Month: February 2013

Hodnet to Marchamley Path – Work Begins

Thanks to the kind co-operation of Mr J Powell, at last weeks meeting of the Parish Council it proved possible to authorise the necessary local agreement to help progress this long mooted Permissive Path project. As a  result Shropshire Council were today (26th Feb) able to actually start work on its construction.
The potential usefulness of the project was confirmed in a residents questionnaire issued late in 2011. The main aim is to provide a safer walking link, behind the field hedge, over a distance of approx 400 metres where there is currently no roadside pavement.
The route can be viewed on this plan.
Depending upon what is required, future maintenance will be undertaken by either Shropshire Council, Hodnet Parish Council or the Hodnet Footpath Group. As regards the latter, it is hoped that some Marchamley residents with an interest in the future of this path will contact the Footpath Group and offer their assistance.
An official opening date will be announced shortly, but in the meantime please do not attempt to enter the works.

Shropshire Potato Day 2013

A local company, Jalving Potatoes UK Ltd, which is based in Great Bolas is organising Shropshire’s first Potato Day on Sunday 3rd March. The event, which is to held at Harper Adams University, is aimed at providing real choice from a great selection of seed potatoes and is hoping to attract dedicated gardeners, allotment growers and potato enthusiasts.

Following the example set by the very successful Hampshire Potato Day this event will feature over 100 different varieties of seed potatoes. These will be available in small 2.5kg bags and as single tubers, perfect for trying various varieties. Free advice will be available from an RHS Gold Medal winning grower of over 380 varieties.
Find out more on the Shropshire Potato Day website.
General access to the event is from 12 noon-3pm, however early bird pre-registered access is available from 10am. There will be a £1 charge on the door, which covers the cost of the facilities but also includes a free catalogue. Early bird registration is available through the website.
farmers market, with over 60 stalls, will also be taking place at Harper Adams on the day. It is hoped that the Potato Day area will include other vegetables such as onion sets, peas, beans, etc. but this has to be confirmed. There is plenty of  parking available and a cafe on site.

Photographs of yesteryear

For those who enjoyed our recently added Hodnet – A Miscellany of Memories section, we have just created another new section in our Local History section. We now have two pages of nostalgic photographs from Hodnet and Wollerton. Here are some of  properties you may not readily recognise.

Drayton Road, Hodnet
Drayton Road, Hodnet
Milestone Cottages, Shrewsbury Street, Hodnet Police House, Drayton Road Find out more about these and other photographs in our new section.

Trugg and Barrow’s Garden Diary February 2013

“The more it snows tiddely-pom

the more it goes tiddely-pom

the more it goes tiddely-pom on snowing

and nobody knows tiddely-pom

how cold my toes tiddely-pom

how cold my toes are growing.” (A.A. Milne)

For a gardener, January is often the bleakest month of the year, and this was certainly true this year. Although the month started off mild, the weather soon turned cold, then snowy. Many people consider it a month when the garden should be avoided, and this year there was little choice. In the garden here we have spent much of the month painting garden benches indoors. A necessary but not very exciting job.
Even though the garden over much of the last month has been an uninviting place, there is a fascinating and complex process of renewal going on out there. Micro-organisms, worms and all kinds of other minibeasts are converting fallen leaves, manure and compost into nutrients that the coming year’s crops and other plants will use to make leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, roots, bark and wood etc. As the earthworms munch, they tunnel along, aerating the soil, an essential process for healthy plants. So although you may not be in the garden yourself, there is plenty of activity going on out there.
Lost time in the garden in January means that there are still fallen leaves and the cutting back of herbaceous plants to do. Much of February will be taken up catching up on these kind of routine maintenance jobs.

A few things to do in winter.

Winter never seems to really be winter these days (despite recent climatic evidence) but a mish-mash of autumn and spring. Late January and February can offer some of the most subtle and delightful garden pleasures.
There are some local gardens where some of winter’s treasures are on view. Via the Shropshire pages of the Plant Heritage website can be found the national collection of Chimonanthus or “Winter Sweet” belonging to Fr David Maxfield. This is the only national collection of Chimonanthus and is set in 1\3 of an acre. Opening is by appointment and the charge is a donation to Plant Heritage.
Also in Shropshire there is a national collection of Sarcococca or ‘Christmas Box’ near Whitchurch in the grounds of Gredington, the property of the Rt Hon The Lord Kenyon. The collection contains 14 taxa and is arranged, for comparison, in a walled garden. Again, opening is by appointment and admission costs £4.
On February 24th this year the garden of Mrs Margaret Owen MBE will be open at ‘The Patch’, Acton Pigott, Nr. Acton Burnell Shrewsbury SY5 7PH. The garden will feature Snowdrops, Hellebores and much more and is open in aid of the Shrewsbury & District Multiple Sclerosis Society from 11am – 3pm at £3 per person.
I hope you can take the opportunity to treat yourself this winter!
In the kitchen garden.
Over the next month in the kitchen garden I will really have to get stuck into preparing the ground ready for this year’s growing season. Experience has shown me that unless you are on top of the weeding, digging and mulching before the growing season gets going then you will be chasing the jobs for the whole season to come. As a result, the time spent on the growing side of things will suffer and you won’t get as much out of the ground as you could have done.
Sowing has already begun in a modest way with cabbages and cauliflowers, as well as sweet peas all germinating on the propagation bench. During February I will be sowing lettuce, carrots, broad beans, beetroot and peas directly into the ground. I will also be planting out onion sets. Of course all this depends on the weather.
Now is the time to get your seed potatoes. First and second earlies benefit from chitting as it encourages quick maturity which means that crops can be lifted sooner: Place the tubers in a cool, frost free, bright, well ventilated and dry place. After 2-3 weeks shoots should have developed. Now is the time to plant.
Please note: images have been removed from this pages because some of them may have been used without permission.

New SAMDev Consultation Announced

With the recent planning applications for large-scale residential developments some local residents have had to learn a new vocabulary which includes acronyms like SAMDev. Standing for Site Allocations and Management of Development the SAMDev Plan is being developed to put in place management policies for County Council Planning Department when assessing new developments.
Today (1 Feb. 2013) the Council has announced an 8 week public consultation which will end on 28 March. The consultation is being carried out in regard to a) 16 draft Development Management policies and b) examples of potential settlement strategies for the market towns and key centres and Community Hubs and Community Clusters.
It should be noted that it does not contain any information relating to any specific site allocations for future development. It therefore does not have any direct relevance to any particular site in the Hodnet area, but will in time become the standard by which any applications are dealt with.
Local residents who wish to participate in the consultation can find the relevant documentation and other relevant information on the Planning Policy section of the council’s website here: Site Allocations and Management of Development (SAMDev) Plan consultation.
This page explains:

What will the draft Development Management Policies be used for?
When adopted these policies will sit alongside the 20 policies in the Core Strategy and will replace the remaining 117 ‘saved’ policies from the previous Local and Structure Plans leading to a radically simplified planning policy framework against which planning applications will be judged.

Later it adds:

The key purpose of the SAMDev Plan is to:

  • Identify sustainable growth targets for Shropshire’s market towns
  • Identify Community Hubs and Community Clusters in the rural area where some further development will happen
  • Identify appropriate sites for future housing and employment development in market towns, community hubs and community clusters
  • Provide additional Development Management policies which can be used in the consideration of planning applications

Comments can be submitted to the Council via an on-line survey, email or post. If anyone wishes to see hard copies of the consultation documents they are available for viewing at six locations across Shropshire, the nearest being Shirehall and Guildhall in Shrewsbury or Edinburgh House in Wem during normal office hours.