The clocks have changed and the days are getting lighter. It must be time for the Spring 2023 edition of Community News!
Our Spring 2023 Headline
Lloyd’s is closing the Pharmacy in Sainsbury’s at Badger Farm in the coming months. What are the alternatives and can we do anything to try to save it?
News from the Community Centre
We are seeking experienced members of the public to join our Board of Trustees. We invite applications from residents in Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery. For more details and information on how to apply, see our post.
We say thank you to long-term distributors Lesley and Henry Nguyen. Is there a volunteer who can take their place?
Repair Café Winchester is launching on Saturday 15 April at the Community Centre. We will be looking to repair small domestic items so reducing landfill waste. You can now book a repair slot through the website booking form. Just go to repaircafewinchester.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the team process your booking you can come along and the volunteers will see what they can do to get those personal items functioning again. Or just pop in and enjoy the ambience and the café.
Parish and Government News
Oliver’s Battery Parish Council discusses the future of Bushfield Camp. The Council are planning Easter, Coronation and Christmas events. Do get involved! They update us on the project to improve the Recreation Ground. The project currently focuses on furniture (picnic tables, benches and bins), planting (trees and hedges), equipment (smaller football goals) and simple changes to the perimeter path.
Badger Farm Parish Council welcomes Catherine Craven to the PC.
They share their thoughts on the proposed development on Bushfield Camp. In the council’s opinion the early signs are that it will be totally overdeveloped. It may lead to serious access problems and possible additional vehicles parking on the estate.
The council ask that you share details of any footpaths that you have concerns about so that they can compile a list for Winchester City Council.
Winchester City Council
Because of a partnership between the zoo and the council, the animals and tourists at Marwell Zoo are benefiting from renewable, clean energy. In 2021, the council installed 250 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels onto the rooftops of Marwell Zoo’s buildings.
Voting rules have changed. You must now show photographic identification at polling stations before you can be given a ballot paper. This will affect all voters across the district of Winchester who vote in person or by proxy at the next local election on Thursday 4 May 2023.
Hampshire County Council
Hampshire County Council’s spending plans for 2023/24 include the £2.6bn annual budget and cover all the services delivered by the council for 1.4 million residents, including supporting our most vulnerable children and adults. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Donna Jones, is on track to increase police numbers by an additional 600 officers by the end of March. Bad weather in January provided some challenges for Hampshire Highways, especially from blocked drains, flooding and potholes. Please do continue to report highways issues online. In an emergency call 0300 555 1388 (8.30am to 5.00pm) Monday to Friday, or 101 outside office hours.
News from Westminster
The Health & Social Select Committee (which Steve Brine chairs) has instigated a major new inquiry. This is looking comprehensively at the prevention of ill-health as a path towards a healthier nation and a sustainable NHS that’s there for another 75 years.
Badger Farm Pre-school Playgroup
This term the school is celebrating food from around the world reflecting in our multicultural cohort of children. They have enjoyed some new tastes and smells with the food and children have helped to prepare it using recipes from parents.
Oliver’s Battery Primary and Nursery School
The school shares with us news of their building work and their Luna New Year celebration. It has been a great term for the different sports teams and clubs at Oliver’s Battery, including their football teams and cross-country and netball teams. The school is joining up with Active Me 360 to offer families in our community childcare provision in the holidays. We are starting on Tuesday 11 April and will run that week. Ask the school for further information if you are interested.
Stanmore Primary School
Stanmore Primary School is delighted with their new, bright and modern entrance area. This new build has transformed the face of the school. It comprises of a lobby, office, medical area and waiting room. The visitor management system prioritises safeguarding and our office team have a pleasant and spacious working environment. First impressions of the school have been transformed and the visitor experience enhanced.
St. Peter’s Primary School and Little Fishes Pre-school
The children at St. Peter’s enjoy an educational visit or a special curriculum day every term. Places that enriched their learning in the spring term included Winchester Cathedral, The Science Centre and the River Itchen. They also had a visit from the Mini Professors, along with days celebrating Italian and Australian culture. Year 6 children went off for their annual residential trip to Osmington Bay.
This term Little Fishes have been focusing on kindness, respect and valuing one another. During the day they encourage thoughtfulness as they play together, to offer help if someone feels sad and celebrate their achievements and special events.
Local Organisations and Clubs
Nature and Environmental Groups
Tidy Badger Farm
Tidy Badger Farm is a group of friendly volunteers on a mission to make Badger Farm a litter-free zone! And they welcome anyone who would like to join – children and adults alike. If you’re interested in setting up a similar group in Oliver’s Battery, do get in touch.
Sustainable Oliver’s Battery
In 2023 OB Sus are focussing on improving home energy efficiency, helping wildlife and reducing stuff. With our help, they hope to run a Hedgehog Highway campaign. Hedgehogs are struggling in the UK partly because we are replacing hedges with garden walls and fences. Can we make hedgehogs’ lives a little easier by removing barriers and making little hedgehog-size holes in our fences?
Winchester Gardening Club
Formerly Winchester Horticultural Society, the newly renamed Winchester Gardening Club continues to educate its members with talks on a variety of gardening topics. This Spring they will be looking at Pest and Disease Control, Wonderful Healthy Herbs, For the Love of Roses and the Secret History of Vegetables. The Club’s Annual Plant Sale is on Saturday, 10 May as part of the general Winchester Saturday Market.
Oliver’s Battery Brownies
Among many of their interesting activities, Helen came to talk to the Brownies about a charity in India she supports. ‘AshaIndia works to transform lives in the slums of Delhi … regardless of their background, caste or religious beliefs.’ She kindly brought clothing, currency and food to illustrate her talk. The girls will be writing letters to send as unfortunately the time difference doesn’t lend itself to a productive online meeting with India.
Oliver’s Battery WI
Oliver’s Battery WI is a vibrant and growing group of women who meet regularly, not only for monthly meetings but also for the various social activities. A highlight of these events is the annual WI plant sale, the main annual fundraiser on Monday 8 May. Come and buy homegrown flower and vegetable plants, cakes, preserves and refreshments.
General Articles for Spring 2023
Ready, Set, VOTE!
We are avowedly apolitical in the Community Centre and magazine but there is a change coming in this year that will affect all of us who are eligible to vote. As we host the Polling Station, we want to make sure you are fully informed so we share details of the new rules with you.
We are sad to report the death of a member of our community. She was someone that many of us knew from teaching our children (or grandchildren – as she would remind us) and a person who served the Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm communities for thirty-nine years.
Easter Egg Hunt
Following the enjoyment by over 150 participants last year, there will be another Easter Egg Hunt event this Easter Sunday, 9th April.
Avoid those big household bills
It’s always struck local handyman Tall Tim that if early preventative action was taken for certain jobs then damage could have been avoided, saving time, money and homeowners’ stress. His list of the most common things that every homeowner should be aware of can help avoid bigger costs further down the line.
I think the frogs have finished – at least, there’s less noise from the pond; I got buzzed by a very early bee and the sounds coming from the copse on Whiteshute Ridge are gloriously deafening. If you have the time to sit, listen and watch, the signs of the end of Winter are bombarding us and by the time you read this – it will be Spring.
Find out what our enthusiastic amateur gardener Peter Roberts plans for his garden this Spring.
Wishing you well
We have previously highlighted the special plant properties of polyphenols in the blackberries found around our beloved Bushfield. These special zesty compounds are also found in your tasty, fresh, real, whole fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices. Local Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Amanda Turner shares how easy it is to grow our own herbs and garlic.
A Cat’s Tale
Stuart Dyos shares the story of how he and his dog Bren were adopted by a stray cat in France.
Please leave space for nature in your gardens this summer. Think again if you are planning to pave your garden. Don’t weed out wild plants but enjoy their flowers first. Welcome wildlife, if you are lucky enough to have insects, birds and hedgehogs visiting. Finally, throw away those packets of weedkillers and pesticides (carefully, of course) and let nature thrive in your garden and be proud of it.
Local computer tutor Ann Jury has finally updated to Windows 11 and tells us what she thinks of it.
Wendy Bramall shares the superstitions that grew up around Thunder Stones. These stones turned out to be a fossilized sea urchins which would have lived millions of years ago in the Cretaceous period, when much of the south of England was covered by warm tropical seas.
After years of persecution, the largest member of the Corvid family the Raven Corvus corax, is making a comeback into the countryside. Local residents have spotted ravens on Morn Hill, Silkstead and Hursley.