Bradley Stoke in Bloom February update

'Valentine's tree' on Savages Wood Road. Created by Bradley Stoke in Bloom.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

Winter is a quiet time for an In Bloom group. Apart from tidy ups, planning and eating biscuits, there seems little for us to do. We have been keeping busy though, and have been planting bulbs around the town which are already beginning to show.

Although not strictly in our remit, we also collected the fallen leaves from under the Baileys Court conker tree, as these trees are under threat by the horse chestnut leaf miner moth. As some agencies are suggesting that the trees could be wiped out in just 15 year’s time, we wanted to do what we could, so we agreed with South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) tree officer that we would collect the infected fallen leaves and burn them; this destroys the moths’ eggs and stops them re-infecting the tree in the spring.

After two years of waiting, we finally received the much-heralded map from SGC showing the plots of land that they have deemed suitable for use by community groups. Sadly, most of the plots suggested are either hidden away behind residential areas or are very small (they include a 1ft wide strip of mud next to a driveway or half of a small verge) or are unsuitable for us (although we do know how to lay a hedge and how to clear bramble from paths, that’s not what we’re here for). We also spoke to some of the neighbours of the plots and they weren’t keen on having their boundary trees made into a hedge or having their ‘kick about’ patch made into a wildflower meadow. There were, however, a few areas that we are interested in and hopefully SGC will be willing to lease them to the group.

Message on the 'Valentine's tree' created by Bradley Stoke in Bloom.

We were asked by residents if there was anything we could do to improve the neglected corner opposite Brook Court, on Savages Wood Road, so we persuaded the Green Gym to lend us a hand and between us we cleared the 15ft high bramble that was covering the trees and hanging over the path. BSiB later went back to move the cut bramble, plant a flowering cherry tree to replace the sad and dead looking blackthorn and have planted lots of daffodils.

Although our ‘welcome to Bradley Stoke’ planter at the Aztec Roundabout is just a distant memory, thanks to the roadworks, we did manage to decorate the others for Valentine’s Day and our ‘Valentine tree’ proved to be very popular with everyone and soon all the hearts on the tree were ‘claimed’ (along with my pen!) We’re going to leave the hearts for a while as the tree is now such a cheery sight. It’s been suggested that we next decorate the tree for St George’s Day but will we be able to get enough snapdragons?!

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Photos: 1 ‘Valentine’s tree’ on Savages Wood Road. 2 Message on one of the hearts.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 31). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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