This Sunday 9th April (10-12am) there is another working party at the Beryl Harvey Conservation Field. This is a really worthwhile cause and a good excuse to get out in the fresh air this weekend. The field is located next to the football fields and the allotments. Children are welcome, but sorry no dogs are allowed.
See the note below from Julia Reed, who is organising the working party.
Just a quick reminder that we have our usual monthly task at BHF this Sunday 9th April. The woodland flowers are beginning to look lovely, with wood anemones, celandine, primroses and the bluebells are starting to flower in the woods, but not showing any colour yet in the field.
There is an incredible difference between the fenced patches of field and the grass & flowers in the rest of the field, showing how much damage the rabbits do, particularly to certain plants, so this task we are going to try and fence some more areas to see what flowers we can encourage . The cowslips are particularly suffering & we already know that Ox Eye daisies have failed to establish due to rabbits.
We are also going to fence around the new willow tunnel, started last month , as the rabbits have started on that. Alongside the usual tasks we will also try & get through the brambles to clear around the entrance to the artificial badger sett, which was constructed using spoil from the pond, to see if we can encourage use of that . A new artificial sett has just been created on the Berkeley homes site as they discovered one ( not currently in use) in the woodland they have sadly cleared.
We also had a lot of frogspawn in the pond this year and a moorhen is nesting again.
Theo of NaturdayZ made a successful presentation to the Parish Council in March & we have had preliminary discussions this evening about the possibility of having an open day at the field, with him offering some activities, to publicise the field and encourage it’s use by the local community including local children. He will then hopefully offer a monthly activity morning to local children. It would be wonderful to see more children learning about nature and enjoying being outside and making good use of the field.
Waverley Borough Council refused the application WA/2016/1544 on 29 September 2016 for the demolition of Windy Way on Cranleigh Common and the building of a block of 6 flats and two semi detached dwellings on the site.
A brief history of Cranleigh’s conservation area – known as Beryl Harvey Field. It was originally part of Coldharbour Farm and given to Cranleigh Parish Council in 1970 by Mr Gordon Harvey, in memory of his wife, for the use and enjoyment of the people of Cranleigh and District, as an open space and/or allotments.
Initially, the whole field was used as allotments but by 1986 many were neglected. The remaining plots were consolidated in the lower part of the field. At the suggestion of John Hill, who founded the Cranleigh and District Conservation Volunteers, the Parish council agreed to support the creation of a wildlife conservation area on the upper part of the field. This is entirely consistent with Mr Harvey’s wishes.
At a time when Cranleigh is under huge pressure to develop surrounding green fields, this conservation area is very precious.
The list of wild flowers which can now flourish on the field throughout the year number almost one hundred. In July, betony, lady’s bedstraw, bird’sfoot trefoil, meadow vetchling, wood avens, perforate St John’s wort, gypsywort, sneezewort, agrimony, purple loosestrife and musk mallow can be found.
Common Spotted Orchid
The ending ‘wort’ which is pronounced wert and not wart, is old English for ‘root’ (wyrt) and is generally used for the names of plants which were thought to have medicinal properties.
Bird’s foot trefoil particularly attracts butterflies – look out for meadow brown, gatekeeper and red admiral. Eighteen varieties of butterfly have been recorded on the site.
Try and make time to Walk on the Wild side this month.
Written by: Miki Marks
Help out with the Conservation Group the next dates for your diary for 2016 are:
The Group meets at 10am on the Beryl Harvey Field and usually work for a couple of hours. You can stay for as long as you can.
Read more about the Beryl Harvey Conservation Field:
As a community we are extremely lucky to have this conservation field, which faced with the ever present threat of development on our green fields, we sincerely hope that Cranleigh Parish Council will continue to protect in perpetuity.
We would like to keep this list up to date so please do let us know if you see anything when you visit the Beryl Harvey Field that’s not on here.