Webber's Meadow

This piece of land was purchased by the Parish Council, thus providing the area with a valuable new amenity in the countryside.  It is accessed from Back Lane (just north of the A3052) and goes all the way to the banks of the River Otter.  N.B.  No access permitted for unauthorised vehicles.

(Click on image for larger version)

It is well-used by people from this parish and surrounding areas, attracting walkers, dog-walkers, birdwatchers, and those interested in our local flora and fauna.  Some picnic tables are provided for general use.  Dogs and their owners are very welcome, but please remember to pick up any dog poo   There is a bin for disposal of poo-bags near the main gate to the meadow. There is no such thing as The Dog Poo Fairy! 

The meadow is just that: a meadow  -  and not manicured parkland.  Pathways through the meadow are cut from time to time, but do watch out for nettles and brambles in some areas.  The Environment Agency and the Parish Council want to keep the meadow as a natural amenity, allowing wildflowers and wildlife to flourish.

Some trees were planted in 2012 but the Parish Council will be developing an overall plan for the area. This includes a picnic and barbecue area; our County Councillor, Christine Channon, has provided funding for the purchase of picnic tables which are available for public use.
This wonderful amenity provides us with lovely walks for people and their dogs.  Please remember to pick up any doo poo and place it in the bin provided.  

We are fortunate to have a great variety of wildflowers in the meadow, and a leaflet of the Common Wildflowers of the Lower Otter Valley is available to help you identify these (download here).  A list of the wild flowers identified on the meadow so far (April 2015) is available here

Bees are dwindling in numbers all over the country.  In this area we have many types of bee including honeybees and bumble bees.  Bees feed on the nectar from flowers, and in the process pollinate not just wildflowers but also the crops that we use for our own diet.  A leaflet to help identify the types of bumble bee that you might see in Webber's Meadow or in your own garden can be downloaded here.

Himalayan Balsam
The Himalayan balsam season starts with the first of the plants coming through in spring  -  in 2015 this started in March.  The parish council team has worked to eliminate this invasive weed for the last four years and arrangements are being made to continue the good work each year.

We need all the help we can get if we are to rid the village of this plant. It is important that it is removed as it takes over from the natural vegetation on stream and river banks and when it dies down in winter, there is no plant cover to hold the river bank and this accelerates erosion of the banks and makes flooding more likely.
Pulling the balsam is not difficult as it comes up quite easily and the work can be quite therapeutic. You will need strong gloves and wellington boots if possible. Long sleeves are also useful as some of the plants grow adjacent to nettles and brambles. Children are welcome to help as well, but they must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Notices will be placed on village boards advising of future pulling dates, but if you are interested in helping, please telephone so that I can add your details to the data base so that participants can be emailed further information.
Do please get in touch to volunteer your services. Even if you are only able to make one session it would be of considerable help.
Ted Swan
Telephone 01395 567450
or email [email protected]