One of our members was walking the fields today Monday 20th June 2016 and was attracted to the unusually deep pink dog rose growing just outside the maze area in the dip that was the pond, she could not believe her luck at finding this glorious iridescent pollen beetle inside one of the flowers. We don’t know if he has been reported in Rowley Fields before, but our eagle eyed walker first came across him in 2009 and at that time he was new to Warwickshire according to Stephen Falk at the county museum. The beetle is truly spectacular especially when the sun shines on him. His posh name is Oedemera nobilis.
Well what a fantastic day.
Despite the mixed weather we had 250 visitors and raised over £430 for the Stratford Hospital Cancer & Eye Unit Appeal. (In addition to £190 raised for Butterfly Conservation). 14 raffle prizes are now on their way to the winners and the field is back to normal. Thank you to everyone who supported the FoRF and thanks to everyone involved in making the day such a great success:
Brenda Cox our Guest of Honour
Stratford Town Trust (for use of the land and Communities Parties Grant)
David & Lesley Heritage – Musical Organ
Students from Stratford upon Avon School, King Edward VI School and Shottery Girls Grammar School
Quentin Willson and Ian Andrew – Car display
Penny Bowden and Julie Helps – Cake Sale
Charlotte Doran Davies – Photography
All our cake bakers and raffle prize donors
Friends of Rowley Fields for set up and close down
The Stratford upon Avon Directory – poster and advertising
Annie’s Antics – Vintage Ice Cream
So what’s next?
Late in 2015 Friends of Rowley Fields applied for a supply of free wild seeds from ‘Grow Wild’ a Lottery funded scheme managed by the Royal Botantical Gardens Kew. Originally, the thought was that we could sow them in parts of Rowley Fields and thereby enhance the views further. However, that will not be possible during 2016 and we therefore have around 30 packets of seeds which we would like to offer members, they can be sown in pots, tubs or beds. If you would like a packet please respond by the FoRF email link and we will arrange collection etc.
More information about the scheme can be found at:
Seeds in our mix
Grow Wild seed packets contain a colourful mix of UK native-origin wild flower seeds, which have been researched and sourced by experts at the UK Native Seed Hub in partnership with UK based seed suppliers.
Grow Wild shares seed packets with groups and individuals through seasonal promotions and over 100 partner organisations across the UK. Over a million people have already got involved to transform unloved spaces into colourful wild flower havens.
Sensible garden precautions should be followed when growing wild flowers, so refrain from eating any plant not known to be edible, wash hands after working in the garden and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and see that pets and children who cannot be entirely trusted not to consume vegetation are supervised.
Grow Wild seed mixes contain a selection from the following list of UK native wild flowers:
Grow Wild seeds are not to be used in or near nature conservation areas.
- Autumn hawkbit
- Bird’s foot trefoil
- Common or lesser knapweed
- Corn or common poppy
- Corn chamomile
- Corn marigold
- Devil’s bit scabious
- Field scabious
- Imperforate St John’s wort
- Hedge bedstraw
- Lady’s bedstraw
- Meadow buttercup
- Oxeye daisy
- Perforate St John’s wort
- Purple loosestrife
- Ragged robin
- Red campion
- Ribwort plantain
- Scentless mayweed
- Square-stalked St John’s wort
- Tufted vetch
- White campion
- White dead-nettle
- Wild carrot
- Wild marjoram
- Yellow rattle
Sadly the Town Trust has submitted a Planning Application to Stratford District Council to demolish 7 Benson Road and build five new houses on the area of Rowley Fields to the rear. Whilst the Trust has been clear of its intention to pursue this application it is sad news for residents of Benson Road and Avenue Road and a worrying development. All the green field land has been identified as Local Green Space in the draft Neighbourhood Plan and many people hoped that the building plans would not proceed. We await the outcome of the planning process.
As part of our continued efforts to push for Local Green Space designation for Rowley Fields Committee members having been meeting political representatives during 2016. We have lobbied Tony Jefferson, Town Councillor for the Welcombe Ward and District Councillor, Keith Lloyd also Town Councillor for the Welcombe Ward and County Councillor and Nadhim Zahawi our Member of Parliament.
All three meetings were positive and we now await the adoption of the District Core Strategy and then the Neighbourhood Plan which will hopefully recommend Rowley Fields as LGS.
With huge thanks to Gavin and his team our website in now back up and running – there’s some catching up to do so please check back soon.
Volunteers set to work on tidying up the block paving and pathway at the entrance to the fields from Maidenhead Road. With spades and brooms quick work was made of the job, all the weeds and soil have been removed – a great improvement. If you have suggestions for improvements and/or would like to volunteer please contact the Committee.
Here’s some before and after photos:
Thanks to a generous donor we have a lovely cuddly toy Barn Owl to raffle at our inaugural meeting. Please buy a ticket – all proceeds will go to the Friends of Rowley Fields – to the benefit of everyone who uses the land.
See the real thing in action in Rowley Fields thanks to Mike Anderson:
The draft Stratford Neighbourhood Plan has been published for consultation which closes on 3rd July. Take a look and have your say it’s a very important document and will influencing planning until 2031. Page 102 identifies Rowley Fields as satisfying the criteria for designation as local Green Space.
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