Author: Susan Dodd

Bourton Vale gardening Club

“A garden is a friend you can visit anytime”

August is a time to reap the rewards in a garden, vegetables and fruit are ripening, ready to pick and enjoy. All of the earlier work, creating new beds, or preparing the soil, sowing seeds, planting and nurturing, should be coming to fruition in the last of the summer months. Harvesting your own produce, plot to plate is a special treat to savour and with luck a sunny August too.

For repeat flowering plants, deadhead, to ensure there are plenty of blooms through the rest of summer, but for others such as Poppies, Rudbeckias, Heleniums, Echinops and Nigellas leaving the seed heads on, gives structure in the borders and food for goldfinches, adding teasels to a wildlife garden will be especially rewarding.

If you are cutting hedges, double check, in case of late nesting blackbirds and thrushes, ensuring plenty of food and fresh water will help the parents. By August many birds will be looking slightly worse for wear as they shed or moult their breeding feathers and grow new ones, ready for the winter. The extraordinary Swallows nesting at Greystones are migratory birds; their moult process is very quick, to prepare for the long journey home.

Not quite so far for humans to travel, National Trust Snowshill and Hidcote have reopened with timed tickets bookable in advance and the National Garden Scheme, have both virtual garden visits and are adding even more Gloucestershire timed garden visits. Sezincote, Kiftsgate, the Roccoco gardens, Cerney gardens, Bourton House gardens, and Batsford, all have up to date visitor information on their websites.

Take care of yourselves and others too, stay safe. We hope your gardens are blooming and your garden wildlife is happy too.

Julie Huckle

Residents urged not to burn during Covid 19 Pandemic

Cotswold District Council has seen a large increase in the number of burning complaints in the last few weeks and is calling on residents to be more considerate of those with respiratory conditions and people in self-isolation.
Cllr Andrew Doherty, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We understand these are difficult and challenging times for us all. Whether you are adjusting to life and work at home, isolating yourself or looking after loved ones who are isolating. “Most of us are spending more time at home and while having bonfires can be tempting, it carries risks to vulnerable members of our communities. Bonfires cause issues for your neighbours, especially those with respiratory problems, people who are shielding themselves from COVID-19 or anyone who may have contracted the virus. “COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system so I would like to ask all of our residents here in the Cotswolds to please refrain from lighting fires which may affect vulnerable people while lockdowns continue.” Burning doesn’t just affect the vulnerable. Bonfires and drifting smoke is a nuisance for neighbours wanting to spend time in their gardens or keep windows open. Bonfires can get out of hand and take up valuable time and resources of the fire service which may put others at risk during this pandemic. Cllr Doherty added: “Please be considerate of your neighbours and use alternatives such as composting or storing any waste until government restrictions are lifted. We know this isn’t an ideal solution for everyone but these are not ideal times. You can put most of your garden waste to use – a successful compost heap needs lots of brown material as well as green. Don’t burn it, use prunings and dry material to improve your compost heap.” Environmental and Regulatory Services are required to investigate bonfire complaints whilst following guidance and procedures for social distancing. If considered a waste offence or statutory nuisance, it may result in enforcement action and fines. To stay up-to-date on the Council’s waste and recycling services, please visit our Coronavirus Bins and Recycling page.
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Bourton Panto Group, present “Mother Goose”

Winter Weather Arrangements – Parish Council

Winter Weather arrangements

In good time for the winter weather, residents are reminded of the arrangements that will be in place to tackle any winter weather in Bourton this year.

As usual, GCC will arrange for the primary roads in the village to be gritted and cleared of snow, as and when necessary.  A stock of grit and grit spreading equipment is held by the Parish Council to be made available to residents and businesses for clearing public pavements and footpaths as required.  The equipment will be loaned out to residents as and when necessary; however, these supplies will obviously only be available during office hours so residents are asked to contact the Council in advance if they do wish to do so, to ensure the equipment can be collected when staff will be on hand.  This grit is not to be used on private land, and residents should make their own provision in this respect ahead of winter, as general suppliers often run out of stocks during prolonged spells of bad weather.

Contrary to many people’s understanding there are no laws which prevent you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your homes or from public areas.  However, it’s obvious that this should be done responsibly and with due care for yourself and for others.  Guidance is available on the Council’s web-site ( in respect of good practice precautions to be taken when doing this.

The grit bins around the village will be filled by GCC ahead of the winter months but, thereafter, the Parish Council will be responsible for re-stocking them.  Our stocks are limited and these must therefore only be used for spreading grit on public footpaths and pavements.  Residents are asked to respect this and not take grit from these bins for use on their own land, and to notify the Council if they notice any of the bins are empty so they can be re-stocked.

If bad weather arrives, we’d also ask residents to help any vulnerable neighbours and do what they can to ensure they have help with path clearing, or delivering shopping etc, wherever possible.  There is a wider and general community benefit which will result from residents getting together to tackle the clearing of snow and ice for their own immediate area, in addition to looking out for and helping vulnerable neighbours

With thanks for your cooperation.

Sue Cretney, Clerk


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