Haymaking time

Before the end of June, the park’s tenant farmer will be cutting the grass for hay and for silage. The work will extend over several days but which days and for how long will depend on the weather. When the work is due to begin, Wiltshire Council will put up notices at all the gates to warn park users, and on the website we will try to keep you posted.

Please be careful when there is farm machinery in the fields, particularly if you have children with you, and please, please will dog walkers take extra care. Our farmer knows how the park is used and will keep his eye open for children and exuberant dogs but most of the work will be done by contractors who may not be expecting either.

Stay safe.

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Froghoppers

Red-and-black froghopper

This is a red-and-black froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) photographed by DKG on Sunday morning in Village Green. There are ten different species of froghopper in the UK and while the red-and-black froghopper is not the most common, it is widespread.

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Incident@Lambrok

Incident@Lambrok is how the Environment Agency titled its report on the week-long torrent of heavily sedimented, chlorinated water that Wessex Water let flood from a broken water main, through the Lambrok down to the Biss, taking in Southwick Country Park and its precious freshwater biota on its way.

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Keeping children safe

During the Easter holiday there were little children seen playing in the park, apparently unattended by any adult. In particular, two little boys, maybe six or seven years old, were seen playing all by themselves on the bank of the stream by the wooden bridge. The weather had been very wet and the water level was high, certainly high enough to drown a small boy.

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All sorts of water fly spend the very large majority of their lives living on a stream bed as larvae called nymphs. These are the species we are worried about at the moment as a burst water main upstream pours sediment-laden water into the Lambrok for the third day.

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Burst water main

The Lambrok is filled with the sediment from a burst water main further upstream near Southwick Court, where the footbridge crosses into Spring Gardens. Wessex Water cannot fix it until Tuesday; they are waiting for a new part to be delivered.

The Environment Agency has made Wessex Water turn down the water pressure so that less sediment is being washed into the stream. Hopefully there will not be too much damage to our Lambrok’s biota; we are particularly worried about the waterfly nymphs that live on the gravel stream bed.

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Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan update.

Wiltshire’s Spatial Planning Department has said that Inspector Stephen Lee’s preliminary report on the WHSAP Examination, which was due on Thursday May 9th, is delayed but for only a matter of a few days. When it has been received, it will be published on the WHSAP webpage.

All our posts on this subject are tagged WHSAP.

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