Welcome to the Winter 2023 edition of Community News. Read on to get a flavour of the articles in this edition and then click the button to download the full magazine.
Our Winter 2023 Headline
News from the Community Centre
The chess club has now opened for its new season.
Parish and Government News
Oliver’s Battery Parish Council held their 4th Annual Scarecrow Competition in the autumn and the 5th Annual Christmas Tree Event is on Saturday 2 December. Texas Field and Yew Hill Butterfly Reserve have been designated Assets of Community Value. This autumn will see further improvements to the Recreation Ground.
Badger Farm Parish Council has been offered the opportunity to take into public ownership many plots of land that are currently owned by the original developers. The vast majority of properties on Badger Farm do not have any Permitted Development rights; the Council is working with the WCC Planning Enforcement Department on methods to report contraventions of this rule by an addition to the current WCC app. The Bushfield Camp developers have now applied for outline planning permission and the Parish is actively studying the proposal and co-operating with other concerned bodies.
Winchester City Council
Applications are currently open for the latest rounds of grant funding. The Cabinet of Winchester City Council has agreed to extend the timetable to produce its new Local Plan. Winchester City Council is undertaking a regeneration of a circa four-acre area of the city with a wide-ranging mix of uses including flexible work and creative spaces, food and drink offerings, a hotel and new high-quality public spaces; the council’s Central Winchester Regeneration development partner, Jigsaw, is hosting a series of one-to-one meet and greets every other Wednesday until 13 December. The licensing and regulation committee has supported a 3-year extension of the existing alcohol consumption public spaces protection order (PSPO) to September 2026.
Hampshire County Council
The council reports on Financial Planning, Transforming Nursing and Specialist Care, Countryside Services, Funding for the UK’s rare orchids, older driver appraisal courses, and New Police Stations for Hampshire and Highways.
News from Westminster
Our MP, Steve Brine, reports on the proposal to change the law so children turning 14 or younger this year can never buy cigarettes in their lifetime. Steve travelled to the Gold Coast nation recently as part of the UK delegation attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Annual Conference in Accra. Finally, he is welcoming the Government’s new Advanced British Standard which will transform A-levels.
Badger Farm Pre-school Playgroup
By the time you read this, the playgroup will have launched into their Christmas festivities. They had a busy start to the Autumn Term, settling our new children and exploring new resources and activities. Mr Badger and the children have shared experiences through our themes of All About Us and Autumn. Halloween and bonfire night were great fun, with pumpkins galore!
Stanmore Primary School
School trips and residential visits provide the perfect opportunity for children’s personal development and wellbeing that might not be available as part of the school day. That’s why Stanmore Primary School are committed to providing a range of additional opportunities as part of the Stanmore Curriculum.
Oliver’s Battery Primary and Nursery School
September was very exciting for the school as they celebrated its 50th Anniversary. They held a special festival on Saturday 16 September which was very well supported by both current and past pupils and staff. Ex-pupils enjoyed our special display showing photos of the school being built and the first members of staff to join the school. They also enjoyed reading the diaries that the first headteachers used to write on a daily basis!
St. Peter’s Primary School and Little Fishes Pre-school
St Peter’s School aims to engage and inspire children to develop a love of music. Music has a high profile throughout the school, being demonstrated not just by the high quality of music-making in the classroom but also in the range of musical events and opportunities that children engage with throughout the school year. The children not only have a rich curriculum with opportunities to learn a range of instruments, but they also have many opportunities to perform. The school choir performs at Winchester University’s graduation in the cathedral each year. The Spring Concert, where children play solo or in ensembles, is a key fixture in the school’s annual diary.
Little Fishes have welcomed families from all around the world this year, bringing a rich diversity to our pre-school. It has been a joy to listen to the little children, who had no English language on their first day, develop a sense of belonging and grow in self-esteem as they begin to communicate with staff and children and join in with activities while playing together.
Local Organisations and Clubs
Nature, Environmental and Sustainability Groups
Repair Café Winchester
Saturday 21 October saw Repair Café Winchester celebrate International Repair Day with their 15th and 16th Cafés and an Information Stall in Winchester City Centre. They have also been able to run demonstration sessions for some repairs during the events so hopefully this has inspired more to learn new skills to give things a fresh lease of life. The volunteers regularly get together to discuss the best ways to deal with repairs and problems which creates a great team spirit.
Winchester Gardening Club
Winchester Gardening Club‘s Winter programme of talks includes The Miracle of Bird Migration, The Fantastic Flora of Australia, the challenges of taking on an historic garden, under the title of Trowels and Tribulations and Hardy Geraniums – Where and Why?
Sustainable Oliver’s Battery
As we head into the autumn, and signs of hedgehogs decrease, we wanted to thank everyone who has informed us of their hedgehog sightings this year.
We have been informed of sightings of hedgehogs at 23 houses around the Battery as well as 6 houses where there have been signs of hedgehog poo. There have been sightings across the length of the Battery, from Old Kennels Close at the bottom to the top end of Oliver’s Battery Road North. There were very few sightings on the golf-club side of the Battery though.
We will continue to map hedgehogs across the Battery as they come out of hibernation in the new year, so please do watch out for our updated posters and fliers next spring and let us know of any sightings of hedgehogs or their poo in 2024. This will help us to identify areas where hedgehog highways would be beneficial around the Battery. As the winter draws in, please also have a look around your garden – try and leave an undisturbed area for wildlife to shelter in and do remember to check for hibernating hedgehogs before lighting bonfires.
Oliver’s Battery Brownies
The Brownies started the term by making a wonderful scarecrow – OWLbert. The girls had to decide what they were going to make, what materials they could use and how to make it weatherproof. Using recycled materials meant that they could work towards the Zero Waste badge too. The recent storms have definitely tested their decisions! They must thank the ladies of Owslebury Handbell Team who very kindly came to see us last month. The girls thoroughly enjoyed listening to the music and learning all about the instruments. We all had a lovely time learning to play too.
Oliver’s Battery WI
Oliver’s Battery programme evolves as the year progresses. Since returning after the summer break they have enjoyed making dotty decorations on stones and heard an informative talk on bats. November’s guest speaker in St Mark’s Church Hall is our local vicar Marianne who will be talking about community. Entertainers at the Christmas meeting will be the Winchester ladies a cappella group.
General Articles for Winter 2023
Ally Chatterley, Operations Manager at Citizens Advice Winchester District, gives some top tips on buying a second-hand car.
By the time you read this, most of us will have ‘put the garden to bed’ for the winter. Peter hopes that you’ll have looked at what must be cut back and what could wait until spring because those parts we leave become important sources of shelter, habitat and food for wildlife through the colder months.
Handy hacks to make your DIY day a little easier
Local handyman, Tim Newcombe, shares a few useful tips to make life a little easier if you are a DIYer.
Wishing you well
Many people often struggle to eat a healthy diet and with the high cost of living, this is becoming even more of a challenge. However, eating a nutritious diet can help prevent many long-term conditions plus improve overall physical and mental health. Yet around 66% of the UK population aged over 16 is now overweight or obese, and research shows that the poor average Western diet directly contributes to this. This article is about finding easy, real food recipes to support health and wellbeing.
Growing greener together
Are you enjoying this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness? Did you carve a pumpkin this autumn? However, something is not right – the weather is too warm! When I was a child, six decades ago, my toes and fingers were always very cold on Bonfire Night. But I doubt your toes were freezing this year when you watched the fireworks outside. We could feel a lot better about the climate crisis if we talked about it and then took one or two big actions right now!
Ann Jury shares a seasonal story of Chip, a computer with a heart and a soul, and Rusty, an old abandoned robot, who work together to bring happiness to the children of the town, making Christmas a magical time for all. Ann then reveals that this charming Christmas story was written by AI.
Of course, there’s far more to AI than delightful stories, so if you’d like to find out more and explore its pros, cons and ethics, I’ll leave YouChat to explain in the article I asked it to write for you.
Recently, Wendy Bramall heard a Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) before spotting it in her front garden, feeding with its inch-long tongue on a late-flowering valerian. Another welcome migrant, the house martin is a familiar sight in Plovers Down and the surrounding fields, thanks to Alan Fowler who installed two artificial bird boxes in 1991.
As the summer migrating birds leave, we start to welcome our winter visitors. Large flocks of fieldfare and redwings journey from Scandinavia, flying during the night, calling to each other through the dark. This year looks to be a good berry year for them; they also love windfall apples. Why not make your garden a winter haven for wildlife by planting nectar-rich flowers like mahonia, snowdrops, crocus, hellebores and heather, as some bees still forage on sunny winter days?
We hope you enjoyed reading the Winter 2023 edition of Community News. If you have a community contribution for the next edition or would like to advertise with us, please get in touch with Ann Jury, Community News Editor, at email@example.com. The editorial deadline for the next issue is Friday 1 March 2024.