Saturday, 28 November 2020

What's flying in Old Buckenham

Bats of Old Buckenham
In July 2018 a bat survey was conducted in Old Buckenham. Three survey sites were chosen: Rod Alley pond, Ottomer pond and the Pound opposite the Almshouses. This was part of a wider British Trust of Ornithology study monitoring Norfolk’s bat populations since 2013. The Norfolk Bat Survey aims to improve our understanding of these elusive creatures and promote the conservation of the only freely flying mammals in existence. 

Passive acoustic monitoring equipment was used to detect the high frequency clicks emitted by bats (often beyond the frequency audible to the human ear), and the surveys provided interesting results. One night of recording was completed per site, with 1,514 sonograms (graphs representing the patterns of sound, unique to each bat species) recorded in total. These confirmed at least nine distinct species, representing half of the UK’s bat species. This included one western barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus), classified as Near Threatened globally and Vulnerable to extinction within Europe with numbers decreasing according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The Ottomer pond survey showed 1,323 individual sonograms and conclusive evidence of eight bat species, just days before several diseased ash trees were removed. Many of these bat species depend on trees for roosting and feeding, so plans to plant additional trees on the village green will help these local populations. Fresh water in the village ponds and surrounding gardens and ditches, long grasses on the Green supporting insect populations (essential food sources for bats between spring to autumn), and plenty of tree cover all provide suitable habitat for these creatures to thrive in Old Buckenham. It will be interesting to repeat the surveys next year and see which species can be found. If you would be interested in taking part in a possible future survey then please contact Steve via his email address
Bat species detected in Old Buckenham on the nights of Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 July 2018 were:
Western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus)
Brown long-eared (Plecotus auritus)
Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
Daubenton’s (Myotis daubentonii)
Nathusius’ pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii)
Natterer’s (Myotis nattereri)
Noctule (Nyctalus noctula)
Serotine (Eptesicus serotinus)
Soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus)

Monday, 23 November 2020

More trees on Old Buckenham Green

Now all planted
All of the trees provided by Norfolk Wildlife Trust have now been planted on the Green, courtesy of two socially-distanced couples who quietly got on with it.
There was no cost to the village as the 80 trees and protectors were supplied free of charge by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the holes were dug by Charles Hastings (CH Mini Digger hire) for a knock down price of £50 and this sum was kindly sponsored by Paul Devlin and Ami Garnham.

The trees had been heeled in at a villager’s garden for nine months having been received in March 2020. The intention was to plant them almost immediately but with the lockdown it was decided to leave the planting until the autumn. It was probably good that things were delayed considering the dry spring weather. 
The planting had originally been planned to be a village event involving schoolchildren and giving publicity to the generosity of the Norfolk Woodland Trust but nothing similar could done in the current circumstances. Now we just need to watch them grow.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Council meeting in November
These notes have been written from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 5 November. Those present were councillors Steve Milner (Vice-Chair), Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls and Naomi Bailey. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk) and three members of the public. Jonn Hicks had sent his apologies while Mike Farrington and Ben Devlin were absent at the start of the meeting (Ben Devlin did join the meeting near the end).
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 1 October were approved (5 in favour). There were no matters arising from the minutes.
Financial matters. The Community Account balance now stood at £38,215.68.
Payments of £960.26 were approved (5 in favour) including accounting fees, newsletter paper, clerk’s salary and expenses, village handyman and community car payments. £600 was also paid for emergency tree work on the Green. The Charity Account Annual Return has been submitted.
Correspondence. A Parish Council Facebook page has been set up. It has been well received and has already been used to notify the council of a maintenance issue in the village. It has been suggested to put a profile in the village newsletter every month of individual councillors. A request for a bench in memory of Bill Wardman has been received from his daughter. Currently looking at suitable locations and bench designs.
Several questions have been received about proposed weather radar. No planning application has yet been received.
Steve Askew has informed the Clerk that the Highways Ranger scheme is still operational and that the parish council can email requests for any work that needs doing. George Freeman, our MP, has written asking for opinions on Covid-19 response and planning reforms. All councillors are to email their opinions to the clerk and these will be collated into a single response.
Action Plan update. The village handyman due to complete several maintenance tasks.
Village Green Working Party. The Green has been cut.
Road Safety. Several councillors raised concerns about the number of lorries using the minor roads and exceeding weight limits following temporary closure of B1077. Farm vehicles have also been stopping on roads for loading without any warning signs. Clerk to contact councillor Stephen Askew.
Play Area. Still open during lockdown. Playdale were booked to attend but will now not come out during lockdown. Toddler area bin is not being emptied as company don’t have key. The clerk to chase up.
Recreation Area. Lines on football pitch not painted yet. Andy Nicholls to chase up.
Councillors’ reports. Terry Cook said that the Village Hall has closed again during lockdown. Adrian Joel reported that the bin in the village hall car park needs emptying again and Andy Nicholls said it would be good to know the pub’s plans so that the village can support them.
County Broadband cabinet location. County Broadband is looking to place a cabinet on the corner of the Green with Mill Road and have asked for parish council feedback. Councillors could not see any problems with the location. Rachel Noyes to inform the Green Working Group.
Covid-19 update and preparedness for winter. Terri Hammond joined the Zoom meeting and provided an update on the village group of volunteers.
Previous volunteers have been contacted and most are happy to reprise the roles in helping those in the community that are isolating or shielding. A message has been put in village newsletter aiming to get the message out that help is available if you need it. Main job is prescription runs and they are in communication with the doctors’ surgeries for this. Breckland Council are in contact. Adrian Joel also highlighted that the community car is available.
There was concern about people feeling lonely and if there was anything that could be done to help support them. Terri explained that they have been told by Breckland to look out for those struggling and they will referred to the correct support. Thanks to Old Buckenham 2000 Trust who are, once again, helping the volunteers with the finances before reclaiming from the residents.
Parish Paths. Articles in the Village Newsletter have been well received and have led to some useful feedback already from both walkers and landowners. One common issue is unclear/missing signs. New signs are needed from the roads and also along the footpaths. This would incur a small partial cost to the Parish Council. It was proposed that the Parish Council should commit (in principle) to improving signage and footpaths in the Parish and this was approved (5 in favour).
Chapel Green MUGA. Chapel Green School are unable to provide money for the access to the MUGA as it is pupil money and so has to be spent on the children. The main issue is providing access to the MUGA while ensuring security of the school. Initial quotes for an access gate from the village hall car park were very high. There is no lighting of the MUGA which would severely limit its use in the evenings, particularly in the winter months. Can the high costs be justified if it can only be used on the weekend? The Parish Council has previously looked at getting its own MUGA (possibly on the Recreation ground). A feasibility study would give clearer understanding of the situation. Andy Nicholls to investigate a quote for a MUGA.
Planning. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal ( Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting. 
New planning applications. 59 Fen Street. Single Storey Side and Rear Extensions, conversion of Garage to provide additional Accommodation, Front Porch and Render to existing External Walls (3PL/2020/1092/HOU). No objections. This application was supported (5 in favour).
Land between Willow Cottage and Priest Hill Cottage, Fen Street. Technical Details Consent for erection of one dwelling and garage. Permission in Principle reference 3PL/2019/1258/PIP (3PL/2020/1076/TDC). No objections. This application was supported (5 in favour).
Land to rear of development plot between Willow Cottage and Fen Street. Change of use of agricultural land to garden (3PL/2020/1075/F). A large garden extension proposed. A resident questioned the depth of the ecological study. Old pipeline runs underneath proposed extension but is no longer in use. Proposed extension would surround neighbouring property. The council voted to oppose the application (4 in favour, 1 against).but would comment to Planning that they could probably support if a smaller extension was proposed or there was a restriction on development on the area labelled on the plans as Paddock/Orchard.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following application has now been considered and the application been approved.
Tall Trees, New Buckenham Road. Removal of the existing single-storey extension, new two-storey extension, replacement windows and new external cladding (3PL/2020/0979/HOU).
The following application been withdrawn. West View Farm, The Green. Convert the existing barn into one dwelling and to build two new dwellings with a new access to service the three dwellings. (3PL/2020/0326/F and 3PL/2020/0327/LB).
(Ben Devlin joined the meeting)
Items for next agenda. Precept applications.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 3 December at 7.30pm. It was then agreed (6 in favour) to close the meeting to the Public and Press in order to discuss a personnel matter.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Old Buckenham Village hall

Don’t forget the village hall

The Village Hall Management Committee is going to attempt to have their 2020 AGM on Wednesday 9 December at 7pm in the main hall. If you would like to attend you will need contact the secretary (Linder Foulger  via foulger.oaklodge@gmail) as they cannot exceed the numbers of people in the hall because of Covid-19 regulations that may be in force at the time. You never know, there might be a larger number of people at the AGM than usual.

At the present time there is very little income each month for the village hall. One way you can help is by bringing your newspapers and glass bottles to the banks in the car park. The containers have not been filling up as quickly as usual so please make a special effort to bring your paper and glass along to recycle it there whenever you can drop by while out on another journey in the village. Thank you, all the money raised is much appreciated by the hall committee.

You can also help the Village Hall by taking part in their Numbers Club. The cost is £1 per month (usually paid as £12 per year) and is collected by committee members. January 2021 is the start of their collection (COVID permitting of course). The prizes are £25 in June and two £25 prizes in December, as well as £20, £15 and £10 each month. All funds go to the village hall which is a charity. If anyone needs any more information they should contact the secretary by emailing her on foulger.oaklodge@gmail.


Saturday, 14 November 2020

 Thank you to all token collectors

The blog editor would like to thank all those in the village and the surrounding area who went to the effort of cutting out those Plant to Plate tokens from the EDP. We made sure that they ended up at Chapel Green School, all 8,658 of them. As a result they will be £1000 better off, a most welcome prize in these days when most other fund-raising activities cannot take place.
Sorry for all the nagging over the summer but it has paid off.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Covering up Old Buckenham Mill

 Reaching the top

As part of the first stage of the windmill renovation, the scaffolding has just about reached its maximum height. Just asking to be photographed.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

More remembering in Old Buckenham

 At 11am on 11 November 2020

Tyrone Power and just a few villagers held their two minute silence at the Memorial on the Green today.

Sunday, 8 November 2020

At Old Buckenham war memorial

 A village still remembers

The weather was calm and sunny regardless of what the weather forecasters had said. The message given on last Friday's post and on the Old Buckenham Facebook page had been read and several people did their daily walk to be by the war memorial by 11am. A short service was held, led by a lay team of members the All Saints congregation. The names of all those listed on the memorial were read out and wreaths laid. The scout leader who was going to lay their wreath woke on Saturday with a high temperature and is now in isolation along with the wreath and awaiting test results. The Scout wreath will be laid individually before Wednesday 11 November. (Latest news is that the scout leader's test result has come back negative so things are returning to normal in his household)

(just click on the images to enlarge them)

If you are visiting All Saints to see the lily displays you will also find a special arrangement inside the church using poppies and barbed wire and placed by the war memorial on the north wall.

Friday, 6 November 2020

Remembrance in Old Buckenham

Wreath laying

(After the 2019 service)

All Saints Church will be holding a short Service of Remembrance, with laying of wreaths, on Sunday morning at the War Memorial, starting at 10.50.  To stay within the current rules we are asked not to encourage people to attend. However should you find yourselves in the vicinity at that time and would like to stand and participate in the act of remembrance please do maintain social distancing. It is not possible to have the road closed during this service and in order to hear what is being said it will be necessary to stand on the same side of the The Green as the memorial.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Old Buckenham Lily Fund

History of the Lily Fund 

As it was not possible to have lilies at the service at Easter this year, people sponsored remembrance lilies to decorate the church on All Saints Sunday. 
The Lily Fund was started up in 2001. A few members of the congregation suggested it would be good if, at Easter, departed family members and friends were remembered by lilies in the church. This started up with 20 lilies, each costing £3 plus a donation if one wished. Money collected was specifically for adding to the church facilities, items that would not be possible under normal fund raising and all dedicated to the memory of the departed. This event has grown in quantity and monetary value except for this year because of Covid-19. However donations have, as usual, been from £5 to £100 and this year £1,600 was collected for 150 lilies, remembering mostly local people who lived in the village or some relatives who live some distance away. 
Over £27,000 has been raised over the last twenty years and the money spent on the following items: Memorial Book and bookcase, green altar frontal, silver chalice with fish motif, £1,000 towards path to burial ground, silver ciborium with fish motif, main notice board at gate, credence table and decanters, £3,333 for Church Restoration, white and red altar frontals, £300 towards Church path extension, £120 towards a replacement bible, £1095.60 to restoration window fund, red and green and white chasubles, nativity figures, thurible, boat, spoon and stand, book of Gospels, purple altar covering and chasuble, All Saint's Nativity Christmas cards, up-rated PA system, liglium (folding lectern) and help with Raise the Roof re-thatching fund.

The church is open from around 9am to 4pm each day and you are welcome to pop in and view the displays over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Special day for All Saints, Old Buckenham

 Bishop Graham makes his visit

A Service of Rededication following the rethatching of the Church roof took place today. Having been postponed earlier in the year, the service was rearranged for Sunday 1 November which is All Saints Day. The preacher and celebrant was the Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham Usher who based his sermon on the word 'roof' and its many occurrences in the Bible.

The church was decorated with 150 lilies, each one having been sponsored in memory of departed family members and friends (see previous post on Saturday 31 October). This Lily Fund started in 2001 and so far has raised over £27,000 which has been used to add to facilities that would not be possible under normal fund raising. This has included items such as improving pathways in the churchyard, new altar frontals and up-rating the PA system.

The Bishop arrives at 10am...

...and enters All Saints

The congregation awaits his sermon... 

... delivered from the pulpit

Sarah Dye sings one of her two solos during the service

Then it was outside to talk with various members of the congregation

A chance to talk to the Bishop...

... for several local families.

Although All Saints will not now be able to hold normal services during November you will still be able to enter the church for 'private prayer' and see the arrangements of the lilies over the next couple of weeks.