The Chelsea Allotments have a 40 year waiting list! Beat the rush! The Knucklas Castle allotments have 6 to 7 allotments measuring 10 x 6 metres available for you to rent at £30 per year.
Twenty allotments have been ploughed and harrowed. Their owners have planted potatoes, swedes, runner and broad beans, radishes, lettuces, onions and shallots, garlic and cabbages – all of which are growing well. There are fine raised beds, sheds, barrels, water butts . . . and a friendly atmosphere of helpfulness. The new ones available for hire are not ploughed, but all surrounded by the newly installed rabbit proof fence defending all the allotments.
If you are interest in renting an allotment, please contact Andy Kenyon-Wade on 01547 529786.
Events and advertising
Since the launch at Easter we have been quite quiet on the event front. We had a stand at the Electric Bike event in Presteigne and also at the two farmers markets in Knighton in June. However we have an eclectic mix of events coming up this summer and into the autumn, it would be great to see some of you at them.
Kicking off for National Archaeology Fortnight ( NAF )we are having a stand at the Knighton Serendipity Summer Fayre on Sunday 19th July from 2 to 6 behind the Offas Dyke Centre. If you have found any bits of ceramic or any odd metal objects while digging or ploughing you can bring them along and have them identified by our local experts Islwyn Watkins and Barry Carter.
On Monday 20th July we will be at The Royal Welsh Showground taking part in
“Affordable Homes and Sustainable Communities Workshop” on Community Land Trusts from 1 to 4.30 pm, organised by Jonathan Brown, who some of you might remember from our initial public meeting last autumn. There are other community groups taking part in the workshop including Calon Cymru, whose vision is for a sequence of CLT’s all along the Heart of Wales railway line, to provide homes, jobs, food and much more.
For more information on this go to www.landforpeople.co.uk/events
As the allotments are looking so fantastic we want to show them off, so during National Allotments Week ( www.nagtrust.org ) we are holding an Open Day on Sunday 16th August from 2 to 5 pm. There will be a scarecrow competition and potato tasting and a chance to swap tips with fellow veg. growers.
This year Castle Hill is going to be a venue for h. Art or Herefordshire Art Week along with 4 other venues within the village. It is running from Saturday 12th to Sunday 20th September and we have an exciting collection of artists exhibiting and performing on the hill during the week. On the Thursday 17th, Thorius Ridge, local greenwood sculptors, are running a greenwood stool making day in the fields. The cost of this is £20 for the day with limited places. To book on this phone me, Lottie on 01547 528 792 and for more information on hArt go to www.h-art.org.uk
On Sunday October 18th we are going to hold an apple/environmental day. With the plans for the Community orchard progressing we thought it would be fun to get into the apple and pear groove …..tasting, juicing, bottling, cider and perry making…etc
If you would like to get involved with any of the above events and if you have any ideas for events then do get in touch with me. We hope to see you during the summer.
Lottie O’Leary, events coordinator.
The Archaeology group held a public meeting on June12th. There was an update on the management of the Castle site and information about the organizations we are working with: namely, Cadw, the Clywyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT), the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and the National Museum of Wales. There was information about the finds made on April 11th, when the allotment field was ploughed. These finds, some of which were on display at the meeting, are currently being assessed at CPAT. We have already learned that three of the coins found will be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and their details published in Archaeoleg yng Nghymru/Archaeology in Wales (the annual journal of CBA Wales/Cymru).
The meeting also heard a very interesting talk about field archaeology by Wendy Toomey, a professional archaeologist who lives in Presteigne. Wendy is joining our group and we will benefit enormously from her expertise. Finally we are very grateful to Wendy Davies, who brought along all her materials relating to the finding of the late Bronze Age, gold ribbon torcs in Cwm Jenkin in the 1950s. We are planning a coach trip to Cardiff later in the year to see the torcs on display in the National Museum and also to see the medieval sword which was found later near the same spot.
If you are interested in joining the group please contact Tony or Liz Jackson, 01547 520182.
As part of the archaeological work on the castle a thorough survey of St David’s, Heyope, Churchyard is being undertaken this summer.
Peter North has been collecting all the documentary information, including transcribing of the Parish registers.
Next there will be a detailed electronic survey of all features including monuments, paths, boundary walls, yew and ash trees to produce an accurate plan. Then trained local people will make detailed records including photographs of all the stones: which way they face; what they’re made of; their condition; their size, shape and decoration; and their inscriptions. We also hope to involve the members of the Youth Club in a project related to the survey. Finally, a report will be written up and all the information archived and made available on-line for anyone wishing to check on family history or undertake other local history projects.
If you wish to take part in the survey, please contact Liz Jackson on 01547 520182.
A 4-page Community Survey was distributed to all households in and around Knucklas, which resulted in a good response rate (over 25%). The purpose of the Survey was to find out the levels of interest within the Community in the various activity areas that are the focus of the Project. These were:
Assuring and improving community/public access to Castle Hill
Discovering more about the archaeology and local history of Castle Hill and the fields
Sustainable woodland management
Nature conservation and developing biodiversity
Community growing projects
Responses showed strong interest in all of the above areas amongst adults and young people alike. You also suggested some other ideas for inclusion in the project that we will be looking at as part of our Project Planning Process. Over and above this, many of you offered to contribute your skills and expertise, which is great as this, makes us a real Community project – the completion of the rabbit fencing around the allotments is a great example of what can be done!
Thank you for your support.
Developments on the hill
There has been a lot of activity on the hill by volunteer members, mainly clearing scrub from the top (the monument area) to improve visibility of the ring, and clearing some footpaths in the trees. Further work days will be announced, but if you want to assist at other times please contact the secretary. He will be delighted to offer tasks!
The plants have now been surveyed with the help of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust and this will happen a couple of more times this year to give a full idea of what growing, so far nothing very unusual but lots of interesting things. It is hoped to start recording the animal species, including birds, help would be brilliant.
We aim to make the wooded area more accessible and stable by restricting the grazing and creating paths.
We would like to have activity days in the future and to make an outdoor teaching shelter (Click on Education Section for updates)
The membership is now up to 116 people, holding 3615 shares (at £1 each) and who have given £1805 in donations.
The directors intend to call the first annual general meeting of members in the early autumn. At that point the members become responsible for the operation of the Project by appointing the directors (at present there is an interim board of directors). (Posted by Kevin)