The days are getting longer and warmer and enticing us out more. But do have a little indoor time too, with the Spring 2021 edition of Community News.
Our Spring 2021 Headline
We were sad to learn that the Davis Kickabout area in Badger Farm is for sale by auction. This green space at the heart of Badger Farm is a wonderful asset to our everyone in the area. We are therefore working to buy it on behalf of the community. Please click here to find out more or read the article on our front page.
News from the Community Centre
We’ve been busy preparing the Community Centre to be used by the local Primary Care Network as a Covid-19 Immunisation Centre. We’d like to thank everyone involced in that transformation.
Parish and Government News
Badger Farm Parish Council is embarking on a Wildflower Project to establish three small local wildflower reserves in Badger Farm. We are lucky enough to have a number of rare species such as Pyramidal Orchids (pictured) and White Heliborine. In addition, there are other natives such as as Birds Foot Trefoil, Primroses, Cowparsley and Cowslips.
The council have been working to register Davis Kickabout area as a Village Green. They also report on their Community Speedwatch Group. All residents are invited to take part in the Badger Farm photographic competition.
Oliver’s Battery Parish Council is working with neighbouring parish councils to protect the green fields between Oliver’s Battery and Hursley, and between Oliver’s Battery and Compton & Shawford from very large-scale proposed developments like ‘Royaldown’. They also update us on the status of Texas Field.
Read about how Winchester City Council is helping local residents and businesses in many ways in these trying times. The Council is working on producing the Local Plan 2038. In changes to the waste collection, from 1 February, garden waste bags are no longer collected. You can still get your garden ready for spring with a brand new brown wheelie bin.
An investment of over £26M from Government climate change funding has been awarded to improve the energy efficiency of 370 Hampshire County Council schools and buildings. £6.7 million will be spent on the installation of solar panels and £20.2 million to improve insulation . The Council is asking for your views on a new Hampshire Local Transport Plan: hants.gov.uk/transport/localtransportplan.
Member of Parliament
Steve Brine, hosted the Friends of Winchester Cathedral for a behind-the-scenes virtual tour at the House of Commons. He continues to push the case for schools to fully re-open on 8th March. In other work he is stepping up efforts to make the case for the early years sector, too often overlooked while a genuine lifeline for many working parents: stevebrine.com/earlyyears.
St. Peter’s Primary School
Our Local Schools
This February, St Peter’s School took part in some activities linked to Children’s Mental Health Week. Teachers worked with the children on thinking about ways to calm down, to laugh and share ‘big’ feelings. They created a Gratitude Tree to share their thanks.
Oliver’s Battery Primary School and Oliver’s Battery Preschool are merging to become Oliver’s Battery Primary and Nursery School. The school are working with Hampshire Garden Trust and our PTA to develop an edible playground. They hope to “inspire a love of nature, promote healthy living and eating by connecting children with their food, provide an environment where education in nature can flourish and enhance appreciation of the profession of horticulture.”
Since January, a new term is developing a life of its own in schools across the country, including Stanmore Primary School. Blended Learning is now part of the everyday life of schools. In the last few weeks, headteacher Sharon Taylor has been in awe of teachers’ skill in planning and delivering lessons online. They use a mix of live and recorded lessons and the work is set out for children on a daily basis. The school is still learning and the enormous effort and support from the parent community is not underestimated. Blended learning is preparing children with skills that they will be grateful for in the future as well as some precious memories to look back on.
Badger Farm Pre-School remains open. The children are now well used to the new hygiene routines built in to the sessions and are all gaining independence skills in hand washing!
Local Organisations and Clubs
Support and Advice
Citizens Advice answer the question “I’m worried about my elderly parents being targeted by coronavirus scams – are there any warning signs that I can tell them to look out for?” For help with online scams you can contact a Citizens Advice Scams Action adviser by calling 0808 250 5050. Alternatively, please call Citizens Advice Winchester District on 0808 278 7861. For further information about scams, visit the Citizens Advice website citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer.
Criminals often exploit the elderly or most vulnerable so Sandie Vining, Winchester City Neighbourhood Watch coordinator, shares the thoughts of the CEO John Hayward-Cripps:
We have been hearing of the fatigue and struggle many are feeling as we try to get through this very challenging period. We are supporting the Every Mind Matters campaign to ensure mental wellbeing is something we all take care of.ourwatch.org.uk
The Winchester Local Group of the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust is is still unable to hold any talks at the Community Centre. However, the work of the trust continues, creating space for wildlife by building a growing network of sites throughout the county and the island that can support nature’s recovery and at the same time give people of all ages a chance to get closer to nature. There are plenty of fact sheets on the Trust’s website to get you started on simple ways to welcome wildlife into your own garden or windowsill box.
The cheerful sight of daffodils and other early flowers has been heralding the arrival of Spring for the Winchester Horticultural Society. They are hoping to resume their gatherings before too long. You would be very welcome to attend any of them as a visitor. For up-to-date information visit winhortsoc.weebly.com or ring 01962 868862.
Badger Farm Art Group has been continuing with working independently at home on challenges. They’ve done some work from observation, some from imagination and have been painting, drawing and collaging. They share some of this work with us.
Oliver’s Battery WI are waiting for the future but looking to the past with talks on topics such as Demystifying DNA and Behind the scenes with Auntie (what happens backstage at the BBC). They look forward to celebrating their 21st Birthday in April. If you have seen green hearts fluttering in the wind around the Battery, WI members are almost certainly responsible as they raise awareness of how we can all support living in a greener planet.
St Mark’s Church, Oliver’s Battery, has been fundraising for the past year in order to improve the present building and fit it for future use, both for the church and the wider community. The heating, the kitchen facilities, the decoration, the loos, all needed refurbishing and upgrading. The good news is that so far they have raised enough money to proceed with the first phase of the renovation. This will start at the beginning of February and will continue for about 3 months.
With schools closed again, some local teachers who are now retired are happy to help if they can. They don’t want to tread on the toes of teachers, parents or indeed the professional tutors who live in the area but are happy to do something. For example, read a story, explain why that calculation works that way, even suggest places to look if you need help.
A Dog’s Carbon ‘Pawprint’
Brian Shorter looks at whether annual carbon footprint of the food for a medium sized dog was really about double that of the building and running of a Toyota Landcruiser annually, averaged over its life.
Wishing You Well
Nutritionist Amanda Turner looks at movement and exercise. These have been shown to underpin good health but what is the difference between them? Over the past few months it has been super seeing so many new faces enjoying exercising on Whiteshute Ridge and Bushfield.
Celebrating the bright spots
A local midwife shares memories of her time in the NHS and thanks “all our NHS and key worker families and the volunteers in our local vaccination centre in Badger Farm and also everyone else who is doing their best to get through the pandemic as safely and as possible. There has been a great deal of local community spirit and kindness and neighbourly support. It has helped so much.”
A Perfect Planet
Our home was perfect until humans burnt coal and oil – releasing extra carbon dioxide into the air – said David Attenborough in the final episode of this BBC1 TV series. A dispiriting message in a winter lockdown? Or a hopeful challenge to rapidly start using lots more renewable energy and ‘decarbonise’ our industries and farming?
Royaldown and the Strategic Planning Process
Over 1,100 people follow the Save South Winchester Facebook page and 4,250 people have signed the petition to protect the green fields between Oliver’s Battery, Hursley, Badger Farm, Compton & Shawford. You can get involved too!
How do you deal with passwords? Do you use the same one for every account? (Please, please don’t do this!) Do you write them down in a notebook? (Better. Two cross-referenced notebooks are better yet.) Do you reset the password each time you log in to an account? (That’s actually really safe, but such a hassle.) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you only had to remember one password, ever? Ann Jury has good news for you! You can! With a password manager.
A walk on the bright side
Simon Lever celebrates Spring with “Smiling daffodils – imagination and reality”.
“Snow has been falling this afternoon while I was doing the Big Garden Bird Watch.” Despite the snow, Norma Goodwin counted: greenfinch 4, dunnock 1, blackbird 3, wood pigeon 2, blue tit 1, great tit 1, chaffinch 1, house sparrow 4, robin 1, male blackcap 1, magpie 1 and jackdaw 1. That is 13 species but it is the number of each that is a disappointment.
Of all our garden birds, the blackbird has the most melodious song and I long for warm spring-into-summer days about four in the afternoon, to hear again those mellifluous notes as I sit under the weeping pear with a cup of tea!