Introducing native deer into The Bisley & Pirbright Ranges

This article by James Adler and Rosie Rowe, while not new, provides the background to the introduction of Red Deer into the Bisley and Pirbright Ranges. James is a leading manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust, who has kindly allowed me to republish the article.

Here’s my photo of the deer munching the vegetation in the Ranges. The article appears after the photo.

Five of my babies in fine fettle

Cacti, naturally, have enjoyed the recent hot weather. Our small collection, well mine really as it’s one of my hobbies, spent the time in the hot weather outside on our patio table.

I’ve pruned, preened, and generally titivated a number of them, and brought them inside to sit on our dining room window sill. Here they are collected together for a group photo.

I should tell you I’m no cacti expert. I’m not good at watering them, which I suppose is not too harmful for them. I’ve had a few failures, and am quite brutal with them, if they don’t respond to my somewhat neglectful treatment, out they go.

Cacti varieties I’m happy to recommend are Haworthia – in all their varieties – and Echinocactus grusonii. In the photo [click on image to expand] from left to right they are: Euphorbia globosa, Echinocacti grusonii, Haworthia reinwardtii, Pilosocereus pachycladus, and another Echinocacti grusonii.


Our climbing hydrangea is a success among some losses

The formal name of climbing hydrangea is Pileostegia viburnoides. The ‘viburnoides‘ referring to the plant being viburnum like, although a viburnum is a different family. Plant names are odd, don’t you think.

Anyway, we’ve had the plant growing against a wall, and it’s self clinging, which is handy. It’s a hardy plant, not suffering the vagaries of our weather. This year the cluster of flower panicles are particularly extensive, as you can see in my photos, taken yesterday.  We’ve not watered it, though we’ve lost some plants due to my lack of watering. Its roots sit beneath our patio, so perhaps that’s helped. I count our climbing hydrangea as a success. It’s a vigourous climber, and needs regular pruning. Otherwise, it’s to be recommended. Oh, one final point, the bees and flying insect love it.

Frimley Lodge Park earns its 18th Green Flag Award

Surrey Heath borough Council announce that,

Frimley Lodge Park has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the best in the country – for the 18th year running!

The 24-hectare park is among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that have received a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space. This international award is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Owned and maintained by Surrey Heath Borough Council, Frimley Lodge Park attracts a large number of visitors with its beautiful open spaces, picnic areas, pitch and putt course, children’s playgrounds; as well as a miniature railway and barbecue and private hire areas. Other attractions include a 3G all-weather football pitch, traditional football and cricket pitches, and a café.

The Mayor of Surrey Heath Cllr Dan Adams attended the unveiling of the flag at the Frimley Lodge Miniature Railway in the park, along with SHBC Executive Head of Business Daniel Harrison, and other members of the Business and Greenspace teams.

Cllr Adams said: “It’s a very special achievement for Frimley Lodge Park to receive its 18th consecutive Green Flag Award. Good quality green spaces are very important to residents and visitors, and this award is recognition for the hard work and dedication that goes into maintaining Frimley Lodge Park to such a high standard. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “It has been a record-breaking year for Green Flag Awards, and it’s fantastic to see such a diverse range of locations have been recognised. “We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to experience, and encourage the public to head outdoors, explore their local area and find even more unexpected green spaces they can enjoy.”

Happy to avoid the plip-plops

A more English turn in the summer weather, warm, scudding clouds, and a light breeze enticed me to walk from Lightwater to Deepcut, to where my dear wife was volunteering in the Royal Logistic Corps Museum.

On my walk I was delighted to see the Belted Galloway cattle munching away. Had to be careful to avoid their plip-plops in the path.

Much needed, National Trust plans to improve Runnymede & Ankerwycke

The unloved state of the National Trusts [NT] Runnymede paths and memorials was the subject of a complaining article by me – Comparing standard of stewardship between National Trust and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Certainly unconnected with my words, the NT announce plans to transform the Magna Carta site at Runnymede. As almost always with these sort of announcements talking about plans to improve something, there’s no project start date, or information about specific actions.

Not wanting to be churlish, I welcome the news, but wish they’d begin work now, rather than wait to get all the funds.

More hyping of celestial events, this time the Perseid meteor shower

Not content with the Daily Telegraph informing me of the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ sight of a blood moon, which of course was completely obscured by cloud, now The Times is at it, hyping a celestial event.

In today’s online edition The Times informs me that,

A good meteor shower is a wonderful thing, and this August brings us near perfect conditions for observing one of the most reliable, the Perseids.

Please don’t think I’m a grump. It just so happens that this ‘wonderful thing’ has escaped me. The times I’ve been reminded to watch them, it’s been overcast. On a rare clear night, I spent an hour or more from 11.0 pm one evening, in which I saw precisely two meteors.