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Paddington Bear comes to Toddington on the GWR

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Saturday 19th April and Sunday 20th April at Toddington Station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Paddington Bear* visits the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway for the first time this coming weekend. Amazingly, this little bear has been enchanting youngsters for half a century and he’s coming to Toddington to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society is looking for some Competitors

Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

The Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society (GRFGS) has just issued its Annual Schedule of Competitions for 2008. The object of the Society is to encourage the improvement of all forms of agricultural practices and products and the 2008 Competitions are a Farm Championship, Livestock Championship, Arable Championship, Forage Championship and Special Awards. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildlife and Steam on Tour at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Events, Features by Tony No Comments »

Saturday 12th April & Sunday 13th April at Winchcombe Station, Gloucestershire

This special exhibition by the renowned wildlife artist and steam locomotive owner David Shepherd is being held in aid of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and combines his two passions – endangered wildlife and steam locomotives. Also operating over the GWR railway during the weekend will be David Shepherd’s own giant of the steam age – locomotive 9F 2-10-0 No. 92203 Black Prince which was one of the last steam locomotives to be built by BR.
Read the rest of this entry »

North Cotswold Hunt Point-to-Point – Easter Monday 2008

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Monday 24th March - First Race 1.00 pm – Paxford, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6XS

This Annual Event is held on the Bank Farm,Paxford Course, which opened in 1997, and features permanent buildings with changing rooms for jockeys and a weighing room. Car Parking is plentiful and the viewing is excellent. It is a very good day out with some excellent racing.
(Please note the earlier start time of the first race due to the clocks having not yet gone back)
 
Read the rest of this entry »

Cotswolds MP says “Pigs are worth it”

Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown demonstrated his support yesterday for the country’s pig farmers at an event organised in Westminster by the National Pig Association. Mr Clifton-Brown met with James Hart, who owns a pig farm in Bibury, to discuss the current crisis in British pig farming. Read the rest of this entry »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society – Results and Annual Report 2007

Events, Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society logoThursday 24th January 18.30 The Annual General Meeting will be held at their HQ Bisley House

The Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society (GRFGS) was established in 1863 and its aim is to encourage the improvement of all forms of agricultural practices and products. Its Patron is The Prince of Wales.

Annual Report 2007 – President’s Report

“Possibly the strangest year on record for agriculture with the confusion of Foot & Mouth and Blue Tongue restriction zones compounded by flooding in July!

Bearing in mind that many people had their houses flooded and their summer totally disrupted, the cancellation of the Tillage Event cannot be viewed as a disaster but this certainly dampened the spirits of members this year.

Throughout these trials and tribulations however, our members have remained buoyant and resilient and this has paid off to some extent with increased optimism in the arable and dairy sectors.”

Annual Report 2007 – Competitions Officer’s Report

“This year we reciprocated the Championship Judging with the Banbury Agricultural Society; another area of which few of us had any great knowledge or experience. As in past years the opportunity to visit and examine the farming in a new territory was much enjoyed by the judges from both Societies.

The flooding on 10th July had disasterous consequences on many farms whether stock or arable, and disrupted our judging schedule somewhat as can be imagined. The only casualty for the Competitions was the Arable Championship which was not finally judged, a big disappointment for those who had entered some excellent crops.”

However, after prolonged scrutiny of the results the Premier Award for the most points won in the Competitions was a tie between Springhill Estate, Seven Wells, Moreton-in-Marsh and Ponsonby Farms, Lechlade.

Boddington Estates, Boddington, Cheltenham won The Farm Championship and for the second year running Springhill Estate won the The Livestock Championship. A new class this year, Oilseed Rape Establishment, was won by Ponsonby Farms and the Kingston brothers from South Farm, Wootton-under-Edge and Tresham Farm, Tresham won The Best Dairy Herd, Best Managed Grassland and Clamped Silage Classes between them.

A full list of 2007 Trophy Winners is included in the Annual Report but our local farm (local to this website) R & J Baldwyn, High Crest, Hidcote Boyce, Chipping Campden had a good year getting equal 5th place for most points scored in the Competitions with the following results;

Arable Championship – Cotswolds Region – 3rd Place (with a 1st Place in the Barley section), Profitable Wheat Class – 4th Place, Malting Barley Class – 2nd Place, Bagged Silage Class -4th Place, Fodder Beet Class – 2nd Place and Best Managed Grassland – 2nd Place. Well done.

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society
BK
Bisley House
Green Farm Business Park
Bristol Road
Gloucester
GL2 4LY
Telephone 01452 880101
www.grfgs.com

Council seeks local views on dog controls

Features by Adam No Comments »

Dogs could be subject to stronger controls in the Cotswolds later this year following the outcome of the current public consultation by the District Council.

The Council is considering adopting new powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005), which allow local authorities to introduce Dog Control Orders. The Orders could cover the following:

  • preventing fouling of land by dogs
  • requiring owners to keep dogs on leads
  • excluding dogs from specified land
  • controlling the number of dogs a person can take onto specified land

Before introducing any orders, the Council wants to find out which towns and villages are experiencing dog-related problems and how the orders might improve the situation.

A questionnaire has been sent to all town and parish councils in the District and residents, land owners and businesses are encouraged to contact their local town or parish council to let them know of their concerns.  The community can also give their views by filling in a short survey on the Council’s website at www.cotswold.gov.uk.

The initial consultation, which runs until the end of January, will also include short telephone surveys with randomly-selected callers to the Council.

All the responses will be analysed and depending on the results a series of draft Dog Control Orders will then be drawn up.  A more detailed public consultation will then follow in Spring or early Summer 2008.

The Council anticipates rolling out the Dog Control Orders in September 2008 but this will depend on the feedback received through the consultation phases.

Public Protection Manager Kate Bishop said: “We recognise that dog fouling and other dog-related matters are emotive issues and we would like to hear the public’s views on the subject before deciding whether or not dog control orders are needed in the Cotswolds.

“Dog fouling in particular can create a potential health hazard.  Whilst we currently have some laws in place to deal with this, the new powers could provide us with additional tools such as fixed penalty notices to deal with this unsociable matter”

Anyone who breaches the terms of a Dog Control Order faces a fine of up to £1,000 or the opportunity to pay a fixed penalty notice.

Chipping Campden WI

Chipping Campden Bulletin, Noticeboard by Adam No Comments »

The November meeting of Chipping Campden WI always includes the AGM so we usually whiz through the ordinary monthly meeting, minutes, reports and so on, to get to the AGM as quickly as possible Afterwards we normally have a short talk before refreshments. This year was different. We did it the other way round!

The charming speaker had brought a presentation from the Gloucestershire Animal Welfare Association and Cheltenham Animal Shelter. Miss Jenner told us of the surprisingly wide field of activities that come under that organisation. As one would expect much of their work is in rescuing and, when the owners cannot be found, rehoming dogs and cats. Nine out of ten are strays but one in 10 is signed over from someone who cannot for good reason continue to keep their pet.

When a stray cat or dog is brought in, it is checked to see if it has a named collar or a microchip giving the owners name. If the owner cannot be traced the animal is vaccinated and any fleas and worms are dealt with during a seven-day period during which it is housed in quarantine. Sometimes the owner contacts them and can be reunited with their lost pet. If this does not happened then rehoming is arranged where this is possible. Alas, more cats and dogs come to the shelter than there are people seeking new pets. Some too are too old, ill, badly behaved or otherwise unsuitable for rehoming and then, with regret, the answer may have to be ‘euthanising.’

After explaining the ramifications of this and other sides of their work. Miss Jenner, told us, with illustrations, of some of the tragic cases of neglect and abuse that have occurred. She hastened to assure us that none was local to our county, but the thought that anyone, anywhere, could have left a dog for six weeks locked in the house without food while they went on holiday or that boys could have attempted to hang a stolen puppy and then used it for target practice , was too horrific for words.

Her own particular field is in education. Not just spreading news of the Shelter to WIs and other groups, but a project against violence, teaching disruptive schoolchildren and young offenders with a history of violence how to behave to other people and to animals. The intention is to increase compassion and respect for others together with getting them to become more responsible. We felt this aspect of her work was extremely valuable. The vote of thanks by Mrs Carole Moss expressed our appreciation both of her talk and of the work or the organisation.

Then she left for it was a cold and frosty night and she had a long way to go. We turned to the more mundane matters of our ordinary and annual general meetings. At the AGM our President, Mrs Sue Morrey gave a report on her first year in office thanking her committee and others who had helped during the year – and later on the agenda she was voted back unanimously for next year. Awards were presented for those first second and third in the two monthly competitions held throughout the year. Thanks to the officers and to the committee as a whole in the past year were again unanimously and warmly given.

Next came the refreshments, which were lavish and, of course, scrumptious.

(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. Reproduced with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition 2007

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Hedgelaying. Image (c) the National Hedge Laying SocietySaturday 17th November  Cutting 09.00 – 14.00  – Prize Giving 15.30 approx.
The Ford Bridge Ground, Ebrington, Chipping Campden,Gloucestershire

This Competition is taking place at Ebrington by kind permission of D E and D M Drinkwater and Sons and is supported by the National Hedgelaying Society.

Hedgelaying. Image (c) the National Hedge Laying SocietyThere will be Four Classes – (1) Open – (2) Junior, Beginners and Novice -(3) Veterans – (4) Beginners Pairs. Hedging will be in the Midland Style and Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class. Spectators are very welcome.

The National Hedgelaying Society is committed to conserving hedgerows through traditional skills. Hedgerows are a prominent feature of the North Cotswolds landscape and help to define the uniqueness of the British countryside and are an important wildlife habitat. Some hedgerows mark historical boundaries such as parishes and manors. These hedges can predate the period of enclosures in the 18th and 19th centuries when most of the hedgerows that we see today were planted to enclose the open fields and sheepwalks. Hedgerows require sympathetic management if we are to preserve them for future generations.

Hedgelaying is a traditional form of management in the North Cotswolds and helps to keep the hedges vigorous and healthy while also providing a very effective stock-proof barrier.

The way hedges are laid depends on where the animals are kept, what kind of animals are kept, the local hedge plants, altitude, wind or snow expectations etc. so each region in the UK has it’s own traditional style.
The Midland style, also known as Bullock style, was designed to keep big heavy bullocks in their field. This style is mainly found in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire – traditional beef rearing areas. There is a slight variation for a Worcestershire style.

The main points are:-

  • Stake sides face road or plough land
  • Brush is the animal side to stop them eating new growth
  • Hedge slopes towards the animals, as stakes are driven in behind the line of the roots
  • Strong binding is below the top of the hedge

(The Worcestershire style has a single binding and the Brush is trimmed level with the binding)

For further information and Registration Forms contact:-
Cotswold Conservation Board
Mark Connelly
Fosseway
Northleach
Gloucestershire
GL54 3JH
Telephone 01451 862006
E Mail mark.connelly@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

Photos used with kind permission of the National Hedge Laying Society http://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/

Compton Abdale’s Crocodile is restored

Features, Places by Tony 2 Comments »

Compton Adbale Crocodile - ‘Before’. Copyright, Nick TurnerCompton Adbale Crocodile ‘after’. Copyright, Paul Felix

The Cotswolds Conservation Board donated funds to help get the crocodile restored.

Compton Abdale is a small typical Cotswolds village lying between Northleach and Andoversford situated in a quiet valley just off the main A40 road to Oxford.

Compton Abdale is unusual in the Cotswolds and probably in England in that the village has it’s own Crocodile! The Crocodile is a stone water conduit carved in the shape of a Crocodile’s head which sits at one of the main t-junctions in the village and has been channelling spring water from the limestone hills into the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames, for over 150 years. Over the years it has become a little worse for wear, caused by water erosion, so the villagers of Compton Abdale successfully applied for a special grant from the Cotswolds Conservation Board, which is designed to help local people conserve distinctive features in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Board donated £2000 towards a total project cost of £6400. It made it possible for Cotswold stonemason Richard Pods to carve a brand new crocodile head complete with a lead lining inside the huge toothy mouth to prevent water erosion over time.

Spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Claire Cunningham said: “We are delighted to be able to fund such a fantastic project that helps to maintain the unique and distinctive qualities of the area. The Compton Abdale Crocodile symbolises man’s respectful interaction with nature in the Cotswolds AONB over time. It literally demonstrates the way in which we have channelled nature for our own use over many thousands of years.”

The grant was distributed as part of a five-year conservation project delivered by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and supported by a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Caring for the Cotswolds ends in December this year.The £2.8 million project has made significant improvements and advances on a conservation level in four areas ; limestone grassland restoration, drystone walling, local distinctiveness and interpretation.

Stonemason Richard Pods

Cotswolds Conservation Board
Fosse Way
Northleach
Gloucestershire
GL54 3JH
Telephone 01451 862000
www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 40 members, 17 nominated by local authorities, 8 by nominated parish councils and 15 appointed by Government.

The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that it’s beauty and special character are conserved. It covers 2038 square kilometres stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the North, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

The Government has designated AONBs and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.

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