Recent Lengthsman Activity

August-September 2020
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
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 Oct 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

                                  MW site meeting 30.11.19

July ‘19  

hours worked - 37

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 cutting x 2
  • Visibility splays strimmed
  • Cemetery grass cutting x 2
  • Cemetery - removal of overhanging branches from lychgate and store shed
  • Little Green - additional bollard installed to prevent further erosion by vehicles
  • Church wall stone abutment damaged by a vehicle - surviving large piece of stone re-installed


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


Work for May to include:


Reinstall stone buttress on corner of church wall on Turnhill Road

Remove branches overhanging cemetery lychgate and storehouse - chip branches.


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   113hrs remain.  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.  188 hrs remain.    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 workers   338 hrs remain
Vegetation management: splays, verges, grass cutting Cemetery and Millennium Wood
                                         weed spraying Millennium Wood
May 2018 Activity    14.25 hrs worked   160.75 hrs remain
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  0hrs remain
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
39 hrs remaining
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
79 hrs remaining
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
119 hrs remain
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
160 hrs remain
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
190.5 hrs remaining
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