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Images courtesy of Simon Booker stokerpix.com

upcoming events

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Save the date: SSWCG Quiz Night Thursday 20th October

Back by popular demand!

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news

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Who grew the tallest sunflower?

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The South Stoke Open Gardens event (Monday 29th August) was incredibly popular. We hope you enjoyed learning about how to help wildlife in your garden and seeing some examples in the gardens of South Stoke.

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Our Bat walk on Friday 26th August was very well attended. It was especially great to see so many youngsters joining in the fun. We saw 4 species of bat - including the infamous daubenton's bat which could be seen flying close to the surface of the river. More info to follow once John has analysed the recordings.

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The wildflower project surveys are complete for 2022. Thank you to those who came out with us, we hope you enjoyed learning about the wildflowers of South Stoke. Next year we plan to survey new locations around the village including the verges we planted up in Nov 2021.

Watch out for news about the SSWCG growalong which will be back in 2023...

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 On Sunday 14th August John led a Dragonfly walk through private gardens it was warm but productive. We saw seven species, plus lots of other insects and spiders.

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On Saturday 23rd July 12 eager spotters found 32 glow-worms around the village. There were 18 on and around the Ridgeway path down to Withymead, 0 on South Bank, 1 on the Glebe Field (along with a couple of very amorous hedgehogs!), 8 on the west side of the railway bank in the field leading to the Bogey Hole and 4 on the eastern side. Oh and one in the hedge outside the Dews on The Street! None were recorded on Ferry Rd, which was a bit of a surprise, as they were there earlier in the season. I'll report back later on how this compares to last year - but well done to everyone who came, especially Julie, who tried sooo hard to be the first to spot one - alas without success.

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The CPRE ('the Countryside Charity') has recently published its 'Hedgerow Heroes' report. Roselle Chapman, a friend of SSWCG, led the Oxfordshire contribution for Wild Oxfordshire:

The strength of the Oxfordshire project was in its grassroots engagement with communities, building up a whole network of people who are now inspired to care for their local hedgerows.  It’s been a great partnership between Wild Oxfordshire and CPRE Oxfordshire and we hope this can be repeated in the future.’ Helen Marshall, Director CPRE Oxfordshire. You can read the full report here. For more information on CPRE Oxfordshire's Hedgerow Heroes project click here

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Thank you everybody who has contributed to SSWCG's GoFundMe page. Donations have supported the printing of the 'No Mow' signs (now deployed on village verges) to highlight the areas we planted with volunteer grown wildflower plugs in November 2021. Looking ahead, we'll use donations to contribute to hedge restoration; whips, stakes and guards, for planting in Autumn/Winter 2022 and supplies for the 2023 wildflower growalong. Both of these core activities will help increase the biodiversity in South Stoke parish.

Thank you for your support :-)

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Thanks to everybody who visited and supported our May Day stand. It was great to meet friends old and new and we were thrilled so many children participated in the butterfly art (big thanks to Mel) and also the sunflower seed planting. Looking forward to seeing photos of your huge sunflowers!

PS  If you bought our native wildflower seeds mix, sowing instructions are here

Apple winner
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And the winner of the No Mow sign competition is.... REBECCA CHARON! Many congratulations and thank you to Rebecca and to all the other brilliant entrants. Eleanor Wong had a big challenge on her hands judging, but Rebecca's sign stood out (so it'll do a great job protecting the newly planted wildflower verges!).

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Simon Booker recently gave a talk on wildlife photography and it was a phenomenal successTargeted at anyone interested in local wildlife with stories, fieldcraft and photography ethics (definitely not two hours of techno-babble!), it went down so well there's going to be a follow up! Watch this space!

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SSWCG responded to a request from the PC for ideas on how The Park may be used in the future, and submitted a proposal for a Community Garden. The proposal was available for all to see and discuss on Saturday, 26th March, in the Village Hall. In preparation for the meeting we created a 'Frequently Asked Questions' document which you can download and read/print on the Community Gardens page. On the same page we've added a summary of the presentation and a document on the management of the gardens.

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Hedgehogs, hedgehogs, hedgehogs everywhere. The south side of South Stoke village hedgehog survey and trail map is COMPLETE. Sighting and Trail maps for the whole village are available here

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Hedge planting - it's a wrap!

Thanks to an amazing community turn-out, and Martin Bullock for tasking SSWCG with filling in a 64m boundary hedge gap, we managed to dig in 500 whips in one day! As ever, fuelled by Boki coffee (also available in the village Shop!) we had a fun and very productive session. Thanks to Madgalena Lyubomirova Filipova-Rivers whose grant paid for it all.  See if you notice the difference when you take the Postman's Path or pass Whitehill Quarry :)

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We're pleased to announce that SSWCG are members of CAG Oxfordshire and also Social Farms & Gardens

CAG Oxfordshire is a network of almost 100 community action groups working across the county to green and sustainable ends. Social Farms & Garden is a UK wide charity supporting communities to farm, garden and grow together.

worth a read

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For a really inspiring read: 'I feel I've made a mark': the man who built homes for 60,000 swifts 

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Trees should be planted without plastic guards, says UK study

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Ten ways to be more sustainable in your garden - practical advice from the RHS

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UK dragonflies are benefitting from climate change. Read all about it

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CPRE releases groundbreaking new research into hedgerows. Read more here

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The insect apocalypse: insects have declined by 75% in the past 50 years – and the consequences may soon be catastrophic. Biologist Dave Goulson reveals the vital services they perform. Read the Guardian article here

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Jays and grey squirrels get planting! Half the trees in two new woods were planted by jays scientists find. Read more here

iRecord

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Report and share your flora and fauna sightings using iRecord. Find our easy to use iRecord guide here.

dates for your diary

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Don't step on a Bee Day, 10th July

Love Parks Week, July 23rd-July 31st

National Allotments Week, August 9th-August 14th

Organic September

Recycle Week, September 20th-25th

e-newsletter

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We will be producing e-newsletters on a bi-monthly basis. If you’d like to receive them, please sign up.

 

Previous e-Newsletter issues can be found in the archive at the foot of the sign up form.