Helping hedgehogs and other creatures this winter

With the arrival of Autumn and the sudden change of weather, many of us are turning our attention to tidying the garden for winter. Here are some tips that will help hedgehogs, insects and other creatures survive the coming months.

1. Safe Haven for Hedgehogs
To help this most endearing of creatures which has suffered a rapid decline in recent years, create a Hedgehog Highway through your garden by making a hole through fences or boundaries so hedgehogs can roam freely to find food.  To provide a safe place for hedgehogs to hibernate, cut an entrance opening in the side of a plastic storage box, place upturned in a corner of the garden and cover with leaves. If later on you hear a loud snore, you can be sure a hedgehog has taken up residence!

Hedgehog in Bishopstone HerefordshireIn Bishopstone, hedgehogs are seen regularly, enjoying meat-based cat/dog food put out of an evening as seen here in the garden of Scaldback where Dennis and Rosemary live.

Find out what else you can do to reduce their decline. We’d love to hear if you have a local hedgehog in your neighbourhood.

2. Leave a corner of the garden untidy
When you’re dead heading and tidying the garden, leave a wild patch so bumblebees, beetles, spiders, voles and other creatures can over-winter among the twigs and fallen leaves.  It’s important to keep a bowl of water on the ground (eg a stone birdbath) as small mammals like a drink, and larger birds like blackbirds prefer to use a bath on the ground rather than in a more exposed higher position.

Fieldfare birds, seasonal visitors from Scandinavia, enjoy wind fall apples and can be coaxed into the garden when apples are left on the ground. Insects too love fallen fruit, leave some for them to feast on.

3. Plant bee friendly winter-flowering plants

Bumblebees, moths and other insects can struggle to find enough food to get through the winter so having plants that flower and provide nectar at that time of year is invaluable. Here are some autumn and winter-flowering plants that brighten the garden and provide an important food source:

Bulbs: Cyclamen Coum, Winter Aconites, Snowdrops, Crocuses
Perennials: Hellebores, Pulmonaria, Doronicum
Shrubs: Mahonia, Viburnum Tinus, Viburnum x bodnantense
Daphne Bholua, Daphne x odorata
Wintersweet – Chimonanthus, Winterbox – Sarcococca
Witch Hazel – Hamamelis, Winter Jasmine – Jasminum Nudiflorum
Winter Honeysuckle – Lonicera fragrantissima, Winter Heathers
Osmanthus, Winter flowering Clematis, Ivy

Winter flowering plants rich in nectar

Read more at and

New Bridge Community Centre AGM – September 2nd, 2.30pm

The New Bridge Community Centre AGM will be held at the Centre on Wednesday September 2nd at 2.30pm. If fine we shall be in the churchyard and if not, inside. Attendees will therefore need to bring something to sit on and a mask, and will be required to sign the Track and Trace Register.

Here’s the agenda:

1 Minutes of last meeting

2 Chairman’s report

3 Treasurer’s report

4 Election of trustees

Birds in the Bishopstone area

Nuthatch and Green WoodpeckerMany village gardens will host 30 – 40 species during the course of a year, depending on how diverse the habitat is and whether you feed birds. In addition to common species that visit weekly, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch can be regular visitors to peanut feeders, but you need to keep your eyes peeled for rarer visitors, like Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Siskin and even Blackcap in winter, as well as the not-so-welcome Sparrowhawk swooping through your garden.

Around the village, you will see Pied Wagtails on rooftops, House Martin and Swallow swirling around and entering their mud nests, or lined up on overhead wires preparing for migration in the autumn, and the occasional small group of Swift screaming overhead. Increasingly, a single or pair of Red Kite regularly hover overhead or higher up in the thermals with Buzzards. The “yaffling” of Green Woodpecker from old orchards and ant-infested grassland is quite common, as are the “clacking” of Fieldfare and Redwing congregating to eat fallen apples in the autumn.

Yellowhammer and Red KitAlong the roads and footpaths, Yellowhammer and Linnet are always flitting around, Skylark can be heard singing above the cornfields and sometimes the scratchy song of a Whitethroat in a hedgerow, and a pair of Bullfinch or a Yellow Wagtail may occasionally show themselves. A Kestrel on overhead wires is not uncommon, as is the silhouette of a Barn Owl or Little Owl flying across the road at dusk.

Of course, Kenchester Pools and the field ponds hold a good array of water birds and waders, with Shelduck (breeding for the first time in 2019), Goosander, Little Grebe, Oystercatcher and Snipe showing up most years and occasionally rarities like Avocet and Little Ringed Plover show up for a day or two.

For early-risers at 5.00 am, there is nothing quite like the dawn chorus in May as species join together to welcome the new day, although the evening song of Blackbirds lined up on the village chimney pots is a lovely ending to summer days. Of course, a Cuckoo heard singing during May/June is always a bonus.

The Herefordshire Ornithological Club has the latest news on sightings in the area and is ideal for anyone interested in birds within our county.

Written by Mervyn Davies, Bishopstone resident.

Wildlife on our doorstep – Bishon Common in Bishopstone

Public byway sign to Bishon Common, Bishopstone, HerefordshireAfter requesting a public byway onto Bishon Common in 2002 when access was barred, we’re pleased to say Herefordshire Council has added the footpath to the Definitive map.  This is great news as we can now see the wildlife on this meadow, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

You can find the meadow in Bishopstone, at the bottom of Bishon Lane. Walk past the house “Greentrees” and down a path to a metal gate that you need to climb over. The footpath goes to the middle of the Common as you can see on the map below which is also attached to the fence by the metal gate. Please note, cattle graze here at certain times of the year.

In Springtime, there’s cowslip, wood anemone, dog violet, lousewort and cuckoo flower with yellow iris and common spotted orchids in June.

As well as being a herb-rich meadow, Bishon Common has marshy grassland and a seasonal pond that floods when the Yazor brook that flows along it’s southern boundary bursts it’s banks. During Winter and Spring, it’s wise to wear Wellingtons when visiting the Common! Here we’ve seen snipe with its distinctive, long straight bill.

Wild flowers on Bishon Common, SSSI


Certain rare plants and invertebrates, some of which are nationally scarce, have been identified by botanists from Natural England:

The herb-rich neutral grassland is characterised by crested dog’s-tail Cynosurus cristatus and common knapweed Centaurea nigra, a type which is now nationally restricted. The diversity of the meadow is enhanced by the presence of small watercourses and areas of marshy grassland. The sward contains a number of grasses, the dominant ones being crested dog’s-tail, sweet vernal grass Anthoxanthum odoratum, red fescue Festuca rubra and Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus.

The rich herbaceous flora includes meadow vetchling Lathyrus pratensis, cowslip Primula veris, devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis, spiny restharrow Ononis spinosa, pepper saxifrage Silaum silaus and green-winged orchid Orchis morio.

Map of Bishon Common, SSSI HerefordshireThe areas of marshy grassland are dominated either by sedges such as lesser pond-sedge Carex acutiformis, hairy sedge C. hirta and false fox-sedge C. otrubae or rushes Juncus sp. Associated with the sedges and rushes are species such as water mint Mentha aquatica, common spike-rush Eleocharis palustris, fen bedstraw Galium uliginosum and yellow iris Iris pseudacorus. The nationally scarce orange foxtail Alopecurus equalis occurs here at one of only four locations known in the county.

The Yazor Brook  supports aquatic species such as watercress Nasturtium officinale, brooklime Veronica beccabunga and water speedwell V. anagallis-aquatica. The meadow supports a diverse invertebrate fauna which includes a nationally scarce hoverfly Neoascia geniculata.

Please note: As the Common is a SSSI, please don’t dig up any of the plants.

What We Did in Lockdown – Fundraising for Cardiac Risk in the Young

Matt Sheers fundraising for Cardiac Risk in the Young
Matt Sheers completed a 11km run every day for a week

Two members of the parish, Matt Sheers and Jake Birch, recently lost a valued friend who was fit, healthy and just 15. Kieran really loved playing football and always took part in as many sports as he could.

Their friend Kieran Joyce died unexpectedly of an undetected heart problem. Since Kieran died all of his friends and family have been fundraising for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young or C.R.Y. This charity provides screening for teenagers and young adults in order to detect any undiagnosed heart conditions.

The PE teacher at Weobley High School, Mr Jones, and Kieran’s friend Will Pugh came up with the idea of a challenge to raise money. The challenge involved doing an activity for 7 days which incorporated the number 11, Kieran’s football shirt number.

Staff and pupils from Weobley High School came up with an imaginative range of activities including running, cycling, swimming and hula hooping! Jake Birch from Byford completed 1100 press ups everyday for a week while Matt Sheers ran 11km everyday for a week. Having set out with an initial fundraising target of £250 we have raised over £7900 so far.

Along the way they have received messages of support from sport stars including Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær!

The money raised will be used for a screening event in Herefordshire in October. If anybody would like to donate please follow this link:

Well done to Matt, Jake and the rest of the staff and pupils at Weobley High School.

Jake Birch fundraising for Cardiac Risk in the Young
Jake Birch’s challenge was 1100 press-ups every day for a week

June update from Herefordshire Police

‘The Hub’ is a new publication from the Police in Herefordshire for the benefit of the people who live, work and visit Herefordshire. Frank, informative and full of advice, we will welcome your feedback.

On that point, a huge thanks to all those who took the time to comment (really pleased you like format & content) and to those who asked questions like Pete who owns a Land Rover Defender and is concerned about them being stolen. Each one gave me the opportunity to provide some security advice and guidance.

Please keep the questions coming….I might print them and the answers in future editions.

The message may have changed but the situation remains the same, more than ever before there is a need for all of us to help each other and it would be remiss not to mention COVID-19 and overwhelming public compliance with the restrictions in place although sadly not by everyone!! To those few we repeat, keep 2m apart or we WILL take (and have taken) enforcement action where necessary.

Topics covered in this June 2020 newsletter include:

  • Preventing agricultural vehicle theft
  • County Lines
  • Online Criminality
  • Things to look out for

Paul Crumpton
Rural & Business Crime Officer, Herefordshire
West Mercia Police
Mob:07773 044781

Making space for Nature in our Parish

We are indeed fortunate to live in the green county of Herefordshire and able to enjoy outdoor spaces.  Yet, even here, wildlife is in danger as the spaces for them have disappeared over the years, mainly due to urban expansion and intensive farming practices needed to feed the nation.

Last year Herefordshire County Council asked the parish councils to come up with a plan to combat Climate Change as part of the County Plan 2020-2024.  In the Bishopstone Group Parish, we decided to see what we could do to create space for nature, the main victim of our changing world.

In this way our community can fight Climate Change – in the coming months we’ll be covering other topics including recycling, reducing our carbon footprint and how to be eco-friendly.

Nature is not just something you watch on television, we can appreciate it in our gardens and all around us.  Our aim is to create more spaces where wildlife can flourish… here are some of things we can do:

Invite wildlife back into our gardens –
Create a space for wild flowers and choose plants that are bee friendly.  These range from lavender, honeysuckle and ivy to snowdrops, sage and forget-me-nots.  There’s a nectar rich plant for every season ensuring bees have food and energy throughout the year.   You’ll be rewarded with bumble bees and other insects flocking to your garden. We’ll have wild flowers available so contact us if you’re interested.

Consider having a bug hotel and making spaces under fences so hedgehogs and other wildlife can travel between gardens.  A tidy garden isn’t good for wildlife, leave a corner undisturbed for insects, butterflies and other animals to over-winter. There’s more ideas on the Wild About Gardens website – created by the RHS and the Wildlife Trusts.

Verges become wildlife havens – 
When seeded with wild flowers, verges become places where insects flourish and then all the animals that feed off these insects.  We’ll focus on the Kentchester triangle of grass and verges at the Bridge Sollars crossroads and see if they can become wildlife havens.  If you have a verge in front of your house this too can become a vital home for nectar-giving plants.

Visit wildlife rich meadows – 
Bishon Common in Bishopstone  is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and now open for all to visit thanks to the opening of a byway into the common. The lake is usually home to snipe, geese and ducks.  This Spring, we’ve seen orchids, cowslips and yellow flag irises and many more.

If you have a wild flower patch or meadow, do get in touch.  We want to build a picture of the range of wildlife habitats in the parish, and plan an Open Day so people can see for themselves what can be achieved by giving nature a helping hand.

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a huge issue like Climate Change.  But together we can all help to make a difference.

What I did in Lockdown – Set a new British rowing record

Jake Birch - British rowing record for marathon distanceSome special Lockdown news from Byford that we would like to share. Jake Birch from Byford Common has just broken the British Record for the 15-16 age group for a marathon distance on a rowing machine by rowing 42,195 metres in 2hrs 48 minutes.

In order to get fit for his record attempt Jake has spent the lockdown in daily training on his rowing machine and in his self-built gym in the back garden – an example to us all!

This is just the most recent of Jake’s rowing achievements since he became the youngest winner for Hereford in a double scull when he was only 11. Coached by his very proud dad and mum, he has won three national medals and gained a world record for the distance rowed in an hour on a dynamic rowing machine.

Earlier this year he was selected for the junior GB rowing squad which has unfortunately been put on hold due to the pandemic. In September he will be taking up a scholarship place at Shiplake College, one of the top rowing schools in the country.

What have you been doing during Lockdown? Get in touch and we’ll share your story with others in our parish.

What I did in Lockdown – Made a Roman Centurion life-size model

This is the first in a series of articles featuring what people have done during Lockdown as they’ve had more spare time on their hands than usual.

Roman Centurion by John Macklin

Roman Centurion by John MacklinIf you’ve driven through Bishopstone recently, you may have spotted a life-size model of a Roman Centurion standing by the entrance to Jolin, a house near the turn for Bishon Lane.  The work of John Macklin, this model has taken many painstaking hours to make. Here’s John’s story…

I was looking at my scrap metal pile in the yard and thought I must sort it out, when the end of an old copper water tank caught my eye. I thought it looks like a shield, I had a pair of old motor cycle forks which looked a bit like legs so the idea came to make a life sized Roman Centurion out of scrap metal. I had an old copper ball float from a cattle water drinking tank to make his head, and a load of thin metal strip recovered from when I cleared out an old industrial unit years ago.

So from these basic bits, I started to build the Centurion, welding up thin metal for his arms and legs, the knee caps were old ends of a curtain rail, the feet came from old cobbler’s trees, motorcycle forks for the hips and legs, from part of an old tow bar I made the hand, the armour was hammered out of the old copper cylinder, the skirt and leg shields were cut from an old road sign, ball bearings were used for the eyes, odd copper bits made the nose and ears.

The helmet was beyond my tin bashing skills, and I had run out of metal (my excuse). This came courtesy of eBay made by skilled tin bashers in India.

So why make a Roman Centurion?

Having been born within 200m of the site of the Roman Town of Magnis, Kenchester and attending Kenchester School. I developed an interest in Roman History maybe because we played with Roman coins and other artefacts donated to the school uncovered by ploughing the town site over many years. We as school children were taken to look at the excavations made by archaeologists when they exposed the remains of the West Gate of the Town.

Living in Bishopstone on the side of an old marching road used by Centurions between AD43-410 on their way to the border forts of Clyro and Clifford, I thought the Statue would be a nice tribute to those men.

What have you been doing during Lockdown? Get in touch and we’ll share your story with others in our parish.

Local businesses providing food boxes and frozen meals

Here is a lost of local businesses providing and delivering food boxes.  Below this is a further list of suppliers of frozen and pre-prepared meals.

If you need any help with the following:

  • Shopping
  • Urgent supplies
  • Picking up meds (DBS check needed)
  • Pet walking
  • Calling vulnerable people during this difficult time

Contact Sarah Keefe on 590352 or Anne Moore on 590616/07729 933039 (DBS checked). Leave a message if no reply.

Ogleby butchers

01432 265248


Open normal hours this week 8am – 5pm.
To cope with the high demand we have now taken on additional staff including delivery drivers.
Please phone in your orders for delivery.
The shop is open but are allowing one person In at a time. Please respect out social distancing precautions.
We have a full range of meat in stock including : family meat packs, BBQ packs, beef mince, stewing, steaks, burgers, joints, pork , steaks, joints, diced, chickens, chicken fillets, thighs, lamb, minted lamb chops, sausages, bacon, eggs, potatoes, milk, butter, cheese sliced ham and beef and even loo rolls!!
Free delivery within Hereford city limits on orders over £20 and a small charge for up to 5 mile radius.
Elgar Produce

01432 274154

Delivery only service, so this means the stall will be closed. All orders will need to come through Facebook page through messenger.

Going forward, deliveries will only be on a Monday and a Friday, just to reduce the risk.
Payments will now all be BACS, and it’ll be a doorstop delivery service, so there is no contact with anyone


01432 273300

Offering a range of boxes, ring up or check out their Facebook page.
Copper pot (Legges)

01432 357753

Offering weekly hampers ranging in price from £10-£90 with free delivery. See website
Bartonsham dairies

01432 272941

Bartonsham Farm dairies have teamed up with Total Produce to deliver a food box, you will receive all of the items in the pic (see web link).  You can order Monday – Friday 9am-4pm
Kings Acre Express

01432 273726

Can deliver provisions locally. Minimum spend £5 for delivery.  Would be glad of any volunteers willing to help deliver.
Les the veg


Fruit and veg boxes for 1-2 people or large families. £10 / £20 / £25.  Free delivery Mon-Sat, order by messaging through Facebook or call 07483219218
Bay Horse Inn

01432 273351

Offer a range of goods to be delivered, see Facebook page.  Also offering microwaveable meals and Sunday lunch delivery. See website
Pengethley Farm Shop  01989 730430 / 07735 338180 Can deliver produce (meat, bread, milk, frozen meals etc). Do regular runs to pubs etc in Ross, Hoarwithy, Whitchurch and Much Birch – if within run area, can incorporate delivery. If in addition to regular runs, probably request order to be £30 and over.
Neil Powell, butchers

Hereford: 01432 277557 /


Free Home Delivery (Herefordshire & Monmouthshire) – In light of the recent developments in regards to COVID-19, we are rolling out our free home delivery service across Herefordshire & Monmouthshire. Our delivery drivers will carry out sensible measures to ensure your delivery is done so safely. You can place by phone or email. Deliveries will be made on Wednesdays and Fridays. Minimum Order Value £20. Although our home delivery service is open to everyone, we would please like to stress, that we want to make sure that the vulnerable in our community and those who are self-isolating have priority and the opportunity to get what they need. If you would like delivery on alternative day or your spend is under £20, you can use our online next day delivery service, which is chargeable.
Oakchurch Farm Shop Call and collect for essential food items Call us with your shopping list on 01981 500 125 (option 7) or send an email to We totally understand that you may prefer not to enter the store to shop so we now offer a call and collect service for our customers. Essential foods, fruit & vegetables, meat, household goods, pet food, etc.
Just call or email us your requirements and when you arrive in our car park we’ll drop your order into your boot for you.
Morrisons food box

Please see their website for details.  Note you will need to set up an account with them.
Blue line taxi’s (delivery)

01432 343435

Frozen and pre prepared meals (local and national)

Oakhouse Foods : 0333 370 6700    Offering delivery of frozen meals, light lunch options and puddings. Supporting with dietary requirements. Also offer grocery delivery. Oakhouse offer convenient weekly deliveries across the country.   Free delivery over £30.00.
Wiltshire Farm Foods 0800 773773 Frozen meals delivered to the door – order for the full week – Contact for brochure. Free trial meals available. Special Diets available: Gluten Free, Free From, Diet Search. Specialist Nutrition: Purée Petite, Purée Classic, Purée Breakfast, Purée Shaped Sandwiches, Purée Desserts, Soft Meals.
Parsley Box : 0800 612 7225 Dishes that are quick and easy to heat up in a microwave.  They are easily stored in a cupboard without taking up space in a fridge or freezer: Meals start from £2.99, Free next day delivery. On all orders over £19.00
Chef on Board Ltd  01981 250494


Provide ready meals that have all the flavour, quality and comfort of home-cooked food. The minimum order value is £40 (excluding delivery). Delivery charges are as follows:
• £8.95 for orders £40-£59.99
• £7.50 for orders £60-£84.99
• Free of charge for all orders over £85 – If your delivery address is within Herefordshire, may be able to deliver direct to you. Just call with your order to arrange a convenient delivery time (you will need to be in). Payment is by cash or cheque on delivery. Dispatched frozen and in insulated packaging; the meals should be transferred back to a freezer as soon as possible following delivery.
   Meals on Wheels Hereford : Tel: 07929080991 or 07887483521 The Meals on Wheels service delivers hot meals to you at home Monday to Friday. There is a three week rolling menu, and amendments can be made to suit dietary requirements, and meals can be transferred onto a plate if required.  Main Meals cost £4.25 and puddings are £2.45. Please call to request a menu or to order a delivery.
Herefordshire Butchers: 01432 272357 Hereford Butchers provide pre-prepared meals that can be delivered to you at home. There is no set menu, they are happy to take requests for the meals you like to eat, make them up using fresh ingredients and then deliver them to your door. Delivery is free for orders over £20.00. Further information can be obtained by contacting Hereford Butchers direct. Approx £4-£5 per meal
Herefordshire Meats 01432 263264


Freshly prepared meals delivered to your door. Proud to prepare and cook meals every day in purpose-built kitchen, using only the freshest ingredients. Will deliver anywhere in Herefordshire. Please see leaflet or look at website to see the menu and pricing.