Mowing, weeding and planting more wild flowers have continued. Growth around the pond has been remarkable, according to Rod d’Ayala (Oxfordshire Pond Officer), considering the continuing dry weather. Following the wetter than average May, at Highlands Farm uphill from the Wellsprings, Rosemary Greasby recorded 7mm of rain in June, 42mm in July and 49mm in August, which is about 60% of the average for the three months. The result has been virtually no flow from the springs that feed into the Wellsprings pond, no flow from the pond itself and the formation of a yellow coloured scum of dust, leaves and nutrients on its surface. There has been no flow since early July in all the streams and ditches that drain south towards Mackney and to the Mill Brook beyond. There will be none until large amounts of rain fall. If the coming winter is dry, the water supply situation will be even more precarious than at present, not just for the parish but for much of Southern England.
According to David Rees (Oxfordshire Woodland Project Officer), the Wood is in good shape and the trees are growing well. He visited the site in early August to advise on its long term management: how to look after the trees to produce a valuable crop of timber over the next 50 years or so. He also offered advice on a footpath, a seat and dealing with the spreading lonicera which is becoming a nuisance. He suggested holding a workshop on tree management in the New Year.
Activities of the Group
Since the Group was formed in 1996 it has conducted surveys, undertaken various projects, held meetings with invited speakers in the Village Hall on a wide range of subjects and arranged visits to nature reserves and other places of interest. It is currently involved in the management of the Wellsprings, the Millennium Wood, St James Churchyard and the bottom part of the allotments. If you came to the Environment Evening in the Village Hall on 28 March you would have seen displays describing these activities. They all require effort of various sorts. If you would like to join in one or other of these activities, please give me a ring, so that you can be contacted.
Our next event will be a talk by Harry Barton the new Executive Director of the Northmoor Trust on 28 November in the Village Hall.