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Late summer BBQ and more at West Beckham Old Allotments

We had a brilliant day on Thursday September 7th: wonderful weather, a really good work party turnout, plenty of useful work done, a great BBQ, a well-attended and informative AGM and, to round the day off, some fascinating ‘sightings’ of bats and moths. The day was gloriously sunny and pretty hot too. As it was so hot, we put back the start time from 14.00 to 15.00, but we still got all the scything, raking and clearing done that we had planned. Regular watering breaks helped us to stay hydrated, as different groups tackled different parts of the West Beckham Old Allotments site – raking up the hay and carrying it on tarpaulins to the various hay heaps around the perimeter of the site.

At around 17.30, everybody wandered back to the BBQ area to collect food – a fantastic selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian grub, with salads and cakes also on tap. We all sat around chatting, catching up with old friends and meeting new people, and generally basking in both the sun and the pleasure of a good job done. But, at around 18.15, we were called to order: the AGM, usually held in mid-winter, had been brought forward to September, to follow the BBQ.

After the AGM – well attended with around 25 people present – around 15 people stayed for the bat walk, led by Val, who began the walk with an informative talk. Our detectors picked up and identified five species of bat: Common and Soprano Pipistrelle, Noctule, Nathusius and Daubenton’s, as well as what we think were bush crickets hiding, appropriately, in the bushes. As last year, this event was sheer pleasure – do come next time we do this!

Around 9.15, we left Jane and Trevor to tend to the moth trap. What Jane found in the trap the next morning, as well as a longer account of this amazing day, will be found in the next issue of our newsletter, due out in mid-October.

Many thanks to everybody who came and helped to make this day such a successful and enjoyable one. And a huge thank you to all our volunteers for the fantastic work you have done in the past year!


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