch, Mary and Mark have sown most of the available ground with a wildflower and grass mixture that should form a sward similar to that which would have grown in antiquity and still exists in some parts of the county. It is hoped by doing this we we will encourage more species to make a home in Nether Heyford. There is also another plot planted with the “Cornfield Annual” mixture that was so successful in providing pollen as food for a variety insects last year.

What have we learned in 2019? One lesson for me has been to be prepared to change plans with new knowledge. For instance the original plan was to have a lot of flower rich grass that we could mow once a year as in many wildlife reserves. Our insect count demonstrated that long unmown grass with flower rich grassland easily available is much more conducive to what we want to achieve. Another surprise was when our insect recording (especially Butterflies and moths) demonstrated that southern species are colonising suitable habitat well to The North of their previous strongholds. We recorded a Jersey Tiger Moth and a Cream Spot Tiger Moth. Both are unmistakable large, showy, southern moths that are steadily moving North as our climate warms up. I logged a Dusky Sallow Moth which is a new moth to me and is similarly moving extending it’s range to the North.

The identification and recording of wild species is major part of our work on the patch and is the main way that we gauge success or otherwise of the project. This work can be very time consuming yet exciting and rewarding. Mary and Mark have done wonderful job of recording Bees, Wasps, Beetles, Flowers etc.. I have recorded a few Moths, Woodlice and Molluscs. There is still much work to be done in 2020.

We also have a target to involve local children in the project but have yet to decide on what form this work will take.

Dave Musson

2020 Village Award Scheme – Update – February 2020

2020 Village Award Scheme
(organised by ACRE – Action for Communities in Rural England)

Nether Heyford’s Application

Following my mention of this in the October Prattler, in preparation for our application, I have been researching all that Nether Heyford has to offer to its community.

The results are staggering – in a village of 1750 people we have some 50 groups, organisations, activities and facilities all offering direct benefits, not only to our own people but to those of neighbouring villages.

But a list is not enough – I now need specific details of how all these benefits are offered and received. To this end, I am about to ask each group to help me by completing a brief questionnaire. As it’s going to take me some time to get around everyone, you may not hear from me immediately. When you do, I hope you will provide a picture of the all good work that you are doing.

The application deadline is tight – the end of February. In April or May the judges will visit our village to talk to groups and view the facilities. I do hope that, if invited, you will be willing to join a small group of Heyford people to meet the judges and help convince them what a marvelous community we have in our village. Awards will be announced in July.

In advance of your support, thank you.

Alwyne Wilson 01327 340803
(Village Awards Co-ordinator: self-volunteered)

 

Village Hall Events – The 60th Anniversary

2020 – The 60th Anniversary of Nether Heyford Village Hall

2020 Events:

Village Garage Sale – Sunday 19th April

Village Hall Fete – Saturday 20th June

Art Exhibition – Saturday 26th September

Anniversary Dance – Saturday 10th October

Yuletide Festival – TBC

Pantomime Cinderella – TBC – Late December (usually between
Boxing and Hogmanay.)

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803

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Village Hall – News – February 2020

First, a sad note
Chris Phillips, who has represented the Crafty Club on our Management Committee for some time, has decided to stand down. We want to record our warmest thanks to Chris for her enthusiastic and positive contributions to our meetings, and also her willing and active support at our various special events. We are going to miss her.

Pantomime : ‘Dick Whittington’
Another huge thank-you to the many volunteers who helped to make our latest traditional pantomime another great success. Once again we had a packed house, making all the generous contributions of time, effort and raffle prizes well worthwhile. The children and young people enthusiastically shared in the audience participation, although the adults certainly enjoyed themselves too. Our next pantomime by The Looking Glass Theatre will be ‘Cinderella’ at the end of the year. More information nearer the time.

Carols on the Green
A report on this appears elsewhere but it was interesting to note that, as with our Village Hall Fete in June, the weather before and on the day was awful. During our setting up it was pouring and we were all soaked – again. However, as with the Fete, amazingly the rain stopped in time, giving us a clear and relatively mild evening for the event.

The Heyford Singers, lead by their Director Mary Rice whose idea this was, are to be warmly congratulated on a successful first event. It looks as though Nether Heyford now has another traditional annual event on the Village Green.

Main Hall Floor
This has now been fully cleaned and restored and looks like a brand new floor, attracting many compliments from our users. Our thanks are due to Peter Squire for researching and arranging for this work to be done over the Christmas break.

Heating
The boiler which heats the kitchen side of the hall and rooms behind the stage has now been repaired and is working well. So no more complaints about being cold. However, we did receive a complaint during the pantomime that it was actually too hot – can’t win – but we continue to do our best.

Future plans
Several are in the pipeline and will be reported as and when appropriate. We want our village hall to be in prime condition for its 60th anniversary celebrations.

Alwyne Wilson – 01327 340803

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