Film Night, 1st December – The Greatest Showman

Our final film for 2018 is The Greatest Showman, a musical film starring Hugh Jackman which celebrates the birth of show business through the story of PT Barnum and his famous circus. He was a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The film stars Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron.  Admission is £5 (including coffee and biscuits) and the films starts at 7.15 pm, allwelcome.

Let’s rescue the Black Poplar from extinction

Could you find a home for a black poplar tree (or 2 or 3)?

According to the Forestry Commission the black poplar is the most endangered native timber tree in Britain. It has suffered severe declines and it is estimated that only 8,000 now exist in the UK, with only 400 being female. Many of our native black poplars are getting old and without a concerted effort to protect existing trees, to plant saplings and to restore habitats to enable natural reproduction, black poplars could soon become extinct in the UK.

We have been offered some black poplar truncheons for our parish. These truncheons are basically large cuttings approximately 2m long with the bottom third going in the ground. These truncheons are taken from trees which have been identified as on the Herefordshire list of true Native Black Poplars. (Ideally cuttings should be taken from local trees to preserve any local genetics.)

They grow best in boggy conditions, alongside ditches or on floodplains – an old name for this species is ‘Water Poplar’. A wet place with a good depth of soil is ideal; a dry place will likely result in a failed tree. They are not a woodland species and will not tolerate shade or being overgrown by other trees. Initially they also need to be in an area fenced off from livestock

Historically black poplar played a significant role in local communities and the wood was often used commercially as the tree is fast growing and has many desirable properties.

It can be coppiced or pollarded to provide a crop of wood for bean sticks, thatching spars, scaffolding poles and fruit baskets. Young shoots (which do not split easily) were used in Victorian times as clothes pegs. The wood is relatively fire resistant and was often used for flooring when paraffin lamps were still in use. It is naturally springy and was used to make cart wheels, wagon bottoms and clogs. The branches of mature trees grow in a natural curve such that the timber could be used to make the arched supports of timber framed buildings.

Later, it was discovered that the wood absorbed paraffin so it was used to make matches.  The Black poplar tree is famously depicted in John Constable’s painting ‘The Hay Wain’.

The tree is also valuable for wildlife and has over 100 specialist insects associated with it. Moth species include the hornet moth, wood leopard moth and poplar hawk moth. The catkins provide an early source of pollen and nectar for bees and the seeds are enjoyed by finches. The rare migrant butterflies the large tortoiseshell and the Camberwell beauty rely upon poplar and elm species for their food plants. A decline in both of these tree species has resulted in these butterflies becoming extinct in the UK.

If you think you have a place for one or more black poplars please let me know.  The truncheons are free and we will help you to plant them or plant them for you. There is no obligation to do anything more.

Cllr Lewis Goldwater, Bishopstone Group Tree Warden

Byford Bazaar, 24th November 10am – 2pm

Byford is holding a bazaar on Saturday 24th November 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm at the Bridge Sollars Community Centre in St Andrew’s Church.

Stalls to include:

  • Collectables: China, Glass, Pictures etc.
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Produce & Cakes & Delicious Xmas Goodies
  • Other Household Items

Refreshments will be available and donations go to St John The Baptist Church, Byford

Come and learn to identify Winter Trees, 1st December

As part of National Tree Week, Lewis Goldwater who is Tree Warden for the Bishopstone Group parish will be running an all day session on “Winter Tree Identification”.  This is being held at New Bridge Community Centre on Saturday 1st December 2018.

Starting at 10am and running until 4pm, there’ll be an introduction to the techniques and skills required for identifying tree species (winter conifers and broadleaved). The indoor class in the morning is followed by an afternoon field visit presented by Lewis Goldwater of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.

£5 for non-Tree Wardens.  Places will be limited so please contact or 07777 661252 to book a place or for more info.

Bring your own packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided through the day.

Film nights – 6th October, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Film Nights at Bridge Sollars Community Centre returns this Autumn with the following films:

  • 6th October :- The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
  • 3rd November :- Finding your Feet
  • 1st December:- The Greatest Showman

Doors open at 7.00pm and film starts 7.15pm. £5 to include draw and light refreshments. We look forward to seeing you then.

Stop that thief!

Burglary of sheds and outbuilding is still one of the main concerns amongst the rural community. Although the incidents remain low, it is still a major worry by people living in remote locations.

West Mercia’s priority is to keep you and your property safe from harm and theft, we are therefore providing advice on how the community can help themselves from becoming victims of crime. West Mercia Police have recently introduced a scheme called “Stop That Thief” aimed at helping businesses and farms from becoming victims of crime.

Working in partnership with the National Farmers Union (NFU) through the local Safer Neighbourhood teams can add another layer of security to your home, farm or other business where vulnerabilities are identified during a series of specific assessments. These start with a visit from your local officer and if appropriate a referral to Stop That Thief! specialist who will carry out a survey to look at ways to help protect your property. This will be fully discussed with you to make sure it fulfils your requirements.

The security measures are installed by a trained technician working on behalf of the NFU, for a trial period of up to three weeks. This compliments the advice provided during a visit by your local officer on crime reduction measures including security marking and property listing. All visits and advice are offered free and without obligation. Costs for the fitting of any equipment, if agreed, will be made clear during the specialist survey.

Read the security tips and who to contact for more information here.

Road Closures – August 2018


A438 – Oakchurch to Portway

(Challenge Fund)

Monday, 13 August 2018 to (and including) Thursday, 16 August 2018

Road closed 20.00 hours to 06.00 hours daily – NIGHT Works

A438 – Portway Inn

(Challenge Fund)

Monday, 6 August 2018 to (and including) Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Road closed 09.30 hours to 17.00 hours daily

A438 – B4230 Junction to SD Joint Byford

(Challenge Fund)

Thursday, 9 August 2018 to (and including) Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Road closed 09.30 hours to 17.00 hours daily

No weekend work

A4103 – Roman Road, Hereford

Monday, 30 July 2018 to (and including) Thursday, 2 August 2018

Road closed 09.00 hours to 17.00 hours daily

U80205 – Stonebow Road, Hereford

Friday, 3 August 2018

Road closed 20.00 hours to 06.00 hours (on Saturday, 4 August 2018)

A4103 – Aylestone Hill Roundabout to Bromyard Turn

(Challenge Fund)

Monday, 6 August 2018 to (and including) Friday, 10 August 2018

Road closed 20.00 hours to 06.00 hours daily – NIGHT Works

A4103 – Withington to Bartestree right turn lane

(Challenge Fund)

Monday, 13 August 2018 to (and including) Thursday, 16 August 2018

Road closed 09.30 hours to 17.00 hours daily

A465 – Aylestone Hill

(Challenge Fund)

Thursday, 16 August 2018 and Friday, 17 August 2018

Road closed 09.30 hours to 17.00 hours daily

Comments please as NDP enters Regulation 16 review

You may well have already provided your input to the Bishopstone Group Neighbourhood Development Plan but as the plan enters its final phase with a 6 week Regulation 16 consultation period, we urge you to respond. No matter whether you want to make detailed comments about a particular policy or simply register your general agreement with the NDP, your comments are important.

Read the NDP Regulation 16 documentation and find out how to respond. Following this consultation the Plan can be approved to proceed to examination and referendum.


Overview of the Challenges in fixing potholes in Herefordshire

At the Annual Parish meeting on May 10th, Paul Norris, Balfour Beatty Locality Steward, talked about the challenges in fixing potholes in Herefordshire following the exceptional winter.  Here is the summary:

  • We are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of defects (potholes) with a significant peak in demand
  • The increased number of potholes are as a result of the severe winter weather with snow, water and cold nights exacerbating the problem
  • Teams are currently focussed on network recovery to stabilise the network following the winter weather
  • We are increasing resource to tackle the problem and plan to schedule a proactive programme of maintenance to be delivered over the Spring/ Summer
  • Due to the volume of defects we are focussing on carrying out make safe repairs to stabilise the network and ensure network safety.

Did you know?

  • There were over 5 times the number of category 1&2 defects in March in comparison with 2017
  • There were 472 Category 1 defects in March in comparison with 197 in March 2017
  • Year to date 13,397 defects have been completed in comparison with 3,144 this time last year

Why are there so many potholes on the network?
Potholes are formed as a result of water on the network and together with the weather experienced over the winter, with high levels of snow and cold nights this has had a significant detrimental impact on the roads, with potholes forming very quickly. As a result we are currently experiencing almost double the number of defects (potholes) in comparison to this time last year. This is a national problem and has led to a recent government announcement of an additional funding to tackle the problem – In Herefordshire we have be awarded £1.25m.

Why is it not possible to fix all defects at the same time in one area?
Due to the high number of defects and potholes currently on the roads our teams are having to prioritise defects based on their severity and defect expiry date to keep the public safe. Timescales for fixing potholes will be dependent on their risk to the travelling public which considers a number of aspects from the use of the road to the location of the pothole in the road. Currently with high numbers of emergency defects teams have to work reactively to prioritise these to ensure works are completed within the time we have as stated in the Highways Maintenance Plan. Whilst we endeavour to batch defects for completion in one location, when defect levels are high this may not
always be possible.

What are you doing to tackle the problem?
In response to the increased number of potholes on the network we are increasing our resource levels and creating more operational pothole gangs. We also have a jetpatcher machine operating on the network which is able to fix larger volumes of potholes and this will be focussed on the C &U road network. We are currently in the process of developing a county wide jetpatcher programme to proactively tackle potholes through find and fix. This will programme will be delivered between May and September.

Why do you not carry out a patch repair for all defects?
A patch repair is not always the right repair, particularly where a road is in poor condition, as it creates more joints for failure. Due to the high number of defects on the network we are currently having to carry out make safe repairs. As the network recovers we plan to carry out more patch repairs and in conjunction with this a larger patching programme will be scheduled to tackle some of the worst areas.

Here’s the Q&A of questions raised at the April/May round of Members and Parish briefings held by Balfour Beatty.