Catsfield news
Catsfield news

Women’s World Day of Prayer: This annual event will be held in St Laurence’s Church on Friday 3rd March at 2.30pm. This is always a very special service which starts as the day begins with the sun rising over the island of Samoa. It is passed around the world following the sun until it sets off the coast of Eastern Samoa, some thirty-five hours later. It is moving to know that we in Catsfield are part of more than five thousand services being held in the British Isles alone passing on the message, which this year is written by the Christian women of The Philippines and translated into a thousand different languages.

Coffee Morning: The next fundraising event for the Parish Church of St Laurence will be a Coffee morning on Saturday 4th March from 10am until 12 noon. There will be Craft and Cake Stalls and a Raffle.

WI: Catsfield WI’s February meeting opened with the singing of Jerusalem and apologies from many members who were unwell. We were reminded that suggestions were needed for how we should celebrate our 100th birthday next year. Our President welcomed her ‘clone’, her look-alike sister Penny Philcox as the speaker talking about ‘Encouraging Wildlife in Your Garden’. There had been a few anxious moments earlier when there was a computer glitch and it seemed impossible to show Penny’s wonderful wildlife photographs on the big screen. John Overall came to the rescue and after much jiggery-pokery and a change of laptop, all was well and Penny was able to begin her talk on time after all the business matters of the meeting had been dealt with. She began by showing us an aerial shot of the neighbourhood in which she lived and then pictures of her garden as it was when she first moved in. The front garden was completely paved over and she soon dug that up, befriending her new neighbours by giving them the slabs that she no longer needed. More recent photographs of the garden showed what a compete and lovely transformation she’d made, with shrubs and plants adding colour, interest and encouragement for wildlife after the boring, barren space that was there before.

The back garden was also transformed from an area mostly given to grass, to one with a wide variety of spaces made into many different types of garden. Ponds and a bog garden, a dry gravel area, herb and vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs to encourage many different species of birds, herbaceous borders filled with plants to encourage bees, butterflies and moths and groundcover to give protection for wildlife to shelter beneath. The shed has a ‘green’ roof garden planted with colourful sedums giving a spectacular display and Penny has provided bird feeding areas of many kinds and in various locations around her garden. She showed many beautiful photographs of a great variety of birds, bees, butterflies etc and larger forms of wildlife, too numerous to mention here, taken in her garden and accompanied with knowledgeable information about them all. She gave us many suggestions of plants and shrubs that would encourage all kinds of wildlife to our own gardens and inspired us by stating that there was no reason why we shouldn’t have the same wide variety of birds visiting our own plots, whether large or small. Penny has a blog which anyone can view and which she updates regularly showing pictures of recent sightings and information about wildlife in her area. Take a look at The afternoon ended with the raffle and a very enjoyable WI tea, before I for one, headed home to refill my birdfeeders and plan whereabouts in my garden I’m going to make a pond!

Pat Speedy: It was lovely to hear that my predecessor as writer of Catsfield Village Voice, also ex-Chairman of the Parish Council, ex-President of the WI and her partner Peter Jackson are to be married in Exmouth, Devon on 15th March. Pat lived in Powdermill Lane for very many years and was well known in the village also as a member of the congregation of St Laurence’s Church and for her great interest in local history and the Brassey family. Congratulations to them both and we wish them a very happy day and future life together.

Sport: No football news this week as the pitch was too wet, tomorrow we play Punnetts Town at home, weather permitting.

Farming News: Our farmers are also experiencing weather problems. Although, there is a small flock of young lambs in a field at Watermill Lane bred early to catch the Easter market, thousands of sheep will be lambing in a few weeks time. The state of the grass is the cause for concern, not enough rain in the autumn means there is very little good quality grass for the animals in the spring. If you look at the fields, quite a lot of them look straggly and yellow. Cows are usually kept in during winter months, being fed, which is expensive, so they will need to be put out to grass in the spring competing with the ewes and lambs. Arable crops are looking good, but as you can see, our farming around the village is mostly grazing. What we need is gentle rain with mild temperatures, actually that is what humans need as well.

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