Bio-diversity Demystified – February/March 2021

View from The Wildlife Patch

Bio-diversity is a term which describes every living organism within a single ecosystem or habitat, including numbers and diversity of species and all environmental aspects such as temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and climate. Bio-diversity can be measured globally or in smaller settings, such as ponds. If that sounds complicated it’s because it is complicated. Symbiosis is the
working together of two organisms to the mutual benefit of both.

Bio-diversity describes all life on Earth working together in an interdependent fragile network. To unpack the term Bio-diversity further – The Sun shines on our Earth’s surface drenching it with energy in the form of heat and light. Green plants have evolved to convert this energy into sugars which are really “packaged energy” that plants use to sustain, maintain and increase their own species.

Over many millions of years life on Earth has developed into a complex web of life consisting of Animals, Plants, Bacteria, Fungi etc. All this life is interlinked on many levels to utilise the energy thus captured by plants to sustain, maintain and multiply their own species. This system is very complicated and involves the intake and release of energy whilst in the process, releasing chemicals. These are in turn taken up by plants which utilise them to maintain their own species in a never ending cycle. Each species has a place in this system that can be occupied by no other species. If any one species – however insignificant – is taken away, the whole system suffers or may even crash altogether.

Along with every other species, Mankind has a place in this complex web. We are ultimately dependent on this system to maintain our own species. Without biodiversity, the health of the planet and ultimate survival of all species including Mankind is at stake.

Right now the diversity of life on this planet is in danger as never before in many thousands of years. The greatest threat to the loss of bio-diversity is human activity. As our population grows, together with our need for food, water and home comforts, it takes over natural ecosystems and replaces them with unnatural ones. Even in these, other organisms can adapt and successfully reproduce, but the levels of biodiversity as compared to the replaced environment are significantly lower.

The two greatest threats to the bio-diversity of our planet are Climate Change driven by Global warming and Pollution.

Global Warming The burning of Fossil Fuels – Gas, petrol and diesel – releases Carbon Dioxide into our atmosphere which forms a layer around The Earth. This “layer” traps in the Sun’s rays causing the earth’s atmosphere to heat up. The effects of this Global Warming are well known and established.

Pollution Exists in many ways at many levels, Pollution from plastic is well known as is pollution from fumes released by transport and industry. We also have noise pollution which affects our own well-being as well as affecting wildlife in ways as yet poorly understood. There is also pollution from chemicals used in agriculture and other industries. In fact the list of pollutants and their effects is much too long for this short article.

The threat from invasive species: Most species have evolved to live in a very narrow ecological niche. In this niche there will be factors that limit their ability to pose a threat to other species’ existence. Some species, when moved from their native location, finding this natural limitation removed, go on to pose major threats to native species in their new environment. There are many examples of this. The introduction of the Grey Squirrel in the 19th century is one of the most well known. Since their introduction form North America, Grey Squirrels have all but wiped out our native Red Squirrels in most of the UK. There are too many other examples of this to name here.

Threat from over exploitation: Over Fishing is an example often quoted. Many would class our trend to turn farmland over to intensive arable farming as over exploitation. We have got so good at growing crops that in almost any local cornfield there will be more Bio-diversity in one metre of the hedge border than in the whole of the 50 or so hectares field that the hedge surrounds.

Are we seeing a loss to the bio-diversity in our area? Globally the number of insects has declined by around 80% since the year 2020. This loss is ever present in our area, and in our Parish. When did you last hear a Cuckoo? How many Swallows did you see this year? Both are insectivores. There are very many more examples of loss of Bio-diversity in this parish that I could quote. We all have a part to play in combating the current decline in this loss. Individually or corporately we need to consider our own practises.

In all that we do, we could ask if we are doing our best to reverse the loss of biodiversity locally or on a wider scale.

In the garden: Do I need to use insecticide? Could I plant flowers that attract insects? Could I cut my lawn less or leave a patch unmown to allow wild flowers to grow there? Are those ants doing any harm? Is there an alternative to using slug pellets, weed killer etc. Are there eco friendly alternatives?

Think about lighting, heating. These are carbon dioxide polluters. Could we be more efficient in their use.

This article is designed to raise awareness of and demystify the term bio-diversity as well as outline some current threats to this bio-diversity. It does not discuss how to measure bio-diversity or provide answers to the question of how to tackle the loss habitat and bio-diversity on a local or wider level.

Dave Musson

The Prattler – December 2020

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Parish Council – November 2020 Meeting

Unfortunately it was not possible to have the Parish Council meeting in November due to Covid restrictions and Guy’s accident. Hopefully there will be one held in December.

 

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next one is Monday December 7th. (Online on Zoom Meeting ID 630 318 8070 Password 140043 )

NetherHeyfordParishCouncilThePrattlerOcotber2020

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website 

Community Wildlife Area – December 2020

View from The Wildlife Patch

As we move into the last month of 2020 our thoughts are of the approaching Christmas and the New Year of 2021.

At “The Patch” we are planning for 2021 already. We agreed from the start that our goal is to provide a haven for what is now termed “Bio diversity” and to make it accessible to all residents of Nether Heyford.

This is being achieved by providing a number of “Mini Habitats” joining to make one larger habitat. Earlier in November our management team of four agreed this is still the best approach to achieve our goal.

At the narrow end of the patch there are some young Elms which have died after falling victim to Elm Bark Beetle. When these become likely to fall we will cut these into logs to leave in strategic places as seats and to provide cover for insects other invertebrates. There is a mown patch at that end with a bench. That area will be planted with a few trees to form a very small spinney. The bench will be moved to the pond edge where visitors can sit to enjoy the rich pond life. It is known that ponds act as a sort of “Insect chimney” attracting many species of insect. These in turn encourage Bats and insect feeding birds among others.

We have all enjoyed the rich Flora and accompanying Fauna provided by the “cornfield Annuals” wild flower mix.. We agreed to maintain an “annual patch” by removing the vegetation form the current patch. We will then cultivate the soil and plant new seeds each year. These will provide a rich and varied diet for flying insects whilst instilling a sense of well-being into human visitors who choose to spend time there.

Another plot will be managed as “Meadow” This has already been planted with a native Meadow Seed Mix of native grasses and broad leaved plants. We intend to mow this with a Brushcutter each August. The action of this should be “scythelike” causing little harm to any insect larvae etc. attached to the grass. After drying out, the “Hay” will be piled up close to the hedge where it will become haven to vertebrates and invertebrates alike.

We will try to maintain a very short, even bare, earth patch for some species of mining bee that need that habitat. The pond will sit in the midst of all this – as it does now – and we will continue to add native plants to the pond and the pond edge as these become available.

The remainder will be a “Tussock” type of habitat. That is mostly long grass, not cut at all on any regular basis. This type of habitat has the potential to be the most biologically diverse next to the pond. providing homes for Voles, Shrews, Mice, Large Ground Beetles and many more. These otherwise would not thrive on the patch. This tussock habitat will comprise several patches of ground joined up by narrower corridors to connect the whole into one larger habitat.

As now footpaths will remain cut into the sward to enable visitors free passage from habitat to habitat. All will converge at the pond.

We need to place bits of wood, bark,stone etc. lying around for insects, Woodlice, Centipedes, Amphibians etc. to hide under.

We look forward to seeing you there in 2021.

On behalf of the Team may I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mary, Mark, Pauline & Dave

Parish Council – October 2020 Meeting

And so the Covid/Coronavirus emergency continues on, impinging on all of our lives. Things that we would not have imagined before have become normality after 8 months, and will continue to be for many more months. Due to continuing government regulations prohibiting public meetings; the October 2020 Parish Council meeting was held online, using the Zoom platform. This is in line with national advice. There is still no indication of how long these conditions will persist, but it is likely that meetings will take place online for at least the rest of this year. Parishioners wanting to participate in the Public Session should check the Agenda on the Public notice boards, or the Website, for the meeting ID on Zoom.

Due to difficulties experienced by Councillors unused to using the internet, a reduced number of Councillors attended the online meeting, but a quorum was achieved and was augmented by the District and County Councillors and an unknown member of the public.

The Chair had the sad duty of reporting the passing of Sue Corner, one of the Council’s most enthusiastic and capable members. He commented as follows:

Sue Corner joined Nether Heyford Parish Council in October 2015. On becoming a Councillor, she listened, appraised, and learned.

Her first responsibility was allotments, joining Cllr Lynda Eales in redesigning, reforming, and modernising a slightly moribund village asset. Between them they have created allotments to be proud of.

Sue’s next task was the Planning responsibility. This task can be complicated, but Sue took it in her stride, sharing issues, and dealing with all applications fairly, and responsibly.

With the Parish Council’s dream of creating a Neighbourhood Plan, Sue took the idea, created an amazing team, and knocked our collective socks off with her drive, and intelligence. Her team came up with ideas and strategies that were advanced, and revolutionary. Who’d have thought of filming Nether Heyford from the air by drone? This created the most fascinating picture of our village I have ever seen, and never tire of watching.

Sue’s intelligence, and drive have been a really great asset to the PC, she will be so very much missed on our team, and by Nether Heyford itself.

C. Kiloh

Mike Brassett has stood down due to pressure of work. This leaves Council 3 members short of its full quota of 11. We are able to co-opt new members, subject to them being eligible. The Parish Council does need some active new members, preferably familiar with IT – so if you feel that is you – please contact me or the Chair (details overleaf).

Reports from the District and County Councillors
Cllr Bignell reported that a number of SNC officers had been appointed to roles in the West Northants authority, but that SNC were continuing to operate, and had actually improved the rate at which Planning Applications were dealt with. Cllr Harries reported that a Rights of Way consultant had found that a number of footpaths had been changed in 2016 without any consultation. This applied to KS1 Parson’s Close, KS7 Wakefield Way and KS17. This meant that part of them may now be considered Highways. It was felt that this was not an issue for the first two, but enquiries would be made about KS 17.

Public Participation: None.

Reports
PCSO – a brief report had been sent, very few problems or crimes at present.

Lights Progress reports. NCALC had formed a partnership with Clear Utility Solutions to try and lower Parish Council lighting bills. CUS were able to act on Council’s behalf and could secure a 2 year contract with YU Energy, at rate of about 25% less than the 22p per unit Eon were currently charging. This should give a saving of c£2000 p/a now, with further savings when the LED lights were installed.

Roads and pavements Large pothole outside the White House in Weedon Rd. To be reported. Parking in Middle St had been exacerbated by the school staggering collection times and it was felt that Highways should be approached with a view to extending the yellow lines around the school house.

The Green /Play Area The Green was felt to be in good condition, but there was concern that repairs to Play Area equipment had been delayed. These should shortly be carried out.

Playing Fields LE reported that the fields were being well used, especially the netball court. Comments had been made about the gate between the allotments and the Playing Field being locked. The situation would be monitored, as the gate was not supposed to be locked.

Trees There has been further storm damage to trees around the cemetery. STS have been given a list of trees to work on.

Allotments There are efforts to form an allotment committee.

Footpaths Some felt that the Church Lane to the river was overgrown, and the Watery Lane to Middle St jitty.

Churchyard The trimmed hedge and grass were felt to be looking good.

Canal Damage to Bridge 32 should be reported to Canal and River Trust.

Defibrillators In good order. CK to look into replacing the batteries.

Planning. S/2020/0428/FUL Land behind Denbrook. Having received a report from Hedley/Wellers it was felt that the next step would be to consult the NCC Village Greens and Common Land registers. Concern was expressed at reports of building work possibly having been initiated.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next ones are Monday November 2nd (online) and Monday December 7th.

NetherHeyfordParishCouncilThePrattlerOcotber2020

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website 

The Prattler – November 2020

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Allotment News – November 2020

Still much to do
There is a feeling at this time of the year that everything is finished on the allotment. The last tomatoes have been picked and any green ones are now ripening on a windowsill. The bean frames are leaning over at an alarming angle and any pods that have clung on are turning brown. The flowers that once grew amongst our veg have either faded or are, like the condemned man, awaiting the first frost. It can seem like gloom and doom arrives with the month of November. The poet Thomas Hood had this feeling when he wrote:

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, –
November!

But I’m having none of that. If we look around us there is still so much to be done and, more importantly, so much that the allotment can give us in return.

We are currently using the empty beds to store winter hardy plants for next spring’s bedding – Wallflowers, Sweet Williams, Foxgloves and Marigolds. The green manure that we sowed as we lifted our potatoes and onions has grown vigorously and now gives our soil a warm blanket of green that will be dug in as the winter progresses. The compost we have nurtured all summer will be spread over the soil that is bare and any crops we still have in the ground like leeks and parsnips will be harvested with extra relish in the dark months ahead.

Alan Jenkins in his wonderful book Plot 29 says that he visits his allotment as to an elderly relative and is dutiful, loyal. I think of it as a friend who still needs me when the winter sun is low. The truth, of course, is that it is me who has the need – to nurture, to walk through memories. To grow.

Maintenance
As you will be aware if you have visited the allotments over the past year, the plots are in a good state of repair. They have been well tended, pathways have been mown and lots of produce has been grown. And how lovely to see so many flowers being cultivated amongst all that fruit and veg. However, there will be some basic maintenance tasks to carry out over the winter, including covering plots for new owners to take on in the new year. We are also keen to tidy up the area by the Watery Lane entrance so that it does not become a dumping ground but a space where manure or compost could be delivered. We are also keen to carry out some work on the large shed by the orchard, improving storage and strengthening the structure. If you are able to assist in any of these tasks we would love to hear from you and will be publishing details of when we will be starting work in the coming months.

Our thanks goes to all those people who have helped with the upkeep of the allotments over the past year, whether that be giving of time and labour so generously or donating equipment for general use. Your support is appreciated.

The Orchard
Our fruit trees have grown really well this year and the area we planted up just two years ago is beginning to look like a real orchard. I would like to think that this time next year we will be picking fruit and asking you to share in our bounty. Basic tree maintenance will continue in the winter and early spring.

Wildlife
Dave Musson has been keeping readers of the Prattler fully informed of developments in the wildlife area with his monthly articles, so suffice to say that the bio diversity that he and Mark and Mary Newstead have helped create in that area has enhanced what we on the allotments do, day in, day out. That is something we all benefit from.

Equipment
A range of equipment is 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 Lynda Eales (01327 341707) or Mike Langrish langrish_heyford@hotmail.com (01327 341390). We can ensure that you get the equipment you require at a mutually convenient time.

Allotment Holders
If you are considering growing your own fruit and veg, act quickly by contacting Lynda Eales on 01327 341707. We have a few vacant plots but at least five local residents who are keen to begin allotmenting. Rent night will be held in January – more details in the next edition of the Prattler. It is hoped that by then we can reallocate vacant plots so that everyone is able to benefit from this wonderful village resource.

Mike Langrish 

Community Wildlife Area – November 2020

View from The Wildlife Patch

As the Year moves further into Autumn much of our wildlife moves to winter mode. Most insects hibernate at this time either as adult, larvae, pupae or egg form depending on species whilst other groups of “Mini Beasts” remain active throughout the year. I like to look for easily observed species that remain active throughout the year.

Woodlice fall into that category and are a favourite group of mine. Last week I decided to hunt a few out on “the Patch. I was disappointed to find far fewer both individual woodlice and species than I would normally expect when grubbing about in a similar situation. Has anyone else noticed a decline in Woodlice?

Woodlice must be one our most familiar “Mini Beasts”. They are not insects but Crustaceans ( Crabs and Lobster family). Being one of only two Crustacean orders that spend their whole lives out of water. Science calls the Woodlouse order “Isopoda”. “Isopod” means “even footed”. This being because all species have similar feet.

Most people are surprised to find that we have over 40 Woodlouse species in The UK However only about 37 species can breed outdoors. Woodlice have featured prominently throughout history in recipes including one for Woodlouse Sauce, (it’s just a White Sauce with woodlice in) and in the past Woodlice were often carried in a leather pouch round the neck to be taken as cure for stomach aches and minor ailments.

All UK Woodlouse species are vegetarian. Despite their reputation as pests they rarely eat living plant matter or healthy wood. Preferring to eat vegetation which has already begun to decay. Woodlice play a very important part in the recycling of dead and dying plant matter into nutrients for reuse by other plants.

One tiny white species of woodlouse lives exclusively in Ants Nests. With the unsurprising name of “Ant Woodlouse” it is common in this area and lives on our Wildlife patch.

The outer shell of a woodlouse comprises a series of segments. The lower part of this shell is described as the Skirt. In one my older woodlouse books “The Painted Woodlouse” is described as having Black eyes, two lemon coloured lines down it’s back and a pink skirt. Disappointingly it does not look very different from our most numerous woodlouse species.

There is one pink Woodlouse not surprisingly called the “Rosy Woodlouse” that lives in dark moist places and is present in this area.

Woodlice live 2 to 4 years and are predated by Centipedes and one species of spider that specialises in hunting Woodlice exclusively.

All woodlice lay eggs which are retained in a pouch under their shell. The young hatch inside this pouch and stay there until they are big enough to care for themselves. When these young are ready to leave the shell the female contorts itself in a move which has been described as turning itself inside out. I have never observed this so can’t comment. A female may breed up to 4 times in it’s lifetime depending on species and living conditions.

Woodlice can be encouraged into a garden by leaving bits of old wood, roof tiles and slates etc. lying around in areas not too wet and not too dry.

Dave Musson

The Prattler – October 2020

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please contact us.

The newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Gardening Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as our advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Parish Council – September 2020 Meeting

Due to government regulations prohibiting public meetings the Sept 2020 Parish Council meeting was held online, using the Zoom platform. This is in line with national advice. There is still no indication of how long these conditions will persist, but it is likely that meetings will take place online for the rest of this year. Parishioners wanting to participate in the Public Session should check the Agenda on the Public notice boards, or the Website, for the meeting ID on Zoom.

Due to difficulties experienced by Councillors unused to using the internet, a reduced number of Councillors attended the online meeting, but a quorum was achieved and was augmented by the District and County Councillors.

Illness and unfamiliarity with IT have meant that the number of Councillors at meetings has fallen, and the anticipated election in May was postponed until next year, and this may well have bought an influx of new Councillors. We are able to co-opt new members, subject to them being eligible. The Parish Council does need some active new members, preferably familiar with IT – so if you feel that is you – please contact me or the Chair (details overleaf).

Reports from the District and County Councillors Cllr Adam Brown reported that NCC will give a financial report tomorrow that will show a small underspend on the previous year. Northampton had been downgraded from being an area of intervention as regards Covid19. The Greencore situation had improved. As regards LGR (Local Government Re-organisation) – all is progressing, and the schedule is being met. Most Statutory officers have now been appointed.

Cllr Phil Bignell confirmed downgrading of Covid19 situation, and reported that most new cases were in the younger age groups, and that there was some way to go.

Cllr David Harries confirmed Cllr AB’s analysis of the LGR situation. He referred to the failure of Council’s bid for NHB money for lighting. The panel had taken the decision to not support schemes for which Councils were in any case responsible; preferring to support larger schemes. He felt that schemes which helped with climate change should be supported. AW felt that the rules had been changed, and DH agreed that this had not been made clear enough.

Public Participation Tony Clewett reported that the NP (Neighbourhood Plan) had sustained body blows – participant illness and Covid19, which meant no meetings could be held. Strategic Environment Assessments (SEA) was the next task. SNC have said that the NP group have to screen this themselves, whereas most think that the District Council should be doing this. It was recommended that Kislingbury was approached for advice on this and other NP issues. Tom Dodd felt the need for an SEA was low, but that the NP would not be passed unless there is evidence of a strong scoping plan. Whilst the delays were a cause for concern, the whole process has been delayed in that there would be no referenda before May 6th 2021, and funding had been increased as a result. With the Parish Council’s allocation of £3000 for 20/21 and £500 already held, it was hoped that this would suffice. He had distributed a document on costings. The NP group would continue with the screening and to keep in line with SNC’s local plan. It was hoped to submit to the PC in Jan 2021, followed by statutory consultation. It would then go on to a referendum.

Roads and pavements Felt to be in generally poor condition, although it was acknowledged that there had been extensive re-surfacing work on the lane between the Heyfords.

The Green and Play Area The Green was felt to be in good condition, although there had been some storm damage to trees. The Council thanked Dominic Cawley for removing one substantial Robinia limb from the Green. The Tree surgeon had checked and adjusted a number of trees.

Damaged units in the Play Area had been taped off and would be repaired by Wicksteed shortly.

CK felt that funding for a new Play Area was now problematic although it was still possible to go for NHB money, if this was the case the last opportunity would be Nov 20th. 

It was resolved to insert an additional litter bin next to the bench at the bus stop. This would be to help deal with the worsening litter situation, which is felt to have been caused by the removal of the bin outside the One Stop Shop. The re-opening of takeaways was fairly obvious as detritus from the various outlets started to appear at the roadside almost immediately. This is particularly noticeable between the Heyfords; however most of the lane is in Upper Heyford, rather than Nether Heyford Parish. There has also been an issue with cars parking around the entrance to the Playing Fields. Police are aware.

Playing Fields LE reported that the Netball Court had proved very popular and was much used. She felt that the use of the fields had increased generally and that there were now more opportunities for women.

Trees Storm Francis had caused a good deal of damage.

Allotments LE reported that there had been an appeal for members to form an Allotments Association committee. There was now a waiting list of 5.

Footpaths LD commented that dog mess was an increasing issue on footpaths.

Churchyard Tree work would be recommenced in Autumn.

Joint Burial Board CK reported that there was a programme for tidying up the cemetery, and that the existing mapping was to be upgraded. There had been damage to some trees during Storm Francis, which was being dealt with.

Youth Club LD reported that she felt it was unlikely that the club could re-open in the near future. Those activities that were recommended by the County Association were not felt to be attractive to the club members and would be stressful and awkward for helpers to implement, nor were outdoor activities practical going into Autumn. The building has been deep cleaned. SNC had sent a tree inspector to look at the issue with the garden in Ridgeway Furlong.

Canal The Furnace Lane bridge had been damaged. Clerk had reported to Highways and an inspection had taken place. No report as yet.

Defibrillators The defibrillators were in working order, but would need new batteries shortly as they had been in place since 2017.

Planning S2020/0428/FUL Land behind Denbrook SNC were unhappy with this application but have not heard back from the agent: so there is no current application. There is an issue regarding the crossing of part of the village green for access for any residence built on this site, as to whether an easement is required. AW had contacted Danny Moody at NCALC who had recommended contacting NCALC’s solicitors Weller/Hedley. County Council to be contacted to consult Register of Village Greens to try and clarify exact boundaries of village green. Cllr PB would check with SNC to clarify ownership.

Consideration of how Council would respond to a 2nd wave of Covid 19. It was felt that, should there be a 2nd Wave of Covid19, it would be straightforward to reintroduce the procedures for distributing food parcels and assisting shielding residents. The “mechanisms” and volunteers were still in place.

Lighting A working party would be formed to discuss lighting issues generally, and a possible application to the Salix agency for funding.

Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com  It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.

Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next ones are Monday October 5th (online) and Monday November 2nd.

NetherHeyfordParishCouncilThePrattlerOcotber2020

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit:

Nether Heyford Parish Council Website