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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FHW AGM – 15th May, 2014

It doesn’t seem possible, but we’ve had our first AGM!

Not everybody turned up, of course, but a fair selection of interested Friends arrived in the Manor, in Ditcheat, for 7pm and Hil started proceedings by welcoming everyone before launching into a comprehensive Chair’s report of the year’s activities. Amazing! Who’d a’ thought we’d achieved so much in just twelve months? She concluded with nice things to say about the varied and complementary  prowess of individual committee members, but with natural modesty failed to mention herself, so I’m going to do it here. Thank you, Hil, for being so good – not to mention conscientious – at what you do, keeping us all in order and to the point during meetings and well-informed at all other times. No-one else could do it the way you do and you are much appreciated by all.

After that came Jo with her Treasurer’s Report and then Nick gave us a briefing of his conversation with Justin Millward of the WT about the ramifications of taking a lease on Haddon – their preferred course of action in the future. Apparently, because their policy is to double the amount of broadleaved, deciduous woodland in the country by the end of this century, they need to outsource the managing of much of it. It was interesting, but clearly needs thought and it’s a subject we’ll be returning to.

The last piece of official business was to elect the committee for the coming year and to cut a long story short, the same people will be back at the table at our next meeting. We covered a lot of ground, but after a few items under AOB, Hil brought the meeting to a conclusion just after 8pm The minutes (with attached supplementary reports)  can be found HERE.

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Alhampton Open Gardens…

Just a short post because this first fund-raiser for the FHW shouldn’t go unrecognised …though you’ll have to take my word for how great everything looked because I was too dim to take any pictures. Have you got any?

954767_10151935037768574_1586628669_nFor the first time in recent history the Open Gardens day was run separately from Alhampton’s village fête (on Saturday, 20th July)  this year, because in previous years people have said they hadn’t enough time to get round them all.

This year Hil Harrison suggested that the money raised be put towards the extras that local people want to be included in Haddon Wood – the wild flower meadow, wildlife pond and orchard – and managed to persuade 11 gardeners to open their gardens on Sunday of the late May Bank Holiday.

Whether it was because The Woodland Trust had been on BBC Somerset Radio talking about the wood before the first planting, or because it was a Bank Holiday, or because of the barbecue on offer at the pub, or the weather, or even because Charles Dowding agreed to open his new organic, no-dig garden, there was a fantastic turnout.

Despite the cold spring putting things back at least three weeks, the day itself was sunny, the gardens all looked fantastic, Rose’s photographic exhibition in the tin chapel was much admired and we raised £723! A great achievement for such a small village. I can’t help wondering how many people only came because two of the gardens were offering tea and cake though….

I discovered afterwards that we had a professional garden photographer in our midst  – see  Heather’s pictures below…

In response to the request for photographs of the Alhampton Open Garden day, here are a few I took on my walk around the village. Apologies if your garden is not in the gallery, but the lovely hospitality received in each garden meant I did not have time to take more pictures! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Heather and I’m a freelance Garden Photographer, probably more well known for living in the house with ‘the big dog in the window’! Pictures are still in the process of being captioned and will be updated shortly. Hope you enjoy the pictures, any queries, please contact me by email.