(Thanks to David from the Abingdon Naturalists for the Report and Jo for the picture)
The wildflower meadow in Barton Fields was cut last Wednesday. This year, the farmer who mows it for us was unable to bale the hay, as his baler had broken down. But the hay needs to be taken off the field, as if it is allowed to rot where it is cut, it would fertilise the ground and encourage rank grasses and nettles to flourish. So we called on the help of our Green Team, who turned out in force. Fifteen volunteers took on the task of raking and stacking the hay with pitchforks, from two and a half acres on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday we were joined by thirteen members of the Abingdon Green Gym, who completed the task for us and also helped with a couple of other tasks on site. In total, about a hundred hours of effort was put in by volunteers over the three days.
Members of our Green Team undertake annual botanical surveys and weekly butterfly counts in transects across the wildflower meadow and adjacent grassland. The meadow was sown and planted in 2009 and since then we have recorded over 50 species of flowering plant who’s abundance has increased year on year. The number of butterflies in the herb-rich meadow is three times that found in adjacent unenhanced grassland. Bees and other insects also benefit from the meadow flowers.
Details of these surveys can be found on the Abingdon Naturalists website: abnats.org.uk/survey.html .
Abbey Sax, a small part of the Abingdon Concert Band, were on the Market Place this morning. The Abingdon Concert Band are welcoming Neil Brownless as their new musical director from September 2013. I was told by one member that Neil is young, very talented, and they are really excited about working with him.
This evening there will be more classical music at St Nicolas’ Church where the “Baroque Trio Sonata” are playing.
This weekend there is a Beer Festival at the Kings Head and Bell with 30 ales and 10 ciders. The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers will be partaking and performing tomorrow afternoon. And if that is not your cup of tea, there is Tea in the Garden of St Ethelwolds from 3:00pm-5:00pm.
Looking ahead I see that on Wednesday 28th August there is the Dalton Barracks Play and Activity Day from 11:00am till 3:00pm.
Nowadays not quite so many free newspapers are delivered door to door and more racks are provided around town to allow people to pick up their own free newspaper.
The Oxfordshire Guardian was launched in 2011 as our area’s free newspaper, taking over from The South Oxfordshire Courier which closed in 2008.
Until recently there was The Oxfordshire Guardian – South Oxfordshire Edition. But about eight weeks ago appeared an Abingdon Edition, a Didcot and a Wantage edition. There is also a South Oxfordshire and the Vale edition for the villages.
This week’s lead story in the Abingdon edition is “Let’s All Work Together” which pictures three of Abingdon’s Movers and Shakers asking how do we attract more visitors to the town.