Posts Tagged ‘Bishop’s Meadow’

Afternoon in Farnham

July 15, 2017

Another of those strange days when starts off cool then turns very warm.

No soup in Gail’s, though maybe good fortune, as carrot and ginger. Once again, a sign on the counter saying soup when no soup.

As always, Gail’s empty.

I walk by Barista Lounge, it too appears to be empty. Yet again different staff. I look at the food, probably been there all day. The soup has been the same now for many weeks. I do not even bother to ask. I walk out.

Cappuccino and flapjack in Krema. The only coffee shop in Farnham worth knowing about.

A walk around Bishop’s Meadow and Manor Field. The hay has not yet been cut. I notice far end of Bishop’s Meadow has been fenced off. Maybe when the have cut the grass they will graze animals. Excellent if they do.  What is strange, the fencing is not attached to the posts. Maybe something they will do later.

On way to Waitrose, I look in Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant, query the menu. I do this as from past experience, what it says may not be what they have.

In Waitrose, Union Hand-Roasted appears to be the only coffee worth having, the only coffee with a  roast date.

I return from Waitrose, told to sit outside, as two parties of drunk women inside. Why not tell me when I inquired earlier, as I would not have bothered to return?

Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant is always empty when I walk by. There is a very good reason for this, the food is awful and expensive.  But the menu is enticing.

I ask for lamb burger and sweet potato chips. It looks disgusting when served, it is disgusting. The lamb not cooked.

Whilst I was sat outside, a couple turned up. I sad they would not be able to sit inside. They walked off.

Three people turned up as I was eating. Their food arrived as I was leaving. I warned them it was not good, and seeing two had the lamb burger, I advised check as it was probably not cooked. They cut into it, from the look of disgust I guess not cooked.

I recommended complain. I would have complained but no time, I would have missed the bus.

Afternoon in Farnham

July 19, 2014
River Wey flowing through Gostrey Meadow

River Wey flowing through Gostrey Meadow

A pleasant riverside walk along the River Wey, then through Gostrey Meadow and up Downing Street in to the centre of Farnham.

Children were in the river. And who can blame them. It was a hot day. I was tempted to join them.

I thought, when does The William Cobbett have its music festival. Well timed, I looked in and found it was on today. No one playing. Sadly a shadow of a few years ago, excellent music, a hog roast. Today a pretend barbecue.

I sat for a while in the shade of a tree in the graveyard of the Parish Church. I could hear music. I looked inside the church and found rehearsals. Prayer card writ, candle lit, for Cristina.

A long walk around Bishop’s Meadow and Manor Field. Since I last looked, the hay has been cut, bailed, and carted away.

wild flowers in Bishop's Meadow

wild flowers in Bishop’s Meadow

A strip has been ploughed and wild flowers sown. This was on the advice of FoE, but you do not dig up a long established meadow. I expected to find weeds. I was wrong, overcrowded wild flowers of hay meadows. Maybe the seeds will slowly slowly spread. Another area has been fenced off and an orchard planted. One apple tree already had a dozen apples.

A bench I had not seen before overlooking the river. I joined a man, and he told me a little of the river, and where it had flooded.

I thought have a drink in the Hop Blossom, but on checking the timetable, I saw a bus was due, and seeing as the sky was clouding over I thought maybe a thunderstorm. I had misread the timetable, and waited fir the next bus.

Whilst waiting, I walked a little way up Castle Street. I saw yet another chain eatery muscling its way into Farnham. Definitely not good news.

teasel in Manor Field

teasel in Manor Field

field daisies in Bishop's Meadow

field daisies in Bishop’s Meadow

field poppy in Bishop's Meadow

field poppy in Bishop’s Meadow

corn flower in Bishop's Meadow

corn flower in Bishop’s Meadow

Afternoon in Farnham

June 7, 2014
Farnham Parish Church

Farnham Parish Church

Manor Field

Manor Field

wild roses

wild roses

Bishops Meadow

Bishops Meadow

field daises

field daises

I did not manage to get to Farnham until late afternoon, everything closed.

Walking through Gostrey Meadow, Phyllis Tuckwell garden fete packing up. Why the tacky stalls and bouncy castle? I do not know how busy it was, but walking through last week, no publicity, nor had I seen any publicity in any of their charity shops.

Last week I had noticed a fashion shop at 10 Downing Street. A relief as there was a planning application for a tattoo parlour. Today the shops was being stripped. I asked. Pop up shop, we were only here for the day.

The Traditional Plaice is a fish n chip shop in Downing Street. I thought I would try fish n chips in their restaurant out the back. Not somewhere I would recommend. I miss The Barn.

I was pleased to find the Parish Church still open. Outside, white roses had been placed on a very old gravestone, then I noticed on a very old tomb. As the organist was leaving, I asked did he know why. He said no. We agreed, the Parish Church would be ideal venue for The Sixteen.

I was pleased to see in the church porch a poster, Canon Andrew White is giving a talk at Alton Maltings, 1900 Friday 20 June 2014. I never knew Alton had a Maltings. I cannot say I have ever noticed one.

Candle lit, prayer card writ, for Cristina.

A walk around Manor Field.

I now realised, I had missed the last bus. I caught the train.

Walking back through Gostrey Meadow, I was disgusted at the amount of rubbish piled up in the bandstand, I assume from the fête earlier. They had brought it in. No reason why they cannot take it back out.

Afternoon in Farnham

February 1, 2014
Farnham - River Wey

Farnham – River Wey

Bishop's Meadow flooded

Bishop’s Meadow flooded

I was not sure I would be in Farnham today. Heavy rain yesterday afternoon, heavy rain all evening, then last night into the early hours of the morning, torrential downpour. I did not expect to be in Farnham, as forecast was rain, and I excepted rain, therefore a big surprise to find clear blue sky and the sun shining.

By the time I arrived in Farnham, late afternoon, it had turned dull, with rain threatening.

I do wish they would learn in the Oxfam Bookshop in Farnham. It is bad enough when they stick sticky labels on the book covers. If you neglect to remove, damages the book. Now they are sticking sticky labels on the inside pages. If you do not know how to treat books with respect, then do not work in a bookshop.

From WHSmith, Kobo Touch e-reader £29.99 (it was £89.99). Annoying no information, no specification. I decided to take a risk. Kobo make better e-readers than Amazon Kindle, and unlike the Amazon Kindle, it is not a propriety format for the e-books.

I would also recommend Calibre, an e-reader for laptops.

I have never seen the River Wey in Godalming, as it was this afternoon flowing through Gostrey Meadow, it was high, had overflowed its banks, and was flowing very very fast. Heavy rain, the ground saturated, has simply flowed off the land and into the river.

I decided to take a walk to Bishop’s Meadow. I met a man out dog walking. He warned me it was impassible, and to take care. I said I was only going to take a look. We both agreed, it was crass stupidity the talk of dredging rivers to stop the Somerset Levels flooding, the should be allowed to flood, and more should be done to retain water in the hills.

Bishop’s Meadow was completely flooded. I assume the River Wey had overflowed, but it was difficult to tell.

Begs the question Guildford? The water I saw flowing through, even if they flooded the water meadows upstream of Guildford, it would not be sufficient to save Guildford from flooding.

I am pleased to see the East Street Development has been thrown out by the Secretary of State. Farnham is fortunate, it is a relatively unspoilt market town, which is why it is attractive and why people visit, rather than go to unpleasant neighbouring towns of Aldershot and Farnborough, which is why the East Street Development is so strongly opposed by local people.

When are corrupt bastards in local councils going to start listening to and acting on the wishes of local people, not acting for developers? When are the corrupt bastards at Waverley going to get the message, East Street Development is not wanted?

As there was a bus within a few minutes, I decided to catch and skip late lunch in The Barn. I stuck my head in to say hi, not stopping, and they said good move, as a busy afternoon and they had little left to eat. I recommended they book storyteller and scribe Steph Bradley as she is touring in the spring.

Synchronicity: A book in Oxfam Bookshop, Synchronicity.

Garden Party at Old Vicarage

September 14, 2013
old Bentley

old Bentley

tea party

tea party

sunken garden

sunken garden

garden pond

garden pond

Louella And The Red Horizon

Louella And The Red Horizon

I was in Farnham for the Church fête, mid-September a strange time to hold a summer fête.

Information was wrong, not four o’clock, but 3-30. Buy the time I got there, nothing there.

Same thing happened last year, a lovely day, and they packed up.

Not a lovely day today, they were lucky it did not rain.

But, I did find Jenny hard at work in the kitchen. I was pleased I found her, as I had left two books for her and never knew if she found them. Yes, she had and thanked me.

I was going to go for a walk in Bishop’s Meadow, instead went to a garden party in the lovely garden of the Old Vicarage, which ironically was being used to raise money for Bishop’s Meadow.

Lots of stalls, lovely Indian food, and an amazing collection of cups, saucers and teapots that would have done justice to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Beyond a ditch crossed by a bridge, a wild garden, with a pond, a huge bonfire ready to set light to, and beyond that the River Wey.

I raised getting Village Green status for Bishop’s Meadow. Apparently this has been looked into, the family that sold the land has placed a restrictive covenant. I suggested talk to Richard Buxton, maybe it can be overturned or circumnavigated.

The value of ancient meadow land is the lack of use of chemicals. Safe herbicide is an oxymoron. Herbicide has been used to clear ragwort and brambles. Close to the River Wey and the meadow is a flood meadow. The meadow was mown this summer, willows have been pollarded, future plans are put cattle to graze on the meadow.

The Indian food served was real Indian food, prepared by an Indian family, not what is found in Indian restaurants. I suggested Curries from Home contacted Godalming Town Council to run a stall at Staycation Live music festival next year. There is no excuse for the rubbish food they had this year.

Excellent music from Louella and the Red Horizon, Eden Blacklist and RedDog.

I suggested soundcloud for tracks and work in progress, bandcamp for albums. All three would be great for Staycation Live next year.

After it turned dark, the huge bonfire was lit. I assumed it was for bonfire night, but I was told no.

I looked in on The Barn.

Bus to Aldershot, then another bus. When I alighted, I could not believe how cold it was.

We won the Open Spaces Society Award!

July 8, 2013

Bishops Meadow Trust

Here is the news release from the Open Spaces Society:

Victory for Surrey campaigners who saved wild meadow

An ambitious community campaign to preserve a threatened 30-acre beauty spot in Farnham has been named winner of the first-ever Open Space Award.

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Bishop’s Meadow: A Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI)

July 7, 2013

Bishops Meadow Trust

On the 26th February 2013, Bishop’s Meadow was selected as a SNCI, based on the National Vegetation Classification survey report for Bishop’s Meadow (2013) and using data collected during 2011 and 2012 by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.  The reason for its selection was as follows:

Selected for its species rich grassland habitat supporting 17 plant species typical of grassland of conservation interest in Surrey.  The site is well used by the local community.’

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Bishop’s Meadow

July 6, 2013
hay meadow

hay meadow

horse grazing in adjacent field

horse grazing in adjacent field

willows pollarded

willows pollarded

Some weeks ago in the spring, on a pleasant afternoon in Farnham, I discovered a path that ran out the back of the churchyard in the centre of Farnham. It led alongside a large grassy field.

Today, I fancied going for a walk in the parkland up past Farnham Castle, but far too hot to climb the hill.

As I was sitting in the shade in the churchyard, I decided to take a walk along this path.

To my surprise, the grass field was now a hay meadow.

I saw what I thought was finger boards, one way Bishop’s Meadow, the other way Manor Field. What I did not know, but learnt later, these were boundary markers.

Walking along, I was at first in the shade of a tall hedge, which as it was very hot, was quite pleasant. Occasionally little tracks ran through the hay meadow, but I headed straight on. Then a fork, one went diagonally across the hay meadow, the other straight on, but less defined. I carried straight on. Eventually when I came to the end of the hay meadow the path curled around, another less defined path led into a grazed field.

I followed the less defined path into the grazed field. At the far end a gate. In the field, four very large horses grazing. I was not too sure how friendly they were. They would follow me, then nudge me in the back. I decided maybe they were no so friendly.

Backtracking, I took the curve. It then divided, nether track was well defined. It was as if, people came thus far, then turned back.

A lady with a dog came along. I sought her advice. She said it was a complete circuit. She led me to the river and a bridge across the river. I was quite surprised how small the River Wey was here, even compared with flowing through Gostrey Meadow in the town.

It would be great if from Gostrey Meadow there was a footpath along the side of the river making a pleasant riverside walk, cf the riverside walks through the water meadows at the back of Winchester Cathedral.

She told me the hay cut was quite late this year. We walked together until back to the original path by the hedge. She went one way I returned back to the churchyard. I thanked her for her help.

Bishop’s Meadow is open space, which everyone thought was for public use, as it always had been, until a few years ago when it was learnt it was up for sale and at risk of development (though to build on a flood plain by the river would be lunacy).

Local people raised the money and bought Bishop’s Meadow. It is now owned by a trust, safeguarding it for future generations.

Ancient meadowland is very important for conservation. This has been recognised by Bishop’s Meadow being declared a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI).

The Open Space Society granted Bishop’s Meadow their very first Open Space Award.

I was horrified to read on a poster on a gate the Trust intends to spray herbicide. This is an absolute no-no. The value of ancient meadows is their wildflowers and the fact that herbicides have not been used. With the River Wey flowing alongside Bishop’s Meadow, the herbicide is going to wash into the river, especially if the river floods the meadow.

What happens when the hay is cut? Traditionally the meadow would have been grazed, and that is the only way to maintain as a hay meadow. The hoofs of the animals press the seeds into the soil.

I noticed willow was being pollarded. Excellent as pollarding is traditional medieval woodland practice.

Another tradition which is to be followed, is the holding of a traditional country fayre once the hay is cut. This year it will be held on 28 July.