Happy New Year

I’d like to wish all readers a very happy New Year. Let’s hope that the pandemic will soon come to an end. Despite the difficulties, Ewhurst LEAP was busy last year:

  •  Surveying 40 of the street trees in and around Ewhurst;
  •  A very successful litter pick;
  •  Making four large wooden planters for the Village Hall – and filling them;
  •  The wonderful village Carnival, where we gave out 200 free packets of wildflower seeds;
  •  Footpath and pond clearance;
  •  Helping the Infant school children planting a hedge.

The committee would like to thank you for all your help.

We have photos of some of these, please look at our Image Gallery to see them.

This year we have lots more ideas for activities. Yesterday we cleared footpath FP440 (well it is now passable, but only single file!) and more footpaths are planned. Much later in the year we will be clearing more of the pond, but this spring we will be planting yellow rattle plant plugs next to it. We hope this will discourage the grass and allow many other wildflowers to grow naturally. We are also doing a litter pick (always a favourite), as well as surveying the public footpaths and bridleways in the parish.

Village Pond 2021

As we do most years the pond by the Village Hall car park had its clear-out over the last couple of Working Party sessions. Because it had very little attention last year we had a lot to do, but still managed a huge amount. Fortunately the weather was good (not too hot, cold or wet) on both Saturdays.

It is important to leave a lot of material in situ for the wildlife, so we can only clear up to one half of the pond itself. Next year we will clear a different section. The surrounds were almost completely cleared, but still leaving a lot ground cover.

All material dragged out of the pond has been left near the edges, to let any creatures crawl back in. We will move this at a later date, when it has dried out a bit and isn’t quite so heavy.

I have some pictures of our efforts below.

Continue reading

Free Meadow Maker seeds instructions

Featured

To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower

‘Age of innocence’ William Blake

Given out at the Ewhurst Carnival

Meadow maker plus from Plantlife: A diverse mix of species to establish a wildflower meadow that will put on a really good floral display. Contains British Native Wildflower species suitable for most conditions, including lady’s bedstraw, common Bird’s-foot trefoil, meadow buttercup, white campion, cowslip, oxeye daisy, dandelion, common knapweed, greater knapweed, black medick, ribwort plantain, selfheal, yellow rattle, yarrow, common sorrel, common vetch, red clover, betony, field scabious and musk mallow.

LEAP Seed packets

Please send us (mail@ewhurstleap.org.uk) a photo of your meadow when it flowers!

Sowing

Each packet given out at the Ewhurst Carnival covers approximately 2m2.

Sow in spring or autumn into a fine, well prepared seed bed and lightly rake, then firm soil. Ensure seedlings are well watered. Cut back all growth at the end of flowering (late Aug-Sept), removing all cuttings.

This unique wildflower mix will help you (and your bees and butterflies) enjoy native flowers in your garden. For more wildflower gardening tips and advice, visit www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflower_garden

Village Hall forecourt

On Saturday 10th July we are going to help with a long term project to enhance Ewhurst and Ellens Green, and slow down the traffic. The full proposal, which is only a discussion document, can be read below.

Joanna has written a piece in the Village email bulletin, you can read it along with the rest of the bulletin here:

Bulletin 402 (campaign-archive.com)

The initial project is to make some changes to the Village Hall forecourt. This includes moving the huge waste bins and building various planters for the forecourt.

As usual, everybody is welcome. As this is quite a major project for LEAP we will be working from 10am-3pm instead of the usual 10am to midday. Stay for as long as you like, you can join us for an hour or two, or for the whole time.

Ewhurst LEAP tree survey

Many thanks to all those that took part in this tree survey on 2nd January 2021.

For the survey we had four groups of people (maintaining social distancing) making various tree measurements and photos in the village and Ewhurst Green, to add to Treezilla. This is a “citizen science project that is aiming to encourage members of the public, local authorities, business, local groups and other organisations to collaborate in mapping, measuring and monitoring trees across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland”.

Treezilla measures the “eco-benefits” of the trees as they are added. On the day we could only measure a small fraction of the trees in the village but the numbers are still impressive. The measured trees give an annual saving of £3,840. Just imagine what benefits all the trees in parish are giving!

Continue reading

Looking back – and forwards

The time between Christmas and New Year is a time for thinking about the old year and looking towards the new.  In 2020 LEAP was necessarily very quiet, but despite this we did manage to do some footpath clearance, meadow making, litter picking (twice!) and scrub clearance around the pond.  We also have set up a new and better website, at the same location as the old one (EwhurstLeap.org.uk).

We are lucky to have some marvellous descriptions of rambles around the parish written by one of our volunteers, Richard Sellwood, all of which can be found on the new website.

The parish council has also been very generous, and with the money they gave us we have been getting equipment to help with our pond and footpath work.

The committee would like to say thank you to everybody involved.

As we are in Tier 4 we have to be careful for the first working party of the new year.  All voluntary work is allowed but we must keep 2 metres apart.  So on Saturday we would like you to help with a Tree Survey.

This is part of a citizen science project called “Treezilla”.  We will work in pairs, staying 2 meters apart, find trees and take some measurements.  Alice and I will provide every pair with a written description of the project, a map of Ewhurst and a simple form to fill in for each tree you find.  Note we will only be measuring solitary trees in public places, not in gardens or woods.

Please come with a tape measure to measure the girth of the trees, a pen and something to press on (like a clipboard if you have one) to fill in the forms.  A camera, e.g., a mobile phone camera, will also be useful.

It would be lovely to see all those of you that can make it.  Please meet in the Village Hall car park at 10am on 2nd January.  We will get together again at midday and you can pass back your surveys.  If you have taken any pictures, please reply to this email with the pictures when you get back home afterwards.

All the best,
Eddie

ps. During this horrible pandemic, please email us if there is anything we can help with, or even if you just want a chat.

LEAP working party

The lockdown has ended, but despite being in Tier 2 of national restrictions, we can hold a LEAP working party!

This Saturday we are going to do some work in the village pond – not as much perhaps as previous years because it might be too cold to actually enter the pond, and we must be more careful.  We have two new LEAP waders (welly boot sizes 9 and 11) if anyone wants to get in.  We do not have any cromes though; these are the funny forks with long handles for pulling weeds out of the pond.

We need to cut back the pond surrounds, taking the cuttings up to the compost bins by the cemetery.

We have to maintain social distancing, and not share tools.  Please bring your own shears, forks, scythes and wheelbarrows.  I will have the three quarantined LEAP shears you can borrow, but they cannot be shared.  The Covid-19 risk assessment has not changed from last time, and will be available if you want to see it.

We will meet at 10am on Saturday (5th December) in the Village Hall car park, and finish around midday.  We will have a break, but because we cannot provide the usual refreshments please bring your own!

If there are too many of us to easily stay at least 2m apart then I will have to limit numbers.  I think this is unlikely but might be necessary.  There is no need to wear masks because we are outside.  If you are feeling at all unwell then please do not come.

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

[Note: See Local restriction tiers: what you need to know – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for Exemptions from gatherings limits in all tiers, which includes: “for work or providing voluntary or charitable services” ]