Buriton fungi walk

An event to help identify species – starting from the village pond

Life on Earth would not exist without fungi!  Without the recycling activities of fungi, the world’s ecosystems would soon run out of nutrients. Plants would not be able to grow and our food would become depleted.

Led by HCC’s Shona Jenkins, this event is to help people identify species of fungi. In previous years a wide range of weird and wonderful ones have been found, highlighting the importance of the countryside around Buriton. 

Rakes and Cakes

Another successful ‘Community Hay-Day’

Over twenty villagers took part in the popular ‘Community Hay-Day’ on Saturday 2 September, bringing rakes and wheelbarrows to improve conditions for wildflowers on the village recreation ground.

Help was also provided this year by Bee King from Hampshire County Council’s team of experts and by the South Downs National Park Authority who lent a number of traditional-style wooden hay rakes (used for centuries for hay and straw turning) which were game changing! 

Film crew visits the village

Help for pollinators featured in county-wide project

Buriton was selected as one of Hampshire’s Pilot Parishes in 2020, to explore low cost actions to improve conditions for pollinators and to increase public awareness about the issues confronting them and impacts on us all.

A series of films is now being produced by the County Council to highlight its Nature Recovery priorities, restoring habitats, protecting wildlife and combating climate change through collective action. 

Work in Buriton is set to feature in a special film about the importance of pollinators.

Bats – unsung stars of the night

Guided walk reveals mysterious creatures

Jake Barnes, South Downs National Park’s Assistant Ranger for the Western Downs, led a fascinating guided walk around Buriton’s Chalk Pits Nature Reserve on the evening of 10th August, providing an opportunity for villagers to see and hear bats in their natural environment. 

Jake explained how bats play a key role in local ecosystems and summarised the main species of bats that are likely to be found in the parish.

Buriton’s Hay-Day event

Please join in … 

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.

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Garden trail shows help for wildlife

A wide range of ideas – something for everyone

Dozens of people followed the Open Gardens & Re-naturing Trail on 16 July and saw how even the smallest of spaces can help cater for wildlife.

The wide variety of gardens in Greenway Lane, Heatherfield and Bones Lane were all providing food and homes for birds, bugs, beetles, butterflies, hedgehogs and water creatures.

And the public open spaces that were featured on the trail also support a diversity of species by providing food, shelter and places to breed.   

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Surveys begin to reveal changes on the Recreation Ground

Positive progress to help nature

The long grass margins around the edges of the Recreation Ground have been increasingly admired in recent months as swathes of Yellow Rattle have been flowering and helping to attract more butterflies and insects.

And some sample areas were studied on 10 July to record the plants that are growing there – so that improvements over time can be noted. Initial surveys had been undertaken a year earlier and the same locations were revisited.

The most notable change was a reduction in some of the vigorous grasses which can prevent many wildflowers from growing.

Fascinating ‘Swift Pint’ walk

Amazing stories about the lives of these beautiful birds

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 and the decline has been noticeable in Buriton recently.

Footpath improved with local help

With benefits for wildlife, too

A group of villagers joined with volunteers from the South Downs National Park and Hampshire County Council on 4 July to remove dense vegetation along the long-distance Hangers Way path where it approaches the village along the Links.

The valley has been identified as a real opportunity for wildlife and a special “pollinator-friendly” cut took place, creating glades to help a range of sensitive creatures.

The expert volunteers did most of the hard work with their machine tools but villagers lent a hand to create some of the new glades and to rake away the cuttings.

Achievements on the Recreation Ground

National Park Trust pleased with progress

One year after being chosen for a special ‘Bee Lines’ project by the South Downs National Park Trust, an update from the Parish Council has been well received.

New wildlife habitats are being created around the edges of the Recreation Ground where actions in the twelve months have included: getting soil samples analysed; making a record of current plant species; cutting the long grass margins, followed by the second annual ‘Community Hay-Day’; getting a professional cut, collect and scarification undertaken; and sowing Yellow Rattle seeds.