2021/22 Lengthsman Activity

Oct/Nov '22 Late October saw the final mowing of the cemetery and Millennium Wood by Craig and Racheal. Algae was sprayed on ground surface aroundplay equipment in the Palying Field Play Area. A site meeting at MW on 11th Oct decided the winter tree management work in MW and the cemetery: further removal of 'nurse' trees; dead ash trees; coppicing of selected hazels;  cutting back some willows and dogwoods adjacent to paths; cutting back of selected banks of bramble. Craig will also clear ground in preparation for new planting of native species trees to replace some of the dead Ash. On 14th Nov, a work party will be clearing some invasive vegetation in the pond. In the cemetery, Craig will be removing dead trees and lifting crowns along the 2 roadside boundaries.

July/August '22 The dry weather has given an opportunity to do weed killing in the cemetery, the pavements in the centre of the village, some hedge cutting in Millennium Wood. The fence in the Play Area has been mended, and some road signs have been cleared of vegetation. 

June '22  Grass cutting continued at the cemetery, millennium wood and visibility splays. With the wet and warm either there has been a big growth in vegetation growth which has kept us  busy! The ash tree Craig pollarded in millennium wood has started to develop regrowth, it'll be interesting to see how it develops over time. The areas of wild flower in the cemetery are now at their peak which is attracting much wildlife.

March '22 The storms at the start of March caused tree damage in the cemetery. One tree fell and another suffered line damage. For the safety of the public, and adjacent trees, Craig removed the damaged boughs cut up the fallen tree.

February '22 Craig has moved much of the thinning from recent tree work to the Den Building Area - there is enough there to build lots of dens!
Since the last meeting, Where Ash trees have been felled, Craig recommends further replanting, especially in the den-building area. He has also pollarded a diseased ash tree within the bottom hedgerow. He has left it it as a pollarded stem to see if it regenerates as an experiment, if not it can be felled. Craig has also cleared some storm damage in the wood. Craig has been working on the drainage, so far opening up the grids and grips from Turn Hill through to Bere. On the day, working during a period of heavy rain Craig prioritised areas that were affected the worst. Next month grass cutting in Cemetery and MW will begin, weather permitting.

January '22 Craig has continued the work of removing dead and diseased trees, and the 'nurse' trees that now need to be removed to allow the healthy tree to grow unhindered. Some of the banks of bramble have been cut back, still leaving some for insect habitat.

December '21 Craig and his team, Rachael and Phil, were finally able to complete the pollarding of the trees on The Green. Western Electric turned off the power to enable the work to be done safely - power lines criss-cross the site.

November '21 Craig and Rachael Howe, with help from Roger Powell and Amanda Chuter, spent a morning clearing Millennium Wood pond of bulrushes and Parrott Weed that had almost completely taken over. Craig and Rachael then spent the afternoon bramble bashing in the woodland. craig removed a tree that had fallen in to the pond.

August/September '21
Junction visibility splays trimmed.
Playing Field - visibility splays and signage - vegetation trimmed
Cemetery - trimmed back overhang at rear of cemetery, and removal of dead trees. Mowing and strimming. 
The Green - growth on trunks that impeded sight lines
Millennium Wood - mowing

June/July '21
Millennium Wood – parrot weed cleared from the pond. mowing of paths and rides.
Cemetery mown and grave edges strimmed.
Clearing of grips.a

May '21
24.05.21 Rachael Howe, member of the Parish Lengthsman Team, Dave Vigar, Robert Webb, Amanda Chuter cleared the pond in Millennium Wood pond of invasive Parrot Weed -  an annual job. The weed forms dense mats, shading out existing native species and preventing new seedlings of native species from establishing, and replaces species that usually grow on the margins of waterbodies. Lots of newts seen. 


February '21

Parish Lengthsman Craig Howe, assisted by Phil and Simon, cleared dead wood, lifted crowns, in the Cemetery, St. Andrew’s graveyard and The Green. A SSDC Conservation Area tree work licence was given for the work on The Green, and the Diocese gave permission for the work in the graveyard. The rest of the trees on The Green were pollarded late last year by the same team. The work in the cemetery was to clear the stone building from encroaching tree growth. The PC, as owners of The Green and Cemetery, are responsible for their care.

January '21

Craig was busy this month in Millennium Wood  continuing the programme of thinning to allow more growth for healthy trees, and coppice some of the hazel trees. The woodland is now looking less like a plantation! Some of the thinning have been left in the Den Areato provide more den-building materials. At the cemetery, Craig continued the task of removing shrubs and trees from the wrought iron fencing, installed in 1924. Work on clearing pavements, grips and drains, continued.


October-November 2020

MW/Cemetery: final grass cut of the year
The Green: trees pollarded.  2 trees left to do along the boundary of the Old Rectory due to delay of power shut-down. Planning App for tree work in Conservation Area applied for Feb half-term ‘21. Power shut-down will be applied for.
Playing Field: fence repairs in the play area/car park/bmx track.
Various locations: drainage work- clearing of grips, grids


August-September 2020
76hrs worked
Works carried out during last two weeks of August and September include the routine grass cutting at the cemetery, Millennium Wood, verges and footpaths. The Site meeting at Millennium Wood 25th August (Craig Howe, Dave Vigar, Amanda Chuter) to discuss future works and management. The wall at The Pound has been cleared of ivy and bramble. A power shutdown has been arranged at the end of October to enable the reduction of the trees on The Green. SID Speed Indicator Device installation Picts Hill.

June-July 2020
76hrs worked
Mowing: Cemetery and Millennium Wood
Vegetation clearance: clearance of vegetation along southern railings of cemetery.  Visibility splays. Road signs. Millennium Wood - undergrowth
SID Speed Indicator Device: removal and instillation Ham Hill and adjacent to Cemetery.

Jan-Feb 2020
Drainage: Given the scale of rainfall this winter, Craig’s focus has been on the most  affected sites  rather than working around the parish in a methodical way as  in previous years.  As requested by the PC, Craig booked a SSDC StreetScene drain sucker to clear 17 blocked drains. Craig provided the team with a map for the location of the blocked drains. 
Pavements: While StreetScene team were in the parish, Craig  arranged for them to clear the leaves on the pavements near the school. Craig also cleared the pavement of debris between the corner of the school to Manor Farm. Thanks to Jane Vigar for additional clearing.
The Green: Crowns lifted on the trees affecting visibility splays. Late autumn/winter the trees will be fully pollarded - a job done periodically. Craig will apply to the planning authority for permission to carry out tree works in a conservation area, (shouldn't be a problem as its a re-pollard), and arrange with Western Power for a power shut-down as there are power lines passing through some of the trees.
Church wall corner: one of the 3 buttress stones has been re-set - the 3 stones while small, do keep vehicles away from the wall.
Millennium Wood: Craig has continued thinning of selected trees
The Pound: SSDC granted Craig Conservation Area permission to carry out the reduction work on the lime tree. in a conservation area.

December ‘19

Play Area - cut back the hedge adjacent to the bmx track.
Drainage -  clearing grids and grips - work ongoing. Recording blocked drains as requested
The Pound -  application made to SSDC Planning to carry our work in conservation area ie the lime tree. 
The Green -  chasing western power about clearing the branches around the utility cables on the village green -  no success so far. Issue raised over a year ago, they are being pretty slack
Millennium Wood - attended Site Meeting on 29th November re  Management Plan for 2020 and beyond.

November ‘19
Picts Hill - cleared pavement on parish boundary bridge and adjacent tree and hedge growth.Cemetery - final mowing of year
Millennium Wood - final mowing of year
31st Nov MW site meeting
Felling of selected trees started - overcrowded/diseased
The Pound - leaves cleared. Application made to SSDC to reduce the lime tree as it is within the Conservation Area
The Green - Crown lifted on one tree to improve visibility splay for traffic
Drainage work in parish - clearing grids/grips etc started
Dec work to include: continuing drainage work

July ‘19  

37hrs worked

Cemetery: Grass mown. Encroaching vegetation cleared from paths/grass areas. Ragwort pulled.

Millennium Wood: Rides and paths mown and overhanging vegetation cleared. Some areas of bramble sprayed. Ragwort pulled.  Play Area: Fence outside kissing gate reinstalled. Playing Field fingerpost post cleared from hedge.Other: Vegetation cleared from Picts Hill PC noticeboards and adjacent pavement.

May/June ‘19
38hrs worked
May to June 21st tasks include

Millennium Wood grass cut x 2
Visibility splays strimmed
Cemetery grass cut x 2 and removal of overhanging branches from Lychgate and store shed
Little Green - installation of additional bollards to prevent erosion from vehicles
Churchyard wall stone abutment re-installed after damage by lorry


April '19

10hrs worked

Vegetation Management:

Visibility splays on the main roads

Millennium Wood Rides and paths mown

weeds sprayed on Picts Hill, HH village centre and The Pound

Clearing weed from the pond in Millennium wood - with volunteer help

Cleared ivy and bramble from the wall in The Pound


February/March ‘19


37hrs worked February

37hrs  March

Cemetery - grass cutting started

Millennium Wood - first cut of grass

                               tree thinning now paused. Will continue next winter

                               site meeting


March/April work to include - clearing vegetation from Walls of The Pound

                                                 Weed killing along pavement between Manor Farm and postbox 


January 2019  
37.5hrs worked  Work included clearing grips and drains in most of Parish. Felling selected trees in Millennium Wood  - planned programme of thinning. Timber stacked for seasoning.



November 2018    37.5 hrs worked.  
 Diseased tree on Little Green felled and stump removed. Craig assisted by fellow tree surgeon Simon. Invoice for hire of stump grinder sent to Vicky. (More detailed report and photos see Oct. report) Comment by Parish resident:

Craig and his colleague Simon were doing things in a very professional manner, quite a lot of technical stuff and things like Craig keeping a constant look out for people etc coming on site when he was working in the tree and his mate keeping the road clear of twigs and branches as they were coming down out of the tree, all things that some tree surgeons are not completely on top of.’

Visibility splays at Long St/Windmill Rd junction and Playing Field entrance trimmed.

Drainage work: Low Ham, Long St, Morton’s Lane, Henley, High Ham Turn Hill, Bere.

Leaf clearance around Cemetery entrance.


October 2018  In early summer, Parish Lengthsman Craig, identied a problem with the horsechesnut on High Ham’s Little Green - signs of severe decay. (All of High Ham’s sections of The Green are owned and managed by High Ham PC) With its location surrounded by busy roads, it was decided the tree would need to be felled. The SSDC Tree Officer inspected the tree, identifying the cause of decay as Bleeding Canker and that felling was appropriate. The necessary permission was granted and on 29th October, Craig and fellow qualified tree-surgeon Simon felled the tree and ground the stump out. 

When the conditions are right, a Wild Service Tree will be planted, and oak bollards will be installed to protect the Little Green and its tree.




June 2018 Activity  
37.5 hrs worked
Vegetation management: splays, verges, grass cutting Cemetery and Millennium Wood
                                         weed spraying Millennium Wood
May 2018 Activity    
14.25 hrs worked   
Accompanied Dave Vigar, Bryan Bartlett and Derek Davies (Highways) on tour of parish to identify issues.
Drainage work at start of month
Grass cutting in Millennium Wood and Cemetery
Clearing splays from Hext Hill through to High Ham - work will continue in June
April 2018 Activity
Drainage work at start of month
Cemetery/MW mowing
MW site meeting 10.04.18 attended
MW Fingerpost at Stout Hill/ Cooke's Lane junc - moved further back into bank
March 2018 Activity  
38.75 hrs worked  
Millennium Wood: Brash from February work, chipped
Grass cutting - ground too wet/ soft - delayed to late April if weather allows
Drainage: blocked drains - grips cleared, rodding failed to clear drains severely blocked - jetting required
Vegetation management started
April work so far: 
Cemetery mowed
February 2018 Activity
38 hrs worked
Drainage: Turn Hill and Bere inlets opened up. 
Millennium Wood: Trees pruned/felled to increase light to Weeping Ash and Beech trees. some Hazel coppiced. Some brash left at den-building area, rest to be processed later for bean poles. logs from earlier felling processed. Logs and poles to be sold at a later date.
January 2018 Activity
40 hrs worked
New grips cut  and blocked grid cleared on Ham Hill. 
Clearance of priority and other grids in parish.
Crowns lifted on eastern boundary. Brash chipped and and spread as mulch.
Grave cavities filled with stone.
Millennium Wood:
Fingerpost installed on Stout Hill.
Large areas of bramble cleared - some small areas left as wildlife habitat.
Cordwood processed into split logs - covered.
Wynnstay sign removed on southern entrance to HH.
December 2017 Activity
40 hrs worked
Winter road salt collected from SSDC Highways - stored at Manor Farm.
Road drainage work including clearing. A further 10 blocked grids cleared with SSDC drain clearing team.
Playing Field car park fencing repaired.
Cemetery eastern boundary tree crowns lifted. Brash chipped.
November 2017 Activity
31 hrs worked
Craig accompanied SSDC team unblocking 20 blocked drains that had been identified as priority for clearing.
Further work on clearing grids and grips through Hext Hill side of Low Ham and towards Henley. more blocked drains identified for 2nd visit of SSDC 'drain sucker' wb.11.12.17
Road salt bags: collected and delivered to Manor Farm HH.
Millennium Wood:
Crowns lifted along outer ride to allow tractor access to flail boundary hedges.
Invasive Parrot Weed cleared from pond with help from Amanda Chuter and Amy Jenkins
Signs installed at Outdoor Classroom, Woodhenge and Den-building sites - made using. Timber from MW by Craig's wife Rachael.
Boundary edges strimmed and leaf blowing.
October 2017 Activity
38hrs worked
Final phase of this season's vegetation management:
Grass cutting in cemetery and Millennium Wood.
Weed spraying pavement/kerbs Hamdown Court, Picts Hill and Cemetery.
Inspection of priority drains in preparation for SSDC drain sucker working in parish wb. 8th Nov. Budget allows for clearance of 20 drain sumps. 20 identified between School and Henley. Will take a number of additional visits to clear remaining problem drains.
9th November The drain sucker team and Craig on Fountain Hill
Millennium Wood:
Grass mowing
Crowns lifted on rides to allow access for tractor and flail for boundary hedge cutting.
Brash will be chipped at a later date.
21st Nov, 9am  working party will clear invasive Parrot Weed in pond.
14.10.17  Cemetery mowing


September 2017 Activity
Vegetation management including:
Playing Field car park and BMX track - weeds sprayed
Millennium Wood - rides mowed
Top of Long St. Junction - visibility splay hedge trimmed
Cemetery - weeds sprayed
also: The Green - rotten bollards removed and 5 new ones installed