Boughton News -February
What is it, a Terrapin or a Turtle?
Thanks to Peter Agate for the picture published in the last G4N of the turtle/terrapin in Boughton Pond. It is a Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), a semi-aquatic basking turtle. It is a popular pet turtle in many parts of the world, but is native only to the southern United States. It has become established in other places because of pet releases and has become an invasive species in many introduced areas. In Australia, it is illegal for members of the public to import, keep, trade or release Red-eared Sliders as they are regarded as an invasive species
Red-eared sliders get their name from the distinctive red patch of skin around their ears. The "slider" part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly. Red-eared sliders are omnivores and eat a variety of animal and plant materials including fish, crayfish, carrion, tadpoles, snails and numerous aquatic plant species.
The Boughton animal has doubtless come from a pet release. Whilst introduced species are rarely (if ever) welcome, this particular beast won’t do any harm so long as it doesn’t find another one to breed with!
If you have not seen it already, take a look at our great new sign describing how to get to the Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk. It is situated just inside the railings of the children’s playground, and is a very handsome piece of work. The same cannot necessarily be said for the excellent installation team shown on the attached photo. However, these willing volunteers assembled the structure on a very foggy morning in early January, in our garage, and then carried it down to its present position. As Dave said afterwards, it was reminiscent of the pilgrims carrying their burden to Walsingham. It was certainly heavy – that was obvious from the stance of their bodies as they disappeared slowly through our gateway.
Eventually, after much kneeling in the mud, digging and refilling the hole (how is it that there was still room for all that earth when the posts were in the hole as well?) it was up!
Well done Dave, Paul, Tim and Mark .
Boughton has solved the problem of not having a village hall by transforming its church into an excellent meeting place. Comfortable seats, a small well equipped kitchen area and even a toilet has meant that instead of the church remaining unused, apart from a few religious services, social events can now be organised within the village.
On November 17th All Saints was the venue for a very interesting and informative talk given by Stephen Fisher from the Norfolk Cider Company. He began the evening by handing round full cups of cider for everyone to sample. While we were enjoying these he explained the history, the process by which cider is made and its wholesome health values; in the eighteenth century cider was recognised as a treatment and cure for scurvy saving the lives of thousands of sailors on lengthy journeys of exploration. The old traditional method he uses to produce his cider means that nothing is added and nothing is taken out. It is a perfectly natural process which retains all the vitamins that are lost in the large commercial production of cider and even apple juice. At the end he was asked some very interesting questions which filled in the few areas he hadn’t covered and he did a lively trade selling his product which was testament indeed to how much his audience had enjoyed their taste of it.
The evening ended with a selection of delicious nibbles, a cup of coffee and the chance to have a chat.
Cider is, I believe, best served cold, but there was little chance of it being otherwise for the heating system inside All Saints’ Village Centre was a little inadequate on a cold night but I’ve no doubt this issue will be addressed in due course with further fund raising. Congratulations to Boughton on the amazing job in what they’ve done so far.
Jill Mason Barton Bendish
Boughton Parish Council: ANNUAL MEETING.
This is not to be confused with theAGM, which is set for May.
This is a meeting where Parishioners have the opportunity to bring forward any concerns or issues they would wish the Council to address, or comment upon.
This also assists the Council with setting objectives for the coming Council year.
The Meeting is set for Friday 15th Feb. at 7.00pm in All Saints Community Centre.
Notices will be posted and an e-mail will be circulated in good time.
Parishioners will be invited to put forward items for the Agenda.
We are very pleased to report that your Council has been able, yet again, to leave the 2013 Annual Precept unchanged. This is in the main due to the fact that we enjoy the help of a number of volunteers with maintenance work around the village.
Please contact any of those listed below.
Parish Council :-
M.Pogmore ( Chairman PC. Fen Committee )
Clerk. D.Horkan. 01366 347890.
F.Reid. 01366 500743.
CPRE AWARD FOR BOUGHTON FEN WILDLIFEWALK
Following the hard work last winter from a tremendous group of volunteers, the Boughton Fen Wildlife Walk began to draw the attention of the Campaign for Rural England. We were visited by one of the judges, Tony Leech, on one of the only hot days we experienced at the end of the summer, and he enjoyed a tour of the whole site with Mark, Allan and myself.
Several weeks later, a letter arrived informing the Boughton Fen Committee that the project was to be presented with not one, but two awards, at the annual award night at the Norwich Assembly Rooms. The invitation to attend enabled ten of us to enjoy this very interesting evening on 21st November 2012. The other successful projects were extremely varied. Each judge gave an illustrated presentation on each award winner, and these ranged from an interactive moth website, community and wildlife projects as well as a separate section for innovative rural buildings.
In addition to the CPRE award, Boughton Fen was also chosen as the joint inaugural winner of the Boldero Award, This was presented by Joy Boldero, in memory of her late husband, Charles. Many of you may have read, and maybe tried out the regular walks that they published in the Eastern Daily Press. It seems that they had been doing this from 1986 until his death earlier in 2012. Joy had actually visited Boughton during the autumn and had been very impressed with both the village, and the people that she met there.
We have had a considerable amount of press coverage as a result of this, including a full page article during the autumn when theEDPreporter and photographer visited the fen, and photographed Frank, Allan, Angela and Mark in a variety of poses on the steps near theOxborough Road. The report in theEDP, following the awards night had this to say:
The judges of the Boldero Award were so impressed by the two finalists that they were not able to choose an overall winner, so it was presented to the team which created the Boughton Fen wildlife walk, near Downham Market, and to the volunteers of the Little Ouse headwaters project on the Norfolk and Suffolk border, near Thetford.
The judges were so impressed by the efforts of Boughton, which has a population of about 200. Last winter, a dedicated group of up to 20 volunteers worked often in harsh weather to complete the new walk around the fen, which covers almost two miles. It has become a hugely popular feature for villagers, who can now get access to a special piece of the countryside, noted the judging panel.
We now have two framed certificates and a plaque to show for this. Hopefully, when this article is printed they should be on display.
MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD IN BOUGHTON – PART 1 (Circa mid 1950’s) BY PAUL RIX
These memories are not only fairly random in nature, but also in the order I have written them down! They are no doubt shaped by perception too, my Dad might have been Mr Fix-it on a farm, but I looked up to him, I still do. If I end up half as good a man as my Dad then I will indeed have done well!
As ‘kiddies’ our gang was into everything, fishing, bird nesting, you name it! Come harvest time we would help out on the farm, and again when it came to threshing, this was just before the advent of combines, more of this later.
‘Elf and Safety’ would have had a ‘hissy-fit’. Roger Robinson [R.G.], my Dad’s boss, was the first to have a combine harvester, an old Massey-Harris, which went barely at walking speed, it was driven by Claude Chapman.
The Drier on the farm was designed by Bill Chapman, an engineer from Denver Mill, and he and Dad built it. Our favourite place to play was the ‘pit’ [the Pond] into which the trailers tipped the grain, going to the edges when a tractor tipped its’ ‘petit’ trailer load into the ‘pit’. If it was the old Commer lorry, driven by Ted Smith [also landlord of the White Horse pub] then we would get out to avoid being buried! I may be wrong but I can’t remember any of us ever losing a toy in the sinking grain which behaved like quicksand in the middle.
It was also Bill Chapman and Dad who assembled the pipe organ in the big farm house [Poplar Farm, now Harwins]. Roger Robinson was also the Church organist and usually took my grandmother to church in his car as she had serious arthritis. He was one of the very few car owners in the village.
The first thing I can clearly remember was a knock on the door one evening. There stood R.G., tapping his polished leather gaitor with his stick, snow collecting in the brim of his old brown trilby, the collar of his coat turned up against the weather, ‘Tim [Dad], can you just....’. I think it was the pump on the well at the back of the ‘big house’, it often threw off its’ big belt although on this occasion it may well have been frozen. This well, later replaced by a borehole, supplied most of the water for the farm. Of course Dad went and fixed it, he usually did! If anything in the village broke, the call was ‘Tim, can you just....’
Originally Dads mobile workshop was an old war surplus Chevvy 4*4, slow, noisy and I can’t recall it having a heater! This was later replaced by a longwheelbaseLandRover, with a heater!
I can only remember Dad ever having one row, that was with old Jimmy Fryat, something about a turkey? Yet they were usually good friends. Village life was like that, everyone helped everyone else, that is just the way things were.
To Be Continued Next Month……
How wet was it really in 2012? Well in Boughton it was very wet – in fact the wettest I have ever recorded, beating our first year of records in 1993 by 10mm.
The year started just like 1993, dry from January to March, with rainfall at the end of March 33% below average for the first quarter of the year.
Then everything changed. The hosepipe ban started with 40mm of rain in the first two days (an average month being only just over 50mm), and it carried on all year with a bit of a breather in August and September, which, of course, many parts of the country did not have.
The year’s total amounted to 782mm, compared with an average of 645mm. 2012 was the wettest year I have recorded, but 2011 was the driest, being only 426mm. It is amazing how nature balances things up.
Lets hope for something nearer normal in 2013