Burwash Common and Weald Residents Association

Text Box: June 2020
Hello again.  I hope everyone is keeping well – physically and mentally - during these continuing, difficult times.  At least the weather is improving and I, for one, am grateful that, if we must have this virus epidemic, then we have got it in spring going into summer, rather than autumn going into winter.  I appreciate that is not much consolation if you live in a small flat in a tower block in London.

Highlight of the past month was the socially-distanced 90th birthday celebrations for one of my neighbours (he knows who he is!).  Many friends and neighbours turned out to wish him well.  Remarkably, he is the living proof that 90 is the new 60!
I have been given some advice about maintaining verges which I am happy to pass on.  Indirectly, this comes from ‘Plantlife’, a national organisation dedicated to bringing back our lost wildflowers by managing roadside verges in a better way.  We can all do some simple things to help keep our verges full of spring and summer wildflowers for people to enjoy and to provide vital food for bees and other pollinators.  The best advice is to delay strimming or mowing of verges until mid-July.  Plants need to complete their full life-cycle each year – be allowed to grow, flower and set seed – in order to thrive.  Most wildflowers take roughly 6 – 8 weeks from flowering to successfully shedding viable seed.  Cutting plants down in full flower deprives insects of nectar and pollen and stops plants reproducing from seed.  Regular and early cutting rapidly eliminates some species of wildflower, such as yellow rattle, which can help keep grasses under control.  That said, it is important to cut verges annually as not doing so can allow course grasses to thrive.  It is also important to remove cuttings after mowing or strimming.  The key is not starting too early:  the best time to cut is mid-July to the end of September.  Early seed setters include cow parsley, bluebells, garlic mustard and cuckoo flowers.  These are the spring flowers we tend to see the most in our local area as they have the best chance of setting seed and returning the following year.  It is appreciated that some people like to keep a neat and tidy verge outside their house but, if we can resist the temptation to get out the strimmer or mower before mid-July, we will be rewarded with a wider variety of spring flowers and a profusion of summer wildflowers too.  Our bee friends will also be very happy.

Just a reminder, if needed, that BCWRA membership subscriptions for 2020/21 are now due.  If possible, please pay these electronically or by standing order.  Let me know by e-mail (lindsaygreen777@yahoo.com) or phone (07775 862846) if you need our bank account details.  Membership of the BCWRA is open to all who live in Burwash Common or Burwash Weald.  The cost remains at £5 per household per year.  If you are reading this as a non-member and would like to join, please let me know and I will send you electronically our standing order mandate form which includes our account details.

Membership does NOT oblige you to participate actively in any of the work undertaken by the RA (although volunteers are always welcomed of course)!  If you are not yet a member and would like to join the 92 households that are, please contact me, Lindsay Green – Secretary (07775 862846), Jackie Bird – Chair (01435 883660) or Peter Toll – Treasurer (01435 883433).

If you have any items of local interest that you would like us to post, please let any member of the committee know – their names and contact details are on the web site.  If you wish to e-mail us about any matter, then please note that our e-mail address is bcwra2017@gmail.com. 
Keep well and stay safe in these difficult times.