A group of volunteers recently organised an Environment Day in the village and have asked us to share their report here. Thank you to everyone who took part.
ALL ABOUT HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT
On Saturday 2nd April, in the field at Greatham Village Hall, groups met and exchanged ideas on ways to help nature and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Despite quite a chilly wind various tents were set up to exchange ideas about how we can have a better impact on the environment. .
The Petersfield Beekeepers were ready to talk about honey bees and how they are cared for, with their observation hive allowing you to see the activity within their home. But there is more than just the honey bee out there and what you can do to help the multitude of different pollinators was a main theme.
The Selborne Landscape Partnership set up a stall showing what the local group of farms are doing to preserve hedges, plant trees, sustain cover for wildlife etc. It was good to see part of Greatham so closely linked to this with the Selborne Estate bordering the village to the north, and the Mombers’ farm in the west of the village along Snailing Lane.
Greatham Village Hall Committee had a display explaining their 10-point plan for the field, giving visitors an opportunity to come and look at where the wildflower meadow would go, the pond & biodiversity area and the plan for a community orchard. Also, the plan to mount solar panels on the hall roof.
There was a Tree Warden stall with details of tree planting in the village since the Millennium and more recent hedge planting schemes at the Primary School, and around the boundary of St John the Baptist Church and in St John’s Trust Field. There was lots of debate around the new recommendations not to cut hedges every year, and agreement as to the importance of not cutting hedges at the same height every time. There was also enthusiasm for hedge laying and it is hoped that this is something we could see more of in Greatham in the future.
Phil Beenham, a natural gardener, was on hand to talk about using an eco friendly scythe to manage wildflowers in gardens and meadows, as he has for a decade now for local villagers and notably at the Gilbert White gardens in Selborne. Sadly the grass was not long enough to do an effective demonstration so he sharpened (peened) his blades in preparation. Some of the areas Phil will be using a scythe where possible will be the newly designated areas for wildflower cultivation in the village.
St John’s Field Trust had a stall showing the wildflower projects, and how they constructed a pond for wildlife and sloping shards. Tree planting in the field had also been organised by groups of volunteers with help from Hope Church and student volunteers from L’Abri at the Manor House.
There was a display of photographs of all the wildflowers identified and recorded in Greatham’s Old Churchyard, which had been beautifully put into an album by Barbara Cope – a wonderful record of just how many species we already have in this special corner of the village!
Cllr Adam Carew, Chairman of EHDC, and one of our District Councillors, attended and shared his expertise about ecology on a stand with Greatham parish councillor Susie Harris who has been working with him on a pollinator project through the village. For those not aware of this project, this should help to explain why some of the verges have not been cut! The cutting regime is changing and certain grass verges will now be designated as wildflower verges to help attract pollinators through the village.
There were also stands demonstrating how solar panels would work, with Olly Rook offering technical expertise on how to design and install a solar panel system on home projects. Ed Dale-Harris, architect, had examples of construction using natural materials such as sheep’s wool, wood fibre and local green timber, as well as advising people how to retrofit their homes for a better planet and personal well being. Wider discussions around sustainable designs, permaculture and regenerative living including composting, rainwater and veg growing.
PECAN, Petersfield climate awareness network, gave information about ways of retrofitting houses to save energy.
Lots of children were around, many enjoying Ken Cope’s clay workshop for children using local clay from Church Field.
And all this was going on outside the hall, while inside the green fingers of Greatham’s flower growers were celebrating their fine displays and taking home prizes.
With many thanks for all who contributed, and those who came along to have a look. And special thanks to Ken Cope and Dorry Macaulay for adding to it all with their beautiful live music.
If you are interested in hearing more about future events of this sort, or have ideas about what could be done in the village, or if you would like to have your name added to a list of those interested in GREENING GREATHAM, please contact either Anne-Chantal Ballard on 01420 538315 or or Anna Dale-Harris on 01420 538 029 or email .