The Friends of Haddon Wood

Everything interesting we can think of about Alhampton's community woodland. To leave a comment on a post, click on its title and scroll down…


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A date for your diaries!

It’s that time again – Alhampton Open Gardens is coming up fast – come and look around this year’s selection on Sunday 12th June, see how Haddon Wood is progressing, check out the photographic display in the Chapel and then recover with a cup of tea and piece of cake.

Parking this year will be in the Orchard field behind the Chapel in No Through Road and tickets (including map), available this year from the Chapel itself. BA4 6PZ.

Open Gardens poster 2016


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Open Gardens 2015 – a glorious day!

Weary, but oh, so worth it, at the end of a long day of Open Gardens, didn’t our gardeners, cake bakers, signmakers, ticket sellers – all brought together by Hil – do us proud! It’s too late to write anything sensible and considered but here’s a taster…

…and here’s a selection of Rose Hubbard’s pictures from the day. It’s good to have an official photographer on the committee!

…and finally, the good news, from Hil…

Once again we used this as a fund-raising opportunity for Haddon Wood, and on 7 June we were blessed with three things: weather, the results of advertising on a free website, and Monty Don’s reference to Somerset having great gardens to visit.  All that meant more visitors than we’ve ever seen, and a total profit of over £1660!  A lot of people put in a great deal of effort and it was well worth it.  If you’ve never come along to this, we’ll be doing it all again next year; we do have some different gardens each time (and some everyone always wants to see).  If you’re not keen on gardens, come for the tea and cake – delicious!  We’re building an excellent fund for taking us into leasing, and allowing us to do some things as we go along.


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7th June 2015 – a date for your diary!

Open gardens poster 2015It doesn’t seem all that long since the last Open Gardens day in Alhampton – particularly, no doubt, to the hard working people allowing us to invade their privacy – but here we are again! Gert Schley and Charles Dowding are opening again, but to ring the changes and spread the load, the others are all different from last year.

With parking and tickets at The Alhampton Innn, by kind permission of the landlords (sat nav – BA4 6PY), we have 10 gardens to see for only £5, plus our ever popular teas. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?


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A recent early morning visit …..

Haddon Wood is a magical place at any time of the year, but more so when covered in frost.  Here are a few recent pictures from my visit and hoping we have more frosts soon!

 


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Final community planting day! Saturday 22 November

So it’s finally arrived – the very last planting of the native broadleaves, delayed until now because of construction of the pond.  There are around 200 left, all heeled in at the end of the March planting by Gert in his garden (did you spot them on open gardens day?  Bet you didn’t!)  They’re alders and willows, so they’re appropriate for round the pond which is where we’ll be planting – on the eastern and southern perimeter at the bottom of the bank up to the pond (if you use our site maps, the pond is in field 4 and the plan showing the pond needs updating as the pond is further north and east than shown).

If you’d like to come along and help, please bring a spade as we don’t have many spares!  If you haven’t done this before, no previous experience required as there’ll be someone to show you exactly what to do. In fact, please find either Gert or Nick for a planting demo. Join us and you can tell your children and grandchildren that you were part of the creation of our fantastic wood.

If you need to drive, please park in the Castle Cary Rugby Club car park (BA7 7PF).  Turn right as you walk out and use the pedestrian gate into the wood across the road on your left as you walk away from Castle Cary.  Follow the hedgerow which runs alongside the road and you’ll find us.

Hope to see you there!


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The pond is complete …you can’t miss it!

Yes, it’s a pond that, at the moment, thinks it’s a reservoir …or at least that’s how it looks to me. I hasten to add, that isn’t a negative, more an observation.

I’ve been holding off from writing this post in the unrealistic hope that I’d be able to accompany it with an attractive picture, but that isn’t going to happen in the near future – at least at my skill level. Having said that, the topsoil, back in place round the edges and covering the banks, is starting to green up already, specially from a distance and committee members have scattered pond-specific wildflower seed around – quite a lot in fact, but we thought it worth raiding the budget for.

The great thing is that there’s water collecting in the bottom already, by now all round the island and filling the three deeper pools.

I say great thing and it is, because that’s the point after all, but what none of us took into account from the beginning – and it’s one that makes me more than grumpy – is that our wildlife pond would be adopted as a handy, regular swimming pond for dogs. This was never the idea and whilst we thought it possible that one or two might flop in to cool off occasionally in future years, it simply never occurred to us that, if we put up yards of tape and clear notices asking people to stay off the area – for goodness sake, the place is big enough without it! – while soil settled and seed germinated, that people would ignore the request and any possible reasons behind it and follow their own agenda. Naive? Obviously!

To be fair there have been only a few transgressors, probably not in the Friends group and who almost certainly won’t read this, but they have been regular and persistent and accompanied by the larger (and therefore more destructive) breeds.  If you see if happening, please feel free to have a word, if for no other reason than to find out why they do it. Personally, I don’t get it because apart from anything else the water is grey and smelly and will be unless and until it gets deeper – probably in the cold weather when no-one, canine or otherwise – feels much like swimming. But there you are. There will always be a few who have to be different.

It’s a shame because our wood is being enjoyed by increasing numbers of people, most of whom are brilliant in all other respects – picking up dog poo, pulling and cutting back thistles – but I’m guessing this will be a longer and more drawn out battle and I really don’t know how it will turn out. Perhaps a pair of particularly aggressive swans will take up residence on the island and repel all borders….

 


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Grass cut – June 2014

Haddon’s had it’s second annual haircut. Or rather it had it more than a month ago, but the Summer is racing past – the newly green, shorter areas already bear testament to the amazing weather we’re having with long stretches of gloriously warm weather and a very few – probably too few for the keen gardeners among us, but who’s complaining – crashing downpours.

This year the hay crop was taken by the Barbers, cutting one week, leaving to dry and collecting a few days later and it was a really tidy job, so many thanks to them.

I just thought it worth mentioning, if only to mark the passage of time. It doesn’t seem possible that this wood was pastureland only sixteen months ago. Some of the trees from the first planting are already more than twice as tall as their plastic tubes and nearly all seem to have settled well.