Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Autumn

It’s the time of year again when my routine changes quite dramatically all the way through until the end of the winter. Autumn is with us and that, for me and many others, means the beginning of the shooting season. The truth is, I don’t actually do much shooting these days, I have the odd day here and there and that suits me nicely. My particular love is beating. Once again, as with so many things in life, that love began in my childhood at Kingsley in a time when there were quite a lot of shoots in the area and, then as now, young boys were welcome. I was going on to write, well behaved boys, but in those times all boys were well behaved! Not least because the game keepers would not have minced their words and a clip around the ear was, by no means, out of the question. Somewhat different from today’s attitudes, although a good old fashioned "rollicking" is still a distinct possibility the ear clipping option is long gone. Parents these days would probably get a lawyer involved. Although, true to say, most of the younger lads that come out beating that I have met are pretty good, there have been the odd one or two that have been sent home. Usually because they think they know more than the keeper and are prepared to argue a point, something we would never had done. We knew our place, as the saying goes!

On Thursday of this week we had a work day on one of the shoots which I attend. These days are great fun, lots of banter and gossip. For the most part, when the season finishes,the beating team don’t see one another until it all starts again in the autumn. There are odd occasions when, at country shows or other rural events, one bumps into a fellow beater but, by and large, the team come from far and wide and so meetings out of season are rare. Consequently, pre-season work days are eagerly anticipated and, generally, a good time is had by all. On these days no money changes hands the work is done on a voluntary basis but plenty of snacks, drinks and a good lunch are all provided by the keeper. There are also added bonuses this week, for example, we had to do quite a bit of tree felling in order to open some of the gun stands. Quite a lot of wood was felled and the logs were shared out between the helpers. I came home with the back of my truck filled with some seriously good burning wood. 

Like many of the beaters and, of course the "pickers up", I get the greatest pleasure out of being able to work my dog. To my mind there is nothing quite like working a decent dog in the fields and woods of the English countryside. Beating gives the dog owner an opening for dog work when, otherwise, getting permission from a landowner or farmer can be(understandably) quite difficult. Most gamekeepers encourage well behaved dogs as they can save a lot of time and effort when it comes to flushing birds from thick hedges, brambles and all manner of other difficult terrain. Having trained my lurcher to respect poultry and not to bother them, I now have to teach him that pheasant and partridge although, of course feathered, are perfectly ok to be flushed and made to fly. Thursday, on the work day, was the first time Bertie had encountered pheasants, lots of them. Somehow he seemed to know that there was a difference with these birds and pretty quickly developed an interest in them. Luckily I was able to let him have a couple of runs at the odd pheasant before the day was over and he didn’t disappoint. 

The forecast for our first day isn’t good so I am hoping the forecasters are wrong and the rain keeps off. The cold doesn’t matter but getting soaked, especially before lunch, is pretty miserable and makes the day seem a whole lot longer. Last season was a very good one and we got away with very little rain and most of it later on in the day so here’s hoping. More to follow later.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Rabbits


Those people who have read my articles in the past might well have concluded that I have a bit of a soft spot for the humble rabbit. Having said that, I have hunted, shot and ferreted rabbits throughout most of my life but I have missed seeing the little blighters hopping around. Having moved, fifteen years ago, to an area in Dorset which didn’t seem to have a rabbit in sight I had all but given up any hope seeing them around. Well, lo and behold, about two years ago I went out as usual to feed the horse and there, at the bottom of my field, as bright as a button was a rabbit. This was cause for considerable excitement, the said rabbit stayed around and grandchildren were taken to see it and we were all highly delighted. However, my excitement was tempered with a large amount of caution as I was well aware we have a pretty healthy fox population in the area. Not least because the railway which passes some distance from us has a man-made embankment which is probably the best fox earth location for miles around. Quite apart from the fact that railways are no longer attended by gangers who once walked the lines and kept them trimmed and in good order, that embankment was constructed of fox friendly material and provided an obvious location for both foxes and badgers. There are few other banks in this area and the soil is a very heavy clay so not at all suitable for any animal that digs it’s home in the ground. This, I guess, is also the reason that there are few rabbits in these parts. 

Well, having lost numerous poultry to the fox over the years I didn’t hold out much hope for the survival of my rabbit. To my great joy, after several months, the rabbit was still around and then one morning there was rabbit number two. I do have a very large bramble thicket in the bottom corner of my field and both rabbits seemed to come and go from within its depths. The months rolled on and for the most part the rabbits kept appearing. There were periods of a few weeks when I saw nothing of them and then all of a sudden there they would be again. Then there were three. Not only have my bunnies avoided the fox but they have also avoided the dreaded myxy. 

Time moved on and the rabbits became a common sight. Then it was, as part of my ongoing garden development, I decided to construct a new flower bed. This was to be stocked with butterfly and bee friendly flowers of the cottage garden type. The new bed was to go in a large area of garden to the rear of the house where my pond, polytunnel and Japanese garden are located. These are separated from the garden immediately bordering the house by a fence and big hedge so the area is quite secluded. The new bed was constructed and the plants in place, all nicely watered in and looking fine. Fine, that was, until about three days later when I went to inspect them only to find that with the exception of two or three, all plants had been eaten down to the ground. The truth dawned, my lovely little rabbits had eaten my plants. There was no question of shooting them, I had given the little devils sanctuary. Plan B was wire netting, this was put in place and the whole flower bed was now secure behind the fencing. I am happy to report that all plants recovered and are now, once again doing well. 

A few days later I planted some Curly and Black Kale in the polytunnel. Nice plants, very healthy and strong. A couple of days later I went into the tunnel to check that the plants had all taken only to find they had all been eaten off to soil level. It didn’t take long to find a hole in the side of the tunnel just about bunny size, the little devils had now gained entry and had before them was an array of veg and salads to gorge upon. The polytunnel is surrounded by a four foot wide raised bed in which, amongst, other things, Rhubarb grows. So, more wire was purchased and the complete outside of the tunnel fenced to a height of four feet. During the process of putting the wire up I almost stepped on one rabbit which was hiding beneath the Rhubarb leaves. Behind the polytunnel is an area where I had been depositing the soil removed from where the new, previously mentioned, hut is being built. This pile of soil is due to be used to create another flower bed. A few days ago I wandered down there to ponder over the shape and size of the proposed new bed only to find my rabbits had moved in. I now have my own rabbit warren, there are holes every where. Don’t you just love them. Sadly, I was talking to my neighbour at the Harvest Supper a few days ago and he told me his colony of rabbits had gone down with Myxy. His farm is opposite me and quite large, his rabbits are at the far end of his land which is quite a way from me so I am hoping the dreaded disease does not reach me, but I am not over optimistic. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Books

As, I think, I have mentioned in a previous article I am an avid book collector. This all started many years ago in Kingsley when, having developed a keen interest in books at the village school, I began requesting books as gifts at Christmas and birthdays etc. My books were originally confined to volumes on rural matters but much later in life I developed an interest in food and cooking and so began my cookery book collection. I buy new books and, of course, the internet has transformed the way in which one is now able to access books from all over the world. 

But, my great passion ….my wife would say obsession …is second hand books. Where ever I go my first task is to establish if the town has a second hand book shop. In days gone by this was a fairly simple task, one just tracked down the local Bobby on the beat or traffic warden and, hey presto, directions were provided. Sadly, that is no longer the case, apart from the fact that many second hand book shops have disappeared, (Guildford for example once had two huge shops ), there are now so few Bobbies on the beat and traffic wardens are also gone. However, be that as it may, I am usually able to establish if or if not the place I happen to be visiting has a second hand bookshop, and off I go. Mrs. Y. and I have a well established system in place to ensure that these matters run reasonably smoothly. We agree a time and place at which to meet and she goes off around the shops and I head of to the bookshop. Usually with a cautionary, "don’t buy more than one book, we are running out of space". How negative can you get ! 

Having said that there has been a decline in second hand book shops, there is one glimmer of hope in the form of Oxfam. They have opened up quite a lot of such establishments in recent years. I suppose, as a charity, their outgoings are far less and they get their stock from donations. In these parts we have Oxfam second hand bookshops in Salisbury, Dorchester, Wells, Yeovil, Warminster and Taunton. In Bath there are two, together with a couple more operated by other charities. So all is looking quite healthy as far as I am concerned. 

The people who man the charity shops are usually very helpful and when they get to know an individual will often produce books from the back room which may be of interest.

Well, I hate to admit it, but Mrs. Y. has proved to be right, my book collection is in bad need of more space. There are a number of what, "she who must be obeyed", refers to, menacingly, as piles growing in corners of spare rooms and beside my armchair. I am frequently subjected to the rather rude remark, "oh no not more books" when I return home from a successful expedition. 

My original log cabin, purchased at great expense, from B&Q many years ago is now full. Dare I say it, there are even odd "piles" of books within its walls. So it was, a couple of weeks ago, having had my usual ear bashing about the dreaded piles of books in the house, I casually suggested it might be a good idea to build another cabin. To my great surprise my suggestion was met with agreement, the only questions were, where would it be put and how long would it take to build ? Fortunately, ground is not a problem and there was a fairly obvious area beneath a large tree to the right of the garden, in which little would grow. This met with approval and, I think, will work well as it is almost directly opposite the original cabin. However, this time I am going to design and build the cabin myself with the aid of a friendly builder /handyman whom I employ at weekends to help me with all sorts of tasks. I spent yesterday going through the plans with him and between us we appear to have come up with a rather fetching plan for the new book room. We are even going to include a veranda upon which I hope to recline in peace and harmony with a book, glass or two and a wife who will have no cause to use the dreaded "pile" word ever again. On the face of it the cost of such a venture is likely to be a fraction of the cost of the original B&Q structure. I will keep you posted !.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

BOAT driving prohibitions

THE HAMPSHIRE (SELBORNE BOAT 67 AND WORLDHAM BOAT 38) (PROHIBITION OF DRIVING) ORDER 2017


Hampshire County Council proposes to make a traffic order as follows:
EFFECT OF ORDER: To prohibit any motor vehicle proceeding in the following routes:
That part of Selborne BOAT 67 between SU 7547 3441 at its junction with Priory Lane and SU 7539 3513 at the Parish Boundary.That part of Worldham BOAT 38 between SU 7539 3513 at the Parish Boundary and SU 7558 3571 at its junction with Wick Hill Hanger.
FURTHER DETAILS: A copy of this notice, the proposed order, a map showing the location and effect of the order and a statement of reasons may be viewed at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/publicnotices or inspected during the usual office hours at the following places:
(i) Customer Services, East Hampshire District Council, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX
(ii) Countryside Service, Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UJ
OBJECTIONS: All objections and other representations in respect of this proposal must be sent in writing to the Head of Countryside, Hampshire County Council, Castle Avenue, Winchester, SO23 8UJ or by email to row.notices@hants.gov.uk no later than 1 September 2017. All objections must state the grounds on which they are made. Persons wishing to make objections or other representations are advised that in the order-making process, objections or other representations may become publicly available and therefore the names and addresses of those persons making objections or other representations may also be made publicly available.
Please note that this notice is a corrected version of the proposal advertised on 21 July 2017. Any objections received to the earlier proposal have been kept on file and will be taken into consideration.
TITLE: The Order, if made, will be known as "The Hampshire (Selborne BOAT 67 and Worldham BOAT 38) (Prohibition of Driving) Order 2017".
DATED this 11th day of August 2017
KAREN MURRAY, Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UJ

Contact

KAREN MURRAY
Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services
The Castle
Winchester
SO23 8UJ

Monday, 24 July 2017

English Abroad

On a recent holiday to France I, yet again, encountered all that is bad about the English abroad. Well, having said abroad, when I reflected upon the matter the section of society of whom I write are equally as bad at home as they are abroad. 

On the above occasion we had returned to our favourite hotel in a little sea side village a few miles south of Dieppe. In many ways the hotel is like something out of Daphne du Maurier novel. Located back from the sea on the cliffs it enjoys wide views of the sea. It is a grand old building and, like many of its surrounding houses, was probably a rich merchant's house from a bygone era. Most of the hotel is clad in creeper and its gardens are all very well kept and full of blooms. It is a family run hotel which has been in the family through several generations. It only opens in the summer which is when we found it several years ago. 

On that occasion we had embarked upon another trip to France, which we do quite often, the difference on that particular trip was that I had not bothered to pre-book any accommodation. Reasoning, as I did, that there would be so much to choose from that booking was waste of time and it would be rather fun to tour around a bit and select whatever took our fancy. Mrs. Y. was, to put it mildly, uneasy about this turn of events. However, off we went and all was well until we arrived at our destination and it then became clear to even the most casual of observers that "something was going on". Every junction, round-a bout, every layby, in fact almost everywhere was awash with police. The Gendarmes were out in force. So it was that our search for accommodation began against this background. It didn’t take long to realise there was nothing to be found, quite simply everywhere we went was fully booked. We then discovered, in fact we already knew, the G9 Summit of World heads of state was being held in the nearby seaside town of Hornfleur. Hence the massive security operation. This in turn had resulted in all available places to rest your head being requisitioned for police and security personnel. 

It was during this process when we discovered La Terasse, the hotel referred to above, it also was fully booked. Having found it and fallen in love with the place and its location we resolved to return. This we did and the rest is history. We don’t encounter many English people at the hotel the clients are mostly Dutch, Belgian and German with the odd American. So, on our most recent visit, it was unusual to see two cars in the car park with English number plates. That evening we encountered our fellow countrymen. Two couples, one the parents of either the male or female of the other couple. Obviously one of the couples was much older than the other. We had just embarked upon our evening meal which is, generally, a fairly lengthy process in French hotels. What with aperitifs, several courses, a digestif and coffee. The dining room was fairly full and people were quietly enjoying their food and pleasant conversation when everything changed. The two English couples arrived, the peace was shattered. They were seated three tables down from where we sat and it quickly became evident that our evening was about to be different. Having been seated and gone through a somewhat elaborate, and noisy, not to mention, showy selection of an aperitif the English group began to talk. The trouble was the whole dining room had to listen to their conversation. To be honest it was the younger man that was doing most of the talking, the older couple were quieter and his partner confined herself to the occasional shriek of laughter and lots of "oh darlings" and exaggerated, "how interesting’s". 

The man went on and on and on, hardly pausing for breath. Clearly he felt his conversation was of such great importance that all in the room should hear what he had to say. The truth is he made himself look a complete prat. For the most part, the conversation that was forced upon my wife and I and the rest of the diners was what would, in some circles be described as a complete load of bull manure! I have encountered this behaviour, whilst in France, many times and each time I am left wondering what the point of it is. Are these people so inadequate that they have to put on a show of exaggerated importance in order to impress all around then. There is certainly a large amount of arrogance involved and, frankly, complete disregard for the feelings of all around them. On another occasion, and there have been many, I encountered a husband and wife with a child, this also in a restaurant. On that occasion the male chump was announcing to all and sundry that the family were vegetarian. Back then there was not a great veggie following in France and, other than to suggest a salad, the waiter seemed quite baffled. Well this chap and his wife went on and on about their eating habits and treated us all to a loud running commentary on their likes and dislikes in the food department. I was left, as no doubt many other diners were, with the serious hope that the staff would throw them out. Having disrupted the whole lunch of many diners this particular idiot finally left. The last I saw of him was in the car park where he was running around like a headless chicken searching frantically for the car which he had forgotten to note where he had parked it. You will not be surprise to learn his problems were being shared with anyone within earshot. Fortunately most people shrugged and walked away. Personally, I was left with the overwhelming feeling that the problem couldn’t have happened to a nicer prat. 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Footpath 29a/Footpath 30


THE HAMPSHIRE "(EAST HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT NO. 8) (PARISH OF ALTON – PART OF FOOTPATHS 29A AND 29B) PUBLIC PATH EXTINGUISHMENT AND DEFINITIVE MAP AND STATEMENT MODIFICATION ORDER 2016" VARIATION ORDER 2017
______________________________________
The above named Order, made on 4 July 2017 under Section 326(5) of the Highways Act 1980, if confirmed, will vary The Hampshire (East Hampshire District No. 8)(Parish of Alton – Part of Footpaths 29a and 29b) Public Path Extinguishment and Definitive Map and Statement Modification Order 2016 ("the 2016 Order") by replacing the map in the 2016 Order and amending the schedule so that it correctly describes the extinguishment as shown on the replacement maps. The effect of the variation will be to amend the details of the 2016 Order as follows:

The map attached to the 2016 Order shall be deleted and the maps to the 2017 Order entitled "The Hampshire "(East Hampshire District No. 8)(Parish of Alton – Part of Footpaths 29a and 29b) Public Path Extinguishment and Definitive Map and Statement Modification Order 2016" Variation Order 2017" shall be substituted.
In Part I of the Schedule to the 2016 Order the following shall be deleted:
"From SU 7277 4054 to SU 7281 4060
That part of Footpath 29a in the Parish of Alton in the District of East Hampshire that commences at a junction with Footpath 30 (Point A on the order plan), and proceeds in a north-easterly direction to a point on Eggar's School play courts at Point B.
A total length of 73 metres."
And the following shall be substituted:
"From SU 7280 4058 to SU 7281 4060
That part of Footpath 29a in the Parish of Alton in the District of East Hampshire that commences at the boundary of Eggar's School play courts (Point H on the order plan), and proceeds in a north-easterly direction to Point B.
A total length of 29 metres"
In Part II of the Schedule to the 2016 Order the following shall be deleted:
" Alton Footpath 29a
Add: "That part of the path which ran between SU 7277 4054 and SU 7281 4060 has been extinguished" "
And the following shall be substituted:
" Alton Footpath 29a
Add: "That part of the path which ran between SU 7280 4058 and SU 7281 4060 has been extinguished" "
A copy of the Order and the Order maps have been placed and may be seen free of charge at the offices of Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UJ and at the offices of East Hampshire District Council, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX; or online at http://www.hants.gov.uk/publicnotices. Copies of the Order and the maps may be bought from me at a price of £4.40.
Any representations about or objections to the Order may be sent in writing to the Head of Countryside Access, Hampshire County Council, Castle Avenue, Winchester, SO23 8UL, or via e-mail to row.notices@hants.gov.uk quoting reference:- "Variation Order" no later than 4 August 2017. Please state the grounds on which they are made.
If no such representations or objections are duly made, or if any so made are withdrawn, Hampshire County Council may confirm the Order as an unopposed order. If the Order is sent to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for confirmation any representations and objections which have not been withdrawn will be sent with the Order.
Persons wishing to make representations or objections are advised that in the Order making process, representations or objections may become publicly available and therefore the names and address of those persons making representations or objections would also be made publicly available.

DATED this 7th day of July 2017

KAREN MURRAY, Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UJ

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Dormouse

Since taking up voluntary work with The Woodland Trust and becoming their warden for two woods close to where I live it has seemed to me increasingly likely that both woods in question have a population of Dormice. Both woods are ancient and have the sort of trees favoured by the mice. Especially hazel. There is also an abundance of honeysuckle which Dormice use to construct their nests. However, believing the Dormouse is present is one thing confirming it is quite another. 

Growing up in Kingsley I was familiar with Dormice as they were present in many of the copses which existed in and around the village. Of course, in those days the copses were worked, woodmen coppiced them and used the hazel sticks to make hurdles. Pea sticks and bean poles were other products of their work. Working, as they did, the woodmen often came across the nests of dormice and, in those days, dormice were popular as pets. Not least because they don’t usually bite when picked up. Compared to most other mice which do bite, the Dormouse is very docile. This fact was well recognised by one George Cansdale who was an animal expert, television celebrity and author. I happened to have one of his books on pets, I think, for boys. In any event within its pages among many other animals, both domestic and wild, was a section on the Dormouse telling the reader of its suitability as a pet. Although, as previously mentioned not being bitten by a Dormouse , no doubt, contributed to Mr. Cansdales recommendation as a pet. There is no doubt at all that Dormice are the most beautiful little creatures. However, pet wise, the fact that they are nocturnal would seem to me to be a tiny bit of a problem. After all who wants a pet that only comes out at night ? 

Be that as it may, today the question of having a Dormouse as a pet is quite out of the question as they are heavily protected both under British and E.U law. Not only are the mice themselves protected everything to do with them is also. Their environment and their nest have far reaching protection in law. It is illegal to handle a Dormouse without a licence. Times have changed dramatically. 

So it was that I found myself, just outside Exeter, at Acorn Environment where I had gone on Monday to attend a Dormouse course as the first step towards getting my own licence. In order to proceed with any sort of project in the afore mentioned woods that I look after, a licence is needed. It is lawful to put up boxes and tubes in order to establish if Dormice are present in an area. However, at the first sign of their presence a licence is needed to proceed with further research. Handling a Dormouse is illegal without said licence. It takes about two years to get a licence and the applicant has to demonstrate that he or she has spent considerable time under the supervision of an existing licence holder and is fully competent. 

The course was part theory, habitat, law, protection etc. and part practical. This meant a trip to a local reserve in order to check long established nest boxes. The course instructor was a licence holder so we were legally able to handle and weigh any mice that we encountered. The day was hot and sunny, a perfect one to be in the woods on such a mission. Our search for the dormouse was, to start with fruitless, all the boxes checked in the first wood were empty. However, we got lucky in woods number two when in the fifth box we checked there were two Dormice in residence. 

Oh how delightful these little creatures are, so perfectly formed for their environment. Tiny feet with unusually large toe nails which enable them to cling to and climb up most surfaces.Our two specimens turned out to be male and female. We weighed them and quickly returned them to their box where, hopefully they will produce a litter of little Dormice. 

So, for the next few months nest box building is on the agenda and, although the mice tend to take quite a time before they use a box, I am hopeful that in due course I shall find these little beauties within my two woods. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Jeremy Brown

Having moved from London to Dorset and begun to settle down in our new house and village I began to get to know the neighbours and the local personalities. Jeremy Brown was, what could only be called,the local squire. Well, at least, his father had been in a former era. Father, Captain Brown had built up a large holding of land, been a keen local church supporter and master of the local foxhounds. When he passed on Jeremy took over the land and continued to be a church warden and play a central part of local life. As far as I am aware he was never a Master of Hounds. Living in the Dower House, in a dead end coombe, at the top of the village Jeremy farmed the land and tended large areas of his woodlands. He was an upright man of considerable bearing, dark haired and charming to a fault. As time went by the land held by Jeremy decreased as properties and bits of land were sold off. Jeremy's son took over the running of the farm and things went downhill fairly rapidly. The son seemed to prefer spending most of his time playing computer games and spent little time looking after the farm and its stock. All sorts of initiatives were embarked upon, including renovation of the old stables and installation of new horsey facilities in an attempt to create a livery business and, no doubt, make some money. Of course, these things need work and attention, they don’t happen by themselves or overnight. A lesson which son seemed not to have learned. To cut a long story short things went into terminal decline resulting in the sale of most of the property and Jeremy and his wife moving out into a bungalow in a local village and son and his wife departing for London, no doubt, in pursuit of fortune elsewhere. 

But during happier days I got to know Jeremy quite well as he was a keen shooting man and I took up an offer from his game keeper to join the beating team. The land which formed the shoot was very beautiful as it was composed of old woodlands and deep coombes. It provided very high and difficult birds. In the early days I referred to Jeremy as Mr. Brown but after a couple of weeks he decided I was ok and could, therefore, call him Jeremy. What it is to be one of the boys !!! In any event I enjoyed the shoot greatly, Harrold the keeper, part time, did a good job and the shoot was well run and friendly. Harold was also Jeremy’s neighbour having bought one of the farms cottages. 

Soon after I joined the beating team I got a new lurcher puppy, Toby, and a year later Toby joined me on beating days. It was Jeremy's custom to pay the beaters himself rather than the usual situation where the keeper does the job of handing out the pay. It was also the case that people with a dog got an extra pound. This again was paid in person by Jeremy and each dog handler was handed the pound coin, cash in hand, and not in the usual little brown envelope used for the rest of the beaters pay. On the first occasion I took Toby with me and when Jeremy came to pay me he looked at Toby and asked "Larcher isn’t it ?". People like Jeremy have their own form of the language you understand, for example, a bird is a bard and yes is ya, and that is why the locals in these parts refer to such people as ya ya’s. Anyway, having confirmed that Toby was indeed a Lurcher, Jeremy nodded looked deeply at him and then said, "not claiming a dog are you". What this meant, was of course, not claiming an extra pound. I was very tempted to tell Jeremy that clearly his need was greater than mine but decided upon discretion! So it was that this ritual continued for the best part of that particular season and each time I affirmed that I was not claiming a dog I was told by Jeremy that I was "a good chap"! This little charade at the end of the day appeared to annoy my neighbour and fellow beater much more than it did me. He would come out with the most ungentlemanly comments regarding this matter and in terms that I couldn’t possibly repeat here !! When, towards the end of the season, and Toby had completed a particularly good day, having flushed large numbers of pheasants my neighbour approached me and said "you tell the tight old sod that you are claiming a dog today". As usual Jeremy arrived to pay us and as usual I was addressed with, "not claiming a dog are you?" I replied that actually I was since Toby had worked every bit as well as any of the other dogs present. I received a wry smile and was handed my pound coin. Thereafter I was never asked again and the extra pound was always forthcoming without comment. Happy days. 

On another occasion at the end of the morning session I was approached by Jeremy and the conversation went something like this, "Ah, Derek, did you lose the Larcher on the second drive"? He smiled and looked at me for a response before continuing, "chased a deer you know, right through the line, grabbed it at the bottom fence." Fortunately it got over the fence. Oh God, there are sometimes when you wish the ground will swallow you up. I apologised claiming to have missed Toby’s departure and believed him to have been in pursuit of a rabbit. I was treated to another one of Jeremy's grins and the reply, "Oh well, one of those things, nasty business." The matter was never mentioned again and neither was it repeated. By the next season Toby would stop on command even if he was tempted to think about chasing a deer. 

When we moved from that village to our present home we did so in order to buy some land, soon after our relocation I heard that Jeremy was selling of parcels of land. Not long after that I heard of his departure from the village. Great days, good memories but, as they say, nothing stays the same for ever. 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Kingsley Parish Council - Thursday 25th 8pm

Kingsley Parish Council meets on Thursday, 25th May 2017 in the Kingsley Centre at 8.00pm following the Annual Parish Meeting

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
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 23rd March 2017
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane), Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general landscaping (Amended plan received 01/02/17)
54919/003 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Bordon
Garage block containing 6 garages and associated access and landscape works on former golf course following demolition of existing sheds
New applications:
22246/006 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Detached dwelling with associated car parking and landscaping
55585/002 Fenris, Sickles Lane, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9PD
Oak (T1) Remove all major dead wood, selectively reduce lims
SDNP/17/01988/HOUS Dolphins, Oakhanger Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9JP
Ground floor entrance extension, first floor extension above existing studio, internal remodelling and new carpet
31224/007-008 2 Bakers Corner Cottage, Oakhanger Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NJ
Listed building consent - Summerhouse

8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden
To consider the updated new fees following the Church of England fees increase for St Nicholas

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch update
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe
Jalsa Salana
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green
To receive an update from Cllr Gregory
To consider the quote of £25 (ex VAT) per cut of the newly reinstated area of upper green. This work will be added to existing contract for this year at a total likely extra cost of £175 for the year (i.e. 7 cuts)
Lower Green
To consider granting a wayleave for SSE to install an electrical cable under the Parish Council owned Footpath 6 to provide utility service the new build Dale House

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
To consider the response to the invitation from Grundon to join a Liaison Group for the future of the Frith End quarry.

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.
Parish email database

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

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
To discuss digitisation of Parish Council legal documents
To consider the renewal of KPC’ Insurance for 5 years at cost of £1088.72 per annum – Current agreement with Zurich is terminated end of May 2017

Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
April 2017 Payments authorised by Cllr Rigden & Cllr Lowe
Payment Date
Payee
Payment Mode
Description
Amount
21/04/2017
SSE
DD
St Nicholas Chapel electricity period 23/12/16 to 01/04/17
21.67
28/04/2017
Karine Nana Yonko
BACS
Clerk's April 2017 expenses invoice 0001-2017/18
88.36
28/04/2017
Karine Nana Yonko
BACS
Clerk's April 2017 salary
336.00
28/04/2017
HALC
BACS
Inv 1526 Affiliation fees 2017/18
244.00
28/04/2017
Cllr David Lowe
BACS
Reimbursement train fares to London for CAA meeting 17/02/17
51.00
28/04/2017
PCS
BACS
Inv 2915 Mole control at Upper Green
140.00
28/04/2017
P.J Grace
BACS
Inv for work done at Upper Green
1336.00
To consider the payment of invoices on the schedule included in the agenda of the meeting
May 2017 Payments to be authorised
Payment Date
Payee
Payment Mode
Description
Amount
30/05/2017
HMRC
BACS
PAYE period to 05/06/17
5.40
30/05/2017
Karine Nana Yonko
BACS
Clerk's May 2017 expenses invoice 0002-2017/18
108.05
30/05/2017
Karine Nana Yonko
BACS
Clerk's May 2017 salary
414.60
30/05/2017
Do the Numbers Ltd
BACS
Inv 12/545 Internal audit year ending 31/03/17
185.00
30/05/2017
Euroffice Ltd
BACS
Inv Stationnery
67.48
Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 22nd June 2017 – 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre

Annual Parish Meeting 2017

The Annual Parish Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council on Thursday 25th May 2017 at 7.30pm in the Kingsley Centre.

AGENDA

1. Apologies for Absence
2. Election of Chairman
3. Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman
4. Election of Vice-Chairman
5. Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Vice-Chairman
6. Approval of Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 28th April 2016
7. Registers of interests
8. Review of Appendix F of Standing Orders and Agreement of Lead Councillors for 2017/18 (Appendix attached)

9. Approval of Standing orders, Financial Regulations and Risk Assessments
Councillors to propose any areas where they think amendments are needed

10. Approval of Final Accounts for the Financial Year 2016/2017
To acknowledge comments from Internal Auditor

11. Date of Next Meeting – April 2018
This Annual Parish Meeting will be followed by the monthly meeting of the Parish Council.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

General Election 2017

The runners are:-

DASGUPTA, Rohit KumarLabour
HINDS,Damian Patrick George Conservative
JERRARD, Susan Christine Justice
KNIGHT, Richard GodfreyGreen
ROBINSON, Richard Anthony Liberal Democrat

Friday, 5 May 2017

Alton Rural result

The results of the election to Alton Rural division of Hampshire County Council 4th May 2017 were as follows:-

Mark Norman Kemp-GeeConservatives 3625 70% Elected
Nicholas Andrew Milburn James Liberal Democrats 762 15% Not elected
Janice Mary Treacher Labour 314 6% Not elected
Christina Sheila West Green Party 298 6% Not elected
Rigby Andrews UK Independence Party (UKIP) 192 4% Not elected


My predictions were pretty much bang on I'd say.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Kingsley Parish Council AGM

You are requested to attend the Annual General Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council on Thursday 27th April 2017 at 7.30pm in the Kingsley Centre.

AGENDA

1. Apologies for Absence
2. Election of Chairman
3. Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman
4. Election of Vice-Chairman
5. Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Vice-Chairman
6. Approval of Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 28th April 2016
7. Registers of interests
8. Review of Appendix F of Standing Orders and Agreement of Lead Councillors for 2017/18 (Appendix attached)

9. Approval of Standing orders, Financial Regulations and Risk Assessments
Councillors to propose any areas where they think amendments are needed
10. Approval of Final Accounts for the Financial Year 2016/2017
11. Date of Next Meeting – April 2018
This Annual General Meeting will be followed by the monthly meeting of the Parish Council.

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 27th

Kingsley Parish Council on Thursday, 27th April 2017 in the Kingsley Centre at 8.00pm following the AGM

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
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 23rd March 2017
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane), Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general landscaping (Amended plan received 01/02/17)
54919/003 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Bordon
Garage block containing 6 garages and associated access and landscape works on former golf course following demolition of existing sheds
New applications:
22246/006 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Detached dwelling with associated car parking and landscaping

8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden
To consider the updated new fees following the Church of England fees increase for St Nicholas

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch update
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe
Lengthsman Scheme
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green, Lower Green
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden
To consider the quote of £25 (ex VAT) per cut of the newly reinstated area of upper green. This work
will be added to existing contract for this year at a total likely extra cost of £175 for the year (i.e. 7
cuts)

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.
Parish email database

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

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
To discuss digitisation of Parish Council legal documents
To consider the renewal of KPC’ Insurance – Current agreement with Zurich is terminated end of
May 2017

Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
April 2017 Payments Schedule
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
21/04/2017 SSE DD St Nicholas Chapel electricity period 23/12/16 to 01/04/17 21.67
28/04/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's April 2017 expenses invoice 0001-2017/18 88.36
28/04/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's April 2017 salary 336.00
28/04/2017 HALC BACS Inv 1526 Affiliation fees 2017/18 244.00
28/04/2017 Cllr David Lowe BACS
Reimbursement train fares to London for CAA meeting
17/02/17 51.00
28/04/2017 PCS BACS Inv 2915 Mole control at Upper Green 140.00
28/04/2017 P.J Grace BACS Inv for work done at Upper Green 1336.00
Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 25th May 2017 – 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Dorset John (2)

Having met John, as described last month, Don and I began to encounter him on each and every time we visited the beach. In fact it wasn’t long before John had provided us with his phone number in order that we could consult him with regard to the conditions and 'fishability' of our proposed trips. This has proved invaluable as it has saved us many trips which would have, no doubt, been fruitless. Over the ensuing months, not only were we advised by John, he joined us on a number of our fishing trips. So it was that we began to get the story of John’s life.

Like many country folk John has lived his life in and around the village in which he resides today. He worked on the farm all his life until retiring. Clearly, a careful man he managed to buy his own house of which he is justifiably proud. He is a keen gardener and grows most of his own vegetables. John is of the old school, no political correctness for him. He is used to expressing an opinion freely and without fear or favour. John has an opinion on most things and he doesn’t like a lot of what he sees as modern life. He believes in good manners and being decent to his fellow man. He likes his sport, particularly football. On one occasion when John joined us he had read the previous day about a group of footballers at a race meeting, I think Ascot, whom had urinated on the people below them, they being in a posh box above the stalls. John was absolutely outraged and spent most of the fishing trip going over the matter in minute detail. Not only was he outraged but he couldn’t, for the life of him imagine how such highly paid "professionals" could have done such a thing. His view was, without a doubt, they should be sacked. 

In the summer months when the mackerel arrive along the beach in large numbers many anglers are attracted to what, on a good day, can be easy pickings. John likes mackerel fishing and Don and I have joined him on a number of occasions. He has a strict personal rule which would put a lot of other anglers to shame, take only that which you can use. So often, to their shame, anglers keep fishing and catching large numbers of fish only to leave the ones they don’t want on the beach to rot. Not only is it an affront to good practice but it is untidy and yobbish. It really gets John going and he’s not afraid to tell offenders what he thinks. When fishing himself he takes only the amount of fish he is likely to eat for his next meal and a few extra which he provides for a number of elderly people, free of charge, in his village. 

Perhaps the most outrageous event during last year’s mackerel season, as far as John was concerned, happened over a fine weekend when the mackerel were of the beach in great numbers. According to John, the matter was set up over the mobile phone network and was, "not on". 

Anyway, John was on his usual dog walk when he encountered large numbers of Asian people spread out all along his usual walking route. Not only were there large numbers of them but, "there wasn’t a hands width between them". Of course, as is his way John tried to engage with them but without much luck, "bloody rude they were". This did nothing to endear these people to John and matters took a decided turn for the worse when he discovered, from sources in the angling community, that the people concerned were all restaurant owners from a number of large towns and cities around the south west. Matters went from bad to worse when John discovered that the fish caught were to be provided on the menus of the various restaurants owned by the group. On top of all this when an angler, not a part of the Asian group, started to catch fish several Asians would rush to their side and try and push in, absolute outrage! It is the unwritten rule that a reasonable space is left between fishermen. In addition to all of this when shoals of little fish, (whitebait), were forced out of the sea and on to the beach by mackerel or bass, the Asians were rushing up and down,beneath the lines of everyone, scooping up the fish also for restaurant use. It took a great deal of diplomacy to prevent John telling this community what he thought of them. Even the warning of possible hate crime charges did little to calm his outrage. In all his long life he had seen nothing like it and John was not impressed. 

Just last week we heard from John that the mackerel were back and to his amazement there were also good numbers of herring appearing. So, I expect, in the next few days Don and I will be renewing our meetings with John. He is a joy to listen to and a pleasure to be with, a great character, of the like the world could do with a lot more. 

Friday, 7 April 2017

Elections 4th May 2017

Elections to Hampshire County Council will take place on Thursday 4th May 2017 and in the King's Blog region we have to choose a single councillor in the Alton Rural division.

The candidates have been announced and my prediction is that Mark Kemp-Gee will be returned with a comfortable majority unless everyone's really cheesed off about #Brexit in which case Nicholas James will enjoy a serious upswing even though nobody knows who he is or those enraged that the prime minister isn't taking #Brexit seriously enough will promote Rigby Andrews. Obviously Janice Treacher and Christina West are only standing to make up the numbers.

NamePartyWhereWhat
ANDREWS, RigbyUKIPPassfield#Brexiteer
JAMES, NicholasLibDemsAltonInvisible
KEMP-GEE, MarkConservativeArlesfordSitting councillor
TREACHER, JaniceLabourFour MarksInvisible
WEST, ChristinaGreensPassfieldInvisible

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

#PinkPassports

When the UK leaves the EU British passports should have pink covers.

Leaving the EU is all about taking back control and making Britain great again. Let's set our sights high and, remembering the pink all across the globe just 100 years ago, let's have our British passports proudly clad in pink!

Don't be the last to sign the petition !

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dorset John

There are, sometimes in life, quite by chance, when something occurs which makes one believe the world is a better place. For me this happened about eighteen months ago when my brother Don and I were fishing on the south Dorset coast on that great bank of pebbles which is known as Chesil Beach. This beach fishing lark is quite strange in itself … sitting in all weathers, waiting, and hoping that some sort of fish, in fact any fish, will be kind enough to take the bait you are offering. Well,I hear you say, that is what happens with all fishing, and yes that is, of course, correct. However, if you are by a pond or river there is, always or almost always, some cover to take advantage of if things get dodgy. A sudden storm, strong winds, searing sun, really anything the British climate can throw at the angler. 

Stuck out on a beach where as far as one can see to the right and the left is just a huge stretch of pebbles and the same to your rear, cover is just not there. In front, of course is the sea and that is pretty unforgiving. Well,of course, there are all sorts of wonderful shelters, tents, mobile huts etc. which can protect the beach angler …but they all come at a cost and are not cheap. Not only that, but they have to be carried to the chosen fishing spot. It didn’t take me long to learn that the best spots are always, by far, the longest distance from the car park. So, it was, that I had been persuaded by my dear brother that beach fishing was one of life’s great joys which I should not miss out on. Hence, over several months, I found myself to be a regular visitor to that particular part of the Dorset beach. The routine is much the same on each occasion one goes to fish. 

Upon arriving, and meeting in the agreed car park, discussion takes place as to the best spot to fish on this occasion. This is usually based upon any intelligence which may have been gathered from the man behind the counter in the tackle shop. Here is the chap that sells the sea fisherman his bait. Lug Worms, Rag Worms, Squid and all manner of stuff, which the buyer is assured is the best bait for the occasion. Encouraged by the info that a man had caught a monster cod on just the bait one had purchased and in the very spot to which one was intending to fish, one leaves the bait seller in a state of high anticipation. If I am honest that high state of anticipation is, for me,still waiting to be fulfilled. 

So, there it is, a sort of edited background as to how and why an angler finds himself on a beach, well anywhere, but in this case in south Dorset. Once one settles down in the chosen spot and, for the life of me, I am still trying to work out how this is established, the rig of the day is setup and thrown as far out into the waves as the angler is able to achieve. For the most part, it is then just a question of waiting and watching the tip of the rod. During this period,which can be agonisingly long, it is usual to have a brew, a snack, check the phone, read a book …actually anything which provides some sort of diversion and overcomes the overwhelming sense of … what the hell am I doing here! But don’t tell my brother!! 

It was, during one of these regular, and prolonged periods of inertia that we first encountered Dorset John. As, is the case, whilst beach fishing there are other people, who use the beach, to be encountered. Health freaks, (these are the people whom, whilst deep breathing and taking the ozone, adopt all sorts of weird and wonderful poses. Most of which have long been beyond the capabilities of myself and my brother.) Then there are runners, walkers, dog walkers, photographers and many more all attracted by the great beauty of the beach and sea. Dorset John is a dog walker. John lives locally and walks the dog every morning, in fact, you could almost set your watch by him. I suppose he covers about a half a mile down the beach from the car park and, of course half a mile back. John stops and chats with all of the anglers he encounters along his way. There is no doubt that John is a very friendly sort of chap but he is also a keen beach fisherman and, therefore, any info he can glean from the fishermen he encounters is put to good use when deciding where and when he will next fish himself. It was on just such a meeting that Don and I first met John. I have no idea what his surname is but we Christened him Dorset John as he has a delightful Dorset accent and lives in the county. I suppose our meeting went along the lines of all Johns meetings, he wandered up to us, wished us a good morning and asked if we had had any luck. We had not, and, upon hearing this piece of news John settled down on the pebbles beside us and began to roll a cigarette whilst outlining the many reasons why we probably were not catching fish. 

Of course, he would not be using the bait we were and the tides were all wrong this week, We would have a much better chance next week when the tides would be almost perfect. Well to cut a long story short, Don and I engaged John in conversation and he spent a couple of hours chatting away and giving us a potted history of his life. All of which I will reveal in my next edition.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 23rd 7:30

Kingsley Parish Council meets on Thursday, 23rd March 2017 in the Kingsley Centre at 7.30pm

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
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 26th January 2017
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
Update from Cllr Lowe regarding CAA Consultation meeting on Feb 17
54919/001 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Sleaford, Bordon
Erection of 7 houses and 6 flats with associated car parking and external works
30633/030 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 1 of planning permission 30633/019 to allow the continued importation, handling and re-sale of aggregates until 31 December 2022
30633/031 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 2, 5 and 24 of planning permission F30633/012/CMA to revise the approved timing, working and restoration of sand extraction operations
27396/048 Old Park Farm, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LU
B8 storage building after demolition of existing grain store/dryer
57024 Bakers Court, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NZ
Two detached buildings for use as offices and workshop
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane), Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general landscaping (Amended plan received 01/02/17)

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

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch update
Lengthsman Scheme

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green, Lower Green
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
Allotments
To consider the emergency repair of the Allotment fence at a cost of £140 ex VAT

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.
Parish email database

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

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
To discuss digitisation of Parish Council legal documents
To agree final budget for 2017/18

Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
February 2017 Payments authorised by Cllr Rigden & Lowe
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
28/02/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's February 2017 expenses invoice 0011-2016/17 85.00
28/02/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's February 2017 salary 332.20
28/02/2017 HMRC BACS PAYE February 2017 3.80
28/02/2017 Kingsley Organisation BACS Amended invoice no 13335 dated 15/11/16 700.00
28/02/2017 Euroffice Ltd BACS Invoice 3086390 37.21
28/02/2017 CCP Groundcare BACS Inv 11734 supply & fix 21 post at the allotments site 312.00
March 2017 Payments Schedule
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
28/03/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's March 2017 expenses invoice 0012-2016/17 103.10
28/03/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's March 2017 salary 399.60
28/03/2017 HMRC BACS PAYE March 2017 20.40
28/03/2017 MacDonald Oates BACS Inv 36365 Solicitor fee for wayleave to SSE 252.00
28/03/2017 Headley Parish Council BACS Inv C/1617/43 SLR deployments 2016/17 342.00
28/03/2017 CCP Groundcare BACS Inv 11776 Fence repairs at the Allotments 168.00
28/03/2017 Open Spaces Society BACS Annual subscription renewal 45.00
28/03/2017 South East Water BACS Inv 14 Water Allotments period 13/09/16 to 09/03/17 29.46
28/03/2017 PCS BACS Inv 2921 Mole control Upper Green 140.00

Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 27th April 2017 – 8.00 pm after the AGM at the Kingsley Centre

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Butterflies

As a result of a very mild and sunny Saturday 18th of February there was, in these parts, a bit of a flush of butterflies. Having noticed some myself and read reports from my email box I began to, once again, think about butterflies and the forthcoming summer. 

Since retiring I have spent quite a lot of my spare time in the summer doing butterfly transect walks in two local woods for the Butterfly Conservation Society. This involves following a pre-planned walk which is divided up into sections. The walker records all butterflies seen in each section and then submits them to the central records office. This has been going on for some thirty years and has provided very valuable information into the butterfly population in general and the winners and losers, in particular, each year. It is a very pleasant way of spending a few hours a week and takes place between April and September.I have become hooked because this butterfly watching business gets very addictive. There is the constant hope that a, hitherto, unrecorded specimen will present itself. I always carry a camera with me and can, most of the time, get a picture of anything special. 

My particular love of butterflies, as with many things that make me tick, goes all the way back to my childhood days in Kingsley in general and to Mrs. Morris, my school teacher,in particular. For, as I have mentioned in previous articles, Mrs. Morris had a great love of the outdoors and the creatures which could be found around the village, on the common and in the pond. Our class room was usually well supplied with jars, tanks, and boxes of caterpillars, eggs from various moths and butterflies, fish, tadpoles etc etc. For me this was a great and abiding influence for which I remain forever grateful to that lady. 

That said, I guess, that like most people when holiday time comes around I find myself looking for a book or two to take with me. I am not generally into novels preferring rather more factual stuff. So it was last summer when I began my usual search for a couple of decent volumes to accompany me across the channel and divert me from all of the other boring things like drinking and eating etc. which holidays demand. Well I came across a gem, at least I think it is. As I shall relate, it came as something of a great surprise to me as much of the book relates to matters around Kingsley and North East Hampshire. 

The book, In Pursuit of Butterflies ….A fifty Year Affair, is written by Matthew Oates. Whilst I had come across his name, probably in a magazine or something, I was by no means familiar with him or his work. Matthew worked for many years as an adviser to the National Trust, his expertise being in matters relating to habitat and butterflies and moths. The book deals extensively with his school days and the more I read the more I warmed to Matthew as much of his school days were spent in pursuit of the same creatures I and the other pupils of Kingsley school had also pursued. 

Matthew lived near Selborne for several years and during that period he scoured a wide area in search of butterflies. At the top of his list was the magnificent Purple Emperor. A butterfly, incidentally, that I have never seen in the flesh. I found this all the more surprising as Matthew refers to populations of this butterfly in Alice Holt Forest and in the Straits enclosure which were areas that I frequented during the whole of my time in Kingsley. Whilst I knew there were butterflies, in those days, in great numbers, all around those places, I was blissfully unaware of the Emperors presence. Noar Hill, near Selborne, and the East Hampshire hangers feature extensively in the book. 

Frankly I was amazed that I had not come across Mr. Oates before or learned of his work, but hey ho, better late than never. It was a joy to spend holiday time in France reading of my old hunting grounds and all of the wonderful species to be found in the area. An easy and pleasant style of writing with plenty of humour and loads of local interest, I have confidence that anyone with an interest in that part of Hampshire and the flora and fauna living within it will not be disappointed with this book. Oh, and if you happen to like cricket, Matthew is an avid fan and the book contains bits and pieces relating to cricketing events. Don’t miss it. 

Kingsley Parish Council - CANCELLED

I am very sorry but the Kingsley Parish Council meeting scheduled for this Thursday, 23 Feb, has been cancelled.

Major works are being carried out at the Kingsley Centre and so rooms are not available for the meeting.

The Centre had warned us of this last year and so we are sorry for any inconvenience (and disappointment!) caused by this last minute cancellation.

If there is any matter that you were going to bring up at the meeting which cannot wait until the next meeting in March, please feel free to contact me or one of the Councillors.

Best regards

Chris Rigden
Chairman, Kingsley Parish Council

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 23rd CANCELLED

Kingsley Parish Council on Thursday, 23rd February 2017 in the Kingsley Centre at 7.30pm

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
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 26th January 2017
6. Matters Arising

7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
Update from Cllr Lowe regarding CAA Consultation meeting on Feb 17
54919/001 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Sleaford, Bordon
Erection of 7 houses and 6 flats with associated car parking and external works
30633/030 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 1 of planning permission 30633/019 to allow the continued importation, handling and re-sale of aggregates until 31 December 2022
30633/031 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 2, 5 and 24 of planning permission F30633/012/CMA to revise the approved timing, working and restoration of sand extraction operations
27396/048 Old Park Farm, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LU
B8 storage building after demolition of existing grain store/dryer
57024 Bakers Court, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NZ
Two detached buildings for use as offices and workshop
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sport Club, Sickles Lane) Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general landscaping
New application:
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane), Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general landscaping (Amended plan received 01/02/17)

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

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch update
Lengthsman Scheme
Discuss and decide whether to participate in the scheme for another year

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Lower Green
Update from Cllr Rigden in regards of obtaining legal advice concerning liabilities for giving
permission of utility supplies to run along across footpath 6 to Dale House and new stables.

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
To discuss digitisation of Parish Council legal documents
To agree final budget for 2017/18
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
February 2017 Payments to be authorised

Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
28/02/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's February 2017 expenses invoice 0011-2016/17 85.00
28/02/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's February 2017 salary 332.20
28/02/2017 HMRC BACS PAYE February 2017 3.80
28/02/2017 Kingsley Organisation BACS Amended invoice no 13335 dated 15/11/16 700.00
28/02/2017 Euroffice Ltd BACS Invoice 3086390 37.21
28/02/2017 CCP Groundcare BACS Invoice 11734 supply & fix 21 post at the allotments site 312.00

Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 23rd March 2017 – 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre

Monday, 30 January 2017

Kingsley Bridleway 1, again

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Hampshire County Council has made an Order under Section 14(1)b of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to prevent danger to the public, as follows:

ROAD TO BE CLOSED: Kingsley Bridleway 1
ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: None available
PERIOD OF CLOSURE: From 2 January 2017 until 14 June 2017 or until completion of the repair works, whichever is sooner.

Reasonable facilities will be provided to allow access to adjacent premises while the work is being carried out.

For information visit www.hants.gov.uk/publicnotices, contact the Countryside Access Team on 01962 846981 or email row.notices@hants.gov.uk
JONATHAN WOODS, Countryside Access Team Leader, Castle Avenue, Winchester, SO23 8UL

Monday, 23 January 2017

Coppicing

Coppicing was once a widespread country activity and, indeed, was practised in and around Kingsley.

Apart from sound woodland management coppicing provided employment for hurdle makers. Mostly made of hazel, which was split and woven, the hurdles so made, were a pretty sound barrier for sheep and quite useful for garden dividers. Now, alas, something of a dying art. When I worked in Dorchester my journey to work took me past a couple of traditionally worked copses. Very often I passed the hurdle maker cycling to his copse of choice for the day. I don’t know if he is still around, as having moved, I seldom go that way these days. However, the evidence of his work was plain to see and would be apparent for several years after each season. Looking at a coppiced woods one sees a series of levels. Starting at ground level are the stumps of the most recent activities and thereafter each coppiced section is a few feet taller until the range of tall mature hazels are to be found and they mark the area which will start the process off all over again. Each year of coppicing provides a different habitat for the woodland wildlife and is, therefore, very eco friendly. 

Apart from the hurdles, which provided an income, there were also bean poles and pea sticks which could be sold for a few extra shillings. There was also the chance of finding an odd twisty. These are the result of the honeysuckle vines twisting around branches and as the branch grows and the vine tightens around it a distinct spiral groove is created. Twisty’s are much sought after by the enthusiastic stick making community. A really good twisty can change hands for quite a lot of money.  As a woods was coppiced it opened up an area which allowed the sunlight in and provided the conditions for some plant species to re-emerge and sunny spots within the wood for butterflies and other insects to bask. 

The Copse as it was known in Kingsley, in the days of my childhood, was the wood to the right of the hill leading from the Straits going towards Binsted. We new it them as Wheatly Copse. Coppicing took place within it and also in sections of Alice Holt forest and on a number of the hangers from Oakhanger through Selborne and in the woods below Worldham. Walking through a woods which was once coppiced, it is reasonably easy to identify the areas involved. Hazel trees were planted, they didn’t just occur, and they were planted in lines, spaced for maximum benefit in blocks. Where these old areas still exist the hazel is still the predominant tree although they will be much larger specimens than they would have been in the days of coppicing. So, if you come across an area of hazels,regularly spaced out, and sandwiched between other trees in a large block, you can be reasonably sure you have found an old coppicing site. Don’t forget to look for the perfect twisty as these old site provide the ideal conditions for twisty hunting. But, of course, the landowner's permission must be obtained before cutting a stick. I spend hours happily engaged searching for twisty’s and each time I find a nice one it only serves to spur me on in the hope of finding the perfect specimen, if such a thing exists. Be warned it is an addictive pursuit. 

Although the traditional coppicing activities are quite rare these days coppicing is still up and running around the country. In these parts we have two woods which are owned by The Woodland Trust, Duncliffe and Fifehead. During the winter months groups of volunteers meet at weekends and coppice an area which forms an ongoing management programme. It keeps the woodland rides open and ticks quite a lot of conservation boxes. The Trust has woodland all over the country and offers plenty of opportunity for people to get involved and experience coppicing and many other aspects of woodland management and preservation. I have no hesitation in whole heartedly recommending the Trust. I got involved with them when I retired and have enjoyed every minute, I now act as volunteer warden for both of the above woods and spend a great amount of time within the two of them. One of the great benefits of The Woodland Trust is the fact that all of its woodlands are open to the public free of charge. There is no obligation to become a member in order to enjoy the range of woodlands they own. All activities are supervised by a competent person and tools are provided. Work parties are made up of a wide variety of people and are great fun and provide an ideal opportunity for a woodland picnic. As with all modern organisations, The Trust has a website where both local and national activities can be found together with maps of each wood and parking availability etc. So, if you have an interest in woodlands, butterflies, birds and all manner of things to do with rural life, seek them out. You are in for a treat. 

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 26th 7:30pm

Kingsley Parish Council meets on Thursday, 26th January 2017 in the Kingsley Centre at 7.30pm

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
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 24th November 2016
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications

Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal

54919/001 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Sleaford, Bordon
Erection of 7 houses and 6 flats with associated car parking and external works

30633/030 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 1 of planning permission 30633/019 to allow the continued importation, handling and re-sale of aggregates until 31 December 2022

30633/031 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 2, 5 and 24 of planning permission F30633/012/CMA to revise the approved timing, working and restoration of sand extraction operations

27396/048 Old Park Farm, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LU
B8 storage building after demolition of existing grain store/dryer

22246/004 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Listed building - demolition and rebuild of sun room and garden elevation, part demolition of roof of 20th century addition and rebuild to provide additional accommodation with re-cladding, remodelling of porch, new detached car port, enlargement to car parking area and internal remodelling

22246/005 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Demolition and rebuild of sun room and garden elevation, part demolition of roof of 20th century addition and rebuild to provide additional accommodation with re-cladding, remodelling of porch, new detached car port and enlargement to car parking area
New application:

56687 Land South of Crossing Gate Cottage, Sickles Lane, Kingsley, Bordon
Small single storey timber barn comprising 4 stables, short access track, change of use to equestrian
57024 Bakers Court, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NZ
Two detached buildings for use as offices and workshop
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sport Club, Sickles Lane)
Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general
landscaping

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

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch update
Road Safety
To consider the renewal of the SLR subscription at the slightly increased subscription of £474.91
(from £456.00)

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green
To consider re-instatement of east end of Upper Green now Piggery development is complete
1. Level area for safe mowing and seed with grass - £310 ex VAT
2. Remove dead and fallen trees - £185 ex VAT
3. Supply and plant hedging to complete front hedge along B3004 to Piggery Development -
£620 ex VAT
Dog Fouling
Playground annual inspection
Lower Green
To consider obtaining legal advice concerning liabilities for giving permission of utility supplies to
run along across footpath 6 to Dale House and new stables. Initial cost about £250

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
13. Kingsley Village Forum
Report of firework incident
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
To discuss digitisation of Parish Council legal documents
To receive an update in regards of the invoice for £930 for services from the Kingsley Centre

Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
December 2016 Payments authorised by Cllr Rigden & Cllr Lowe

Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
22/12/2016 HMRC BACS PAYE December 2016 20.60
22/12/2016 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's December 2016 expenses invoice 0009-2016/17 98.60
22/12/2016 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's December 2016 salary 399.40
January 2017 Payments to be authorised
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
09/01/2017 Southern Electric DD St Nicholas Chapel electricity bill from 30/09/16 - 22/12/16 18.37
27/01/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's January 2017 expenses invoice 0010-2016/17 80.50
27/01/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's January 2017 salary 332.40
31/01/2017 HMRC BACS PAYE January 2017 3.60
31/01/2017 Paul Grace BACS Invoice dated 04/01/17 Upper Green grass cutting 264.00
31/01/2017 Harvey Lamport BACS Allotments annual rent unpaid Nov 2015/16 350.00
31/01/2017 Harvey Lamport BACS Allotments annual rent Nov 2016/17 350.00
Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 23rd February 2017 – 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre