Residents may have noticed that The Pound, the green space on the High Street between Church Cottage and Church Farm Cottage, has undergone something of a face-lift over the past couple of weeks. The principals behind the work would like to take this opportunity to explain the background and future plans.
In the past The Pound was the place where any stray animal would be kept securely until collected by its owner. It was the job of the village constable, an ancient office, along with keeping the peace generally, to watch out for stray sheep, cows, goats and pigs.
Nowadays we don’t have any stray livestock to look after and the area has been kept as a green space – since 2010 as a cottage garden and wildlife area. It has been looked after by the Appearance and Sustainability Group, a legacy of Wittenham Vision. Over the years more than twenty-five people have given their time to help: strimming, digging, weeding and planting. We have been given shrubs, bulbs and plants so there has been colour and interest throughout the year and a wide range of bees and butterflies has been nurtured by the plants – including weeds, grasses and nettles. The Manor at Little Wittenham and the Earth Trust have also given us materials for paths and log seating.
We would like to thank everyone who has given and helped look after The Pound over the past few years.
To make the area more accessible to enjoy by villagers and visitors, the Parish Council, who are ultimately responsible for the land, has embarked on a “make over”. The plans include the following:
Keeping the original fence and moving the access gate to the centre; we will seek advice on how to have a user friendly gate for disabled/pushchair visitors.
A path, again suitable for disabled persons/pushchairs leading from gate to a central seating area.
The area behind the already established hazel tree will be reinstated as the wildlife area promoting habitats for bugs, birds, moths and butterflies. We have an expert in our village who has offered to advise on the suitable plants needed to encourage the wildlife. The hazel tree will receive a trim around the base to avoid it spreading and taking over; this will then be under-planted with bulbs. We are hoping to install bird/bat boxes.
The three edges of The Pound that are adjacent to neighbouring properties will be kept clear of plants to enable easy access for homeowners to maintain their property. There are also two manhole covers that need to be kept clear.
The apple tree that is in the centre will be moved to the rear where it will joined by some more compact fruit trees suitable for small spaces; these will give colour with their blossom in the Spring and then again in Autumn with their fruit.
The remaining areas will be covered in bark and selected areas will be planted with low maintenance, non-invasive plants such as rosemary, lavender, sage, holly, etc.
It is hoped that the maintenance of The Pound can be incorporated with our Spring and Autumn Litter Picks as part of keeping our village beautiful.
We are looking for volunteers for the following:
- Refurbishment of two garden benches that have been donated; a nice winter job for someone in their shed?
- Someone who has knowledge of bird/bat boxes e.g sizing, constructing, siting.
- Plant advice and when the time is right, actual planting.
If you feel you have something to contribute to The Pound Garden then do please get in contact.