Nature

Making hay while the sun shone

Another successful ‘Community Hay-Day’

Villagers and volunteers from elsewhere joined a popular ‘Community Hay-Day’ on Sunday 4th September, bringing rakes and wheelbarrows to improve conditions for wildflowers on the village recreation ground.

For the last couple of years, swathes of grass around the edges have been allowed to grow long – with appreciation from villagers and wildlife.

But, as experts have advised, the grass has to be cut at least once a year or else it forms a thick thatch and wildflowers can’t survive.

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Trees are having a hard time …

… and need your help

Emily Roberts, Project Manager for a major new initiative from Hampshire County Council, attended the Buriton Village Show and shared some stark statistics.

Although there is nearly 20% of woodland cover in Hampshire, climate change and increases in tree diseases are having a serious impact.

Ash die back is expected to wipe out 80% of the UK’s Ash trees over the next 20 years and other diseases are affecting oaks, elms, horse chestnuts and other species.

Join in the popular Hay-Day

Sunday 4th September (10am to noon on the Recreation Ground).

Lots of people like the long grass around the edges of the Recreation Ground which is helping wildflowers and insects.

But this has to be cut at least once a year or else the grass forms a thick thatch and wildflowers can’t survive.

And then all the cuttings have to be removed to reduce soil fertility which is the key to helping more wildflowers in the future.

The mowing will take place fairly soon and then it’s hoped that lots of parishioners will join a ‘Community Hay-Day’ by bringing rakes and wheelbarrows on Sunday 4th September – from 10am.

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Swifts are declining rapidly – but Buriton can help!

Get a nesting box fitted for only £35

Swifts are the UK’s fastest birds and their exciting, aerobatic, screaching flights over Buriton is always a sign that summer has arrived.

But swifts are in trouble as changes are made to buildings which block up or remove their nest sites: new soffits, re-roofing, extra insulation etc.

The swift population has halved in the last 20 years!

Surveys in the long grass Recreation Ground margins

Next steps on the community’s Pollinator Project

There is lots of appreciation for the long grass margins around the edges of the Recreation Ground which will be helping wildflowers and insects.

But it’s important to know what is already there, so that improvements over the years ahead can be noted.

Armed with advice and assistance from Hampshire County Council’s Countryside Team and from experts at the conservation charity PlantLife a group of volunteers spent a few hours studying some sample areas in July and recording the results.

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Buriton chosen for ‘Re-Naturing’ project

Successful bid to National Park to help create new wildlife habitats

It is increasingly being realised that nature is under pressure and needs help.

The South Downs National Park Authority has, therefore, commenced a big new project to identify potential land that could contribute to nature recovery.

Currently, just 25% of land in the National Park is managed for nature. The aim is to increase that to 33% by 2030 through an innovative #ReNature Campaign

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Buriton chosen for ‘Bee Lines’ project

Successful bid to National Park can help Pollinators

Bees, butterflies, beetles and other bugs play vital roles by pollinating plants that bring us so many everyday things – from fruit and vegetables, to raw materials, essential oils and also fibres for making clothes.

But, in recent years, these species have been suffering. Many are in decline and need our help more than ever.

The Parish Council has already started working with Hampshire County Council as one of six ‘pilot’ places in the county, trying to improve conditions for pollinators – and it’s been great to see that many people are taking part.

Special cut for wild strips on the recreation ground

‘Cut & collect’ mowing should help nature …

The Parish Council arranged a special ‘cut and collect’ mowing of the wild strips around the edges of the Recreation Ground on 5th April.

Taking all the cuttings away (rather than leaving them on the ground) should bring a number of benefits for nature and wildlife: it should reduce the build-up of a thatch of cut and fallen grass, keep nutrient levels low and ensure plenty of bare ground for plants to regenerate from seed.

Studies have shown this to be a major factor in maintaining biodiversity. 

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Helping nature help us

Reports and studies have produced alarming news about the state of nature – with worrying implications for food, water, clean air and more: upon which we all depend.

Britain is becoming one of the most nature-depleted countries in the whole world – and Government reports show a loss of over half of bees, butterflies and moths over the last 50 years.

Buriton has been selected as one of only six parishes in Hampshire to help improve conditions for pollinators – and it is hoped that lots of people will want to take part.