Thursday, 15 November 2018

Another Year

My years these days are very much built around seasonal activities. Once again I have reached the end of two seasons and begun another. First to end was the butterfly transect walks which ended in September. Having completed two a week since the beginning of April my weekly routine changes quite a lot. No longer do I have to consider the temperature, wind and sunshine each day in order to decide if a walk is going to be possible. There are rules for walking which are designed to provide the best conditions in which to count butterflies. This year was a good one with regard to butterfly walks as, throughout the walking season, I was able to complete a walk on every week. No blanks. 

The season was also good as we had the long dry spell during the summer which meant conditions were, for the most part, good for butterflies. In fact, on my two transect walks, I recorded a number of species not previously seen or not seen on those particular walks for many years. The White Letter Hairstreak, Argos Brown and White Admiral being a few. Also a good increase in Small Coppers. Generally there was a big increase in recorded numbers on the previous year. Although Small Tortoishells were down in numbers. In Dorset the good news is that numbers across the whole county were up just over fifty percent on recorded numbers for 2017. One interesting feature of this year's observations, which I came across during the hot dry spell, was the fact that all normal sources of water had dried up and consequently I observed large numbers of butterflies taking to the bottom of ditches. This was clearly an attempt to get at any moisture which might remain and by no means normal behaviour.

The next season to end for me was the dormouse survey season which runs from March through to the end of October. My involvement in these surveys has been to join teams on three surveys each month, two in Somerset and another just over the border into Wiltshire. One of the Somerset survey areas being right at the north of the county near Cheddar in the wonderfully named Goblin Coombe. Dormouse surveys involve checking nest boxes placed on trees and the number of boxes varies from fifty up to around eighty. Each box is opened and if a dormouse is found to be present it is weighed and its sex recorded and all data is then sent to The People Trust For Endangered Species. This year has been a productive one for dormouse numbers although the long dry summer did appear to keep the dormice out of the boxes for a couple of months. Quite simply, we concluded, it was just too hot and dry for comfort in a small wooden box. Normally, it appears, quite moist conditions within the boxes favours dormouse occupation of the boxes when not breeding. In fact on two occasions I found sleeping dormice in boxes which contained nesting material which was almost soggy. However, when we got into the breeding season in August / October we found good numbers of dormice. In fact on both of those months at Goblin Coombe we recorded dormouse numbers in the twenties. The additional good news was the fact that all mice weighed were sufficiently fat to ensure they would survive their hibernation through the winter months. This tells us that their food supply during the summer had been good enabling body weight to be achieved.

The other good news, well at least as far as I am concerned, is the fact that I have now got my own Dormouse survey licence. This has taken two years to achieve but now means I am able to conduct surveys on my own and to help train other people who want a licence.

So October brought the end of the recording season but it also heralded the beginning of the beating season and I now find myself attending a number of local shoots each week. In fact most weeks I am out beating four times. This year I was invited to beat on a mid-Dorset shoot which has down land with high hills and deep valleys. the views are quite simply stunning and since, so far,the weather has been kind to us it has been a delight. Not only that, it keeps this old man pretty fit. 

Monday, 24 September 2018

Kingsley Parish Council Wed 26th 7:30pm

Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council on Wednesday, 26th September 2018 in the Kingsley Centre at 7.30pm

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
Cllr C. Rigden

3. Declarations of Personal/Prejudicial Interest
4. Public Question Time
Public Questions
Consideration of agenda items which will be open to public participation

5. Approval of Minutes of the Meetings held on 25th July 2018
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing
54919/005 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon
Detached shed for use as a wormery
51188/003 Kingsley Quarry, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon
Easterly extension of the existing sand extraction area, extend the end date for quarry operations and restoration and amend the approved restoration schemes. (Details available on the HCC website - https://planning.hants.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?RecNo=19368)
27508/002 1 Straits View, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Single storey rear extension and alteration of front porch roof.
27107/034 Sleaford Farm, Farnham Road, Bordon, GU35 9LJ
Amendments to previously approved scheme (27107/033) and filling of derelict pond
HCC/2018/0700 Grundon Sand And Gravel Ltd, Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of conditions 5 (Phasing), 11 (Landscaping), 24 (Restoration) and 27 (Plans) of Planning Permission 30633/031 to revise
HCC/2018/0701 Grundon Sand And Gravel Ltd, Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
The relocation of the ancillary activity of the importation, handling and re-sale of aggregates as previously permitted by pp 30633/030
HCC/2018/0702 Grundon Sand And Gravel Ltd, Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Sand recovery from development projects in Bordon and surrounding area
New applications:
20136/054 LMC Sleaford Garage, Farnham Road, Bordon, GU35 0QP
Extension to existing motor vehicle service area, refurbishment of the existing showroom, construction of
new additional car showroom, extension to car parking area and creation of emergency access point.
SDNP/18/02170/FUL Oaklands Farm Green Street East Worldham Bordon GU34 3AU
Change of use of Oakland Farm and associated land holdings from Agriculture and B8 (Open Storage) to
mixed use Agriculture, B8 (Open Storage) and Seasonal Event Space associated with the holding of
Religious Festivals and other activities associated with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association; including the
provision of external storage space, new landscape and revised ventilation and extraction equipment in
association with the onsite kitchen.

31121/004 The Cricketers, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9ND
Conversion and extension of existing tourist accommodation to provide 2 new dwellings, and provision of
associated parking and landscaping.

8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
To receive an update from Cllr Fletcher

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
To receive an update from Cllr Clayton

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Footpath 6
Consideration of report concerning encroachment of hedges onto Footpath 6
Upper Green
To receive an update from Cllr Fletcher

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
13. Kingsley Village Forum
14. Housing, Business & Commerce
15. Review of Capital Projects
16. Communications
The correspondence received this month was listed & circulated to all Cllrs prior to the meeting.

17. Broadband
To receive an update from Cllr Coury & Cllr Clayton

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
Review the format of the monthly parish meeting
To receive an update from Cllr Fletcher
To agree the automatic renewal of the licenses and fees during October and November for the online
hosting of the Parish Council website, at a cost of £242.7 per year.
To consider the use of official email accounts for Parish Councillors at an annual cost of £132 ex VAT
To consider compensation from Tsb for all the inconvenience caused due to endless online banking
issues
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
To consider the payment of invoices on the schedule included in the agenda of the meeting
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
16/09/2018 Host Papa CARD Inv 210500-1559000 domain name renewal and web hosting 211.96
28/09/2018 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's September 2018 expenses invoice 0006-2018/19 85.00
28/09/2018 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's September 2018 salary 296.80
28/09/2018 HMRC BACS PAYE September 2018 39.20
Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Wednesday 24th October 2018 – 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

THE CRICKETERS

I was glad to read in the Kings Blog that The Cricketers was to re-open and I sincerely hope the call to use and support the pub will be heeded by the present Kingsley residents. It is very easy for a village to lose its pub and, generally, when its gone its gone forever. As someone who grew up in Kingsley in the fifties and sixties I know that the Cricketers played a major part in the life of the village. Of course, it dispensed fine ales of many sorts and, over the years food in various forms but it also played a significant part in the wider social life of the village. Not least, in that, it held the village fete in its paddock in front of Ockham Hall for many years. This was always a popular and very well supported annual event. As with many village events the fete was a joint effort between the Church, the pub and the village school. It was also the Cricketers that organized the, also very popular, seaside outings of the day. In those days few people owned cars and the seaside trips were taken by coach. Bognor Regis, Hayling Island and Portsmouth were some of the places chosen for such trips. Not only did these trips provide an opportunity to eat such delights as prawns, cockles and whelks but much ice cream was consumed. On the way home it was the custom to have a stop at a wayside pub where thirsts were quenched and courage was built up for the other essential component of such trips, the sing song. This was generally entered into with great enthusiasm although, as far as I recall, the Kingsley residents of the day were unlikely to form the basis for a half decent choir ! The village bonfire,held on the green below the school, was another event in which the pub participated.

In those days there were three popular tipples which the Cricketers served up in the ale department. These were brown ale, light ale and best bitter. Lagers did not feature at the time. Many of the men drank a combination of light and bitter. I don’t know if light and brown ales are still made but they were then and, as far as the cricketers was concerned, they all came from the local brewery which was Courages in Alton. In later years there was CourageTavern Keg Bitter and another very popular brew of the day, Watneys Red Barrel.

During the summer months the Cricketers played a pleasant part in our family’s weekly routine. It was the norm for Mother and Father to join Bill and Tilley Woods and go for a stroll on Sunday evenings. I say stroll but, I suspect, by today’s standards it would be seen as rather more of a marathon. As both family’s lived in Woodfield they would embark upon their walk by turning onto the B3004 and heading either east or west. The route covered was always the same each week, save for the direction taken. If, for example the route was to be the eastern one, we would walk past the shop and old piggery, turn left down the hill, up past the sports ground and hall,over the railway line, and turn left again into the Straits. Now heading west we would continue through the Kingsley Nurseries , through the various bends until we met the Binsted road. At that junction another left turn down, what was then referred to as, the Old Lane, past St Nicolas Church, also known as The Old Church,and on to Bakers Corner.Left again along the B3004 past Dean Farm and up the rise to the Cricketers. Once there the adults would disappear inside and order the drinks and crisps to be brought out to the children, whilst they had a couple of pints within. We played in the pub garden and hoped upon hope that our parents would not want to go home to soon.All in all a very nice way to spend a Sunday evening. 

As is the case today, with most pubs, The Cricketers was then  the hub for the villages sporting activities. There were, of course, the obvious sports of cricket, football and darts but also, in those days, there were shove halfpenny leagues. All of these activities enhanced village life and helped to secure the fortunes of the pub. Life was so different then, seasonal workers moved around the countryside picking hops and potatoes and helping out at harvest time, after a hard day in the fields they would go to the pub for a welcome evening drink. Those activities have now all been mechanised and so a source of transient trade has been lost to all country pubs. Probably just as well because I can’t imagine a modern day publican getting away with posting a "No Gypsies or Travelers" notice outside his premises as once was the norm. In the case of the Cricketers another source of trade was the army. The camp at Bordon, which extended to just over the hill from the Kingsley parish boundaries, was once a very large military establishment and soldiers would walk to the pub.As I noted on a recent visit to the area, the Camp at Bordon is now but a shadow of its former glory. All of these matters will have had to,some degree or another,a negative impact upon the viability of The Cricketers, I do so hope the present Kingsley residents appreciate their pub and support the new management in their endeavors to keep the old place open.