Covid-19 Vaccination – Weobley & Staunton surgery patients

If you’re a patient of the Weobley & Staunton doctors’ surgery.  then providing your mobile number will make it easier for the surgery to contact you when the next batch of vaccines are available.

The surgery find it time-consuming to contact patients to invite them for a vaccination – an individual member of staff can only phone up and book about 10-15 patients an hour. A speedy alternative is to send text messages and  include a link to the booking website.

To consent to this service, send an e-mail to Weobley.Reception@nhs.net with your mobile number.

For more information about the Covid vaccination please see the Government website:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Grant enables parish to improve drainage of storm water

Ditch in Bishopstone, HerefordshireDuring 2020, the parish council secured a £7140 grant from Herefordshire Council under the Drainage Grant Scheme and this enabled us to carry out vital work to improve drainage across the parish.

This work involved the Parish Lengthsman, DC Gardening Services, hiring of a digger to dig out many ditches across the parish and running alongside roads in the 5 villages with reinstatement of grippers as required.

Then with the assistance of  Mayglothling Waste Ltd, storm drains were jetted ensuring water runs clear from ditch to ditch. Debris sucked out of inspection pits as required. The work uncovered several “lost” drains which have become hidden over the years and subsequently blocked up.

Drainage in Bishopstone, HerefordshireFull details of the work carried out across the parish and of any issues uncovered can be found in this report by DC Gardening Services.

If you notice any issues with the drains, please report them to the parish council via the form on the website.

Common Scams – how to stay safe

This special update from Herefordshire Hub at West Mercia Police looks at how to avoid common scams – online, on the phone and at the door.

A police officer will never call you and ask you to go to your bank and withdraw money.
Fraudsters pretending to police officers are calling on the phone to get you to give them money.

Don’t. Hang up, wait 10 minutes and call 101 and report it. Banks, HMRC and police will never phone you and ask you to hand over cash and will never come to the house to collect it.

If someone comes to your door pretending to be a police officer remember that they always carry a warrant card. Ask them for it. Genuine callers will understand. Find out more…

West Mercia Police November 2020 newsletter

Hereford Food Bank Christmas appeal

Supporting the Hereford Food Bank can really make a difference to providing relief from poverty in our county. The Covid-19 virus has made is especially hard for some families this year so the Christmas 2020 appeal will be providing a number of families with Christmas Hampers.

Hereford Food Bank
Recent donation from Oakwrights and Taylor Lane Timber Frame Limited

The Hereford Food Bank welcomes all gifts of food or donations of money. Currently it is short of tinned meat, rice (tinned and dry), tinned custard, tinned spaghetti, toothpaste (adult) and men’s toiletries (they currently have plenty of baked beans, pasta, tomatoes and soup).

There are donation points in nearly all the supermarkets in Hereford: Co-op, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Lidl, Asda and Tesco at Bewell St. and Belmont.

Ned Potter Ltd (Ned is a Byford resident) is sponsoring the food bank for the year ahead and is donating £25 per vehicle sold. Already, in October, Ned has donated £375.

For the Christmas Hampers, if you would like to help by donating any of the items shown below, it would be greatly appreciated. Or if you would prefer to make a donation towards the cost of a hamper, please visit the Hereford Food Bank facebook page and click on the blue Donate button.

Please bring any donations to us by  Monday 14th December. Thank you!

Hereford Food Bank Christmas Appeal

 

 

Maintenance tasks carried out by the Lengthsman in the Parish

The Parish Council employ a Lengthsman to maintain local roads and footpaths, paid for by you from the Parish’s precept. Here is a quick look at the work carried out by the Lengthsman this year so you can see how your money is being spent:

Kissing Gate near Kentchester Turn

  • In the spring and summer months, strimming vegetation to improve visibility at junctions and cutting back vegetation from around road signs and bridges on the U/C roads  (April, May, July and September)
  • Digging out of grippers and clearing of drains through Bishopstone towards Kenchester. Work carried out in April.
  • Installing a new kissing gate to replace the gate which sadly was stolen on KT9 in Kenchester (this comes off the layby on the bad bend just before the road joins the A438 at Kenchester Turn, about 300m past the Credenhill turn heading towards Hereford.)
  • Clearing over-grown vegetation from a footpath in Byford Common that goes between two houses by the Common and across an orchard on to the A438, work carried out in May.
  • Clearing the footpath from the side of Bridge Sollars bridge down to the river, we like to keep this area clear and also that under the bridge as it is the only area in our parish where the public can launch a boat/canoe into the Wye without trespassing on private ground. Work carried out in May.
  • Mow the long footpath leading out of Bishopstone by Wiston House, down the field towards the pond as this is a popular dog walking route. Work carried out in May.
  • Clearing the footpath by Greentrees on Bishon Common up to the bridge crossing making it easier for people to visit the SSSI on the Common. Work  carried out in June. Note: the public byway runs to the middle of the Common only.
  • Installing of 2 dog signs onto the Bridleway from Byford Village just past the Church to join BY22 leading to Monnington part of the Wye Valley Walk. Work carried out in July.
  • Replacing 2 wooden gate posts that had become rotten at ground level, on Bunshill Lane and nearby. Work carried out in September.

If you would like to report any issues with the U/C roads or footpaths in the parish, please contact the Parish Clerk through this Contact form.

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 https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/beefriendly-plants-every-season and https://www.rhs.org.uk/garden-inspiration/seasonal/bee-friendly-winter-plants

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.