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Radio 4 'Open Country' Mark Smalley recorded interviews on the meadows

Harnham Historical Miscellany, Sarum Studies 4, In tribute to Michael Cowan (1935 - 2009)

Jenny Bowen - 1932 - 2011

Willow Trees

Article appearing in Wiltshire Life Magazine - March Issue 2013

Hedges

Recent pictures by Kris Jendersen

New funding for the Water Meadows

Photographs from David Noton

Work from Wildlife Photographers

Radio 4 'Open Country' Mark Smalley recorded interviews on the meadows

They will feature in a programme on chalk streams to be broadcast at 3pm on August 14th and repeated at 6.05am on August 16th.  Click here for more details

Harnham Historical Miscellany, Sarum Studies 4, In tribute to Michael Cowan (1935 - 2009)

Michael Cowan's contribution to the Harnham Water Meadows was enormous, he was co-author with Tim Tatton-Brown and Hadrian Cook of The Harnham Water Meadows, an illustrated history and description and he also wrote Harnham Mill.

Although he was seriously ill, Michael was planning another 'Sarum Study' on the villages of East and West Harnham which had not been the subject of a local history for many decades.

Shortky before he died, he handed Jane Howells editior, his notes and plans. After much discussion with teh Sarum Chronicle editorial team, and with support from the Cowan family, it was decided that the definitive history of the villages should await an expert author. In its place Michael's collection of essays is offered to readers near and far in tribute to Michael's commitment to the subject of local history and to his home of Harnham. The book was launched on a bright sunny day at Rose Cottage.

Harnham Historical Miscellany is available at Cross Keys Bookshop, and at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum shop. Enquiries to jane@sarum-editorial.co.uk or 01722 331426.

Jenny Bowen - 1932 - 2011

Jenny Bowen was a founder Trustee of The Harnham Water Meadows Trust
Jenny Bowen - 1932 - 2011

The Trustees of Harnham Water Meadows paid for the memorial stone placed on the Meadows for Jenny Bowen, a much missed founder member of the Trust and the Cahirman of the Friends.

Belinds Scott and Timm Tatton-Brown selected teh stone from a remote quarry on the Dorset coast, where they made their choice. It took several months to get the stone finsihed, but when it was ready John Beckett organised it erection.

The location on the meadows just beyond the gate from the Rose Cottage garden is perfect - but getting it there was a new problem: over half a tonne and nearly three foot tall, a couple of feet wide and over a foot deep - how to get it on the meadow?

In order to take it across the narrow footpath ovet the Radial Gates the footpath wood need closure, official authorised closure before a contractor woudl consider it and if all this was achieved there was still a problem to get it across the hatch in the garden, to the chosen spot!!

The result was in fact excellent. Micky Whitlock and John Beckett collected it from the quarry one windy day and brought it to Fisherton Island and towed it across the meadow, through the main carrier (irrigation channel) to the site.

Next problem, they expected a flat base, a heave off the trailer onto the prepared area and a bit of a manual adjustment, but it didn't have a flat base! Geoff was needed with his tractor to hold and lift the stone while the ground was adjusted and re-adjusted to get the inscription level! Luckily Geoff was working nearby and in the lunch hour came into the meadow through the ford at West Harnham to help - needless to add that he and Micky were great admirers of Jenny Bowen and were so pleased to be part of this wonderful memorial.

In the garden of Rose Cottage Jenny's sister and family have had a crab apple tree planted - Malus transitoria. Jan Fitzjohn

Willow Trees

Old willow pollarded in April 2013, now already growth in June

Willow Trees are a familiar and beautiful feature of riversides and water meadows and are very valuable wildlife habitats.

Following tradition many willows are pollarded, their trunks cut at 2-3m high, above reach of grazing animals. Pollard management prolongs the life of a tree so it lives long beyond it's normal lifespan, and it helps to create many unusual niches for wild life. Regrowth is rapid and the trees soon regain their characteristic volume.

On our meadow there are many different varieties of willow. White willow, crack willow and common

sallow are traditionally pollarded, almond willow, bay willow, black willow and others are not. In the past people valued the products of pollarding willow trees; the off cuts were a source of wood, fuel and animal food as well as providing material for making baskets and hurdle fences.

Willow are important to wildlife, they support a large number of insects, providing food for birds and other small animals. Bats and birds find homes and shelter in their holes and hollows, such as a tree Creeper spotted recently in the newly cut trees. In the very cold days of winter a fox has been disturbed in several trees when the Bailiff has done his rounds!

Pollarded willows are famed for the number of different plants tehy support. One hundred and fifty different plants, including mosses and lichen have been found growing in or on riverside willows. On a recent visit by forty members of 'Plantlife', we were congratulated on our willow management. Jan Fitzjohn

Article appearing in Wiltshire Life Magazine - March Issue 2013

Including beautiful pictures of the flooded meadows in December 2012. Click here for link to Wiltshire Life.

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Hedges

Hedges
Hedges
Hedges

Apart from historical interest in restoring hedges as near as possible along the lines of ancient hedgerows in medieval times they will also act as important wildlife corridors for birds, small mammals and insects, thus linking isolated bits of the water meadows together. Donations from various sources have contributed to this work that has been carried out by a team led by John Vickerman.

Recent pictures by Kris Jendersen

August - a swan has unwisely swum under the  bridge into the Rose Cottage carriage
Early September - Egret in the main carriage
The swan is helped back to the river by Salisbury Wildlife Rescue Service; pictured at the top of the north entrance to the ford
Water vole collects nesting material alongside Town Path

August - a swan has
unwisely swum unde
the bridge into the
Rose Cottage carriage

Early September-
Egret in the main
carriage

The swan is helped
back to the river by
Salisbury Wildlife
Rescue Service

Water vole collects
nesting material
alongside Town Path

New funding arrangements for the water meadows

As from 1st August 2008, the Harnham Water Meadows will be enrolled in the Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Scheme funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is an extremely important development for the Harnham Water Meadows Trust because better funding will enable us to improve infrastructure (including hatch restoration, pollarding, boundary restoration and ditching), and also modify grazing management.

To achieve this, the Trust required approval of its Farm Environmental Plan submitted to Natural England. HLS recognizes the complexity and value of the historic landscape of the Harnham Water Meadows and enrollment is valid for 10 years.

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Photographs from David Noton (c)Britainonview/DavidNoton

(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton
(c)Britainonview/DavidNoton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fruits of work from Wildlife Photographers

Water Voles by Deirdre Walker
Damsel Fly by Colin Pelton

 

 

 

 

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