Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Did anyone see anything suspicious between Sunday and Monday evening 26 - 27 April in Grange Road?

The Air Training Corps HQ at the end of Grange Road was raided (again) some time between Sunday and Monday evening. As the Police have yet to inspect the scene, details of losses, etc., are not known, but lots of damage to Radio Controlled model Aeroplanes has been done (the engines ripped out). The Radio Room has been trashed and some equipment is apparently missing.

If anyone in the vicinity of Grange Road has seen any suspicious activity, please can they let us know ?.
Either the Police, the Commanding Officer or Dave Coomber, the Radio Officer. (712172)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Garden Wildlife

Our gardens are becoming a haven for wildlife. My next door neighbour on one side had a fox in his garden one evening recently and the neighbours on the other side had a badger eating worms on the lawn one night. One man living close by when walking to work early one morning last week, followed a badger up the road.

And from the larger mammals like fox and badger, there were also a couple of the smaller ones in my garden and on my allotment yesterday and today. On the allotment a mouse was running around in broad daylight while we were working and today, in the garden this evening, a Pipistrelle Bat was hawking for insects over the pond. It was successful in its hunting as the Bat Detector I was using, distinctively picked up the buzzing sound that the bat makes as he homes in on an insect.

Bird species breeding in my garden include 2 nests of blackbird, blue tit, great tit, robin, wood pigeon, collared dove, starling, house sparrow and dunnock. There may well be a song thrush and wren, goldfinch and chaffinch are behaving as if they will also nest in the garden or very close in the weeks ahead.

Recent summer visitors heard singing in the garden include, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap - but these species will move on to their more favourite habitats i.e. woodland. They all breed in the parish.

I am now waiting for the first house martins and swifts over the village. I have swift boxes attached to the house and they were investigating last year. Swifts usually return to their last year's nesting sites in the first week of May - only a couple of weeks to go.

But will we get a cuckoo in the parish this year? They used to be regularly heard even flying over our house on The Marsh but in recent years I have not heard of one in our parish, never mind in the village. Cannock Chase would appear to be the nearest where you can hear them now. Traditionally they are first heard around the 21 April - that's tomorrow folks - so listen out.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Inter-Parish Games - help needed

Bob Holmes is urgently requesting help from anyone who will volunteer to become part of a Penkridge team for Target Golf for the Inter-Parish GAMES. Please contact Bob Holmes by email at: robert.holmes@hotmail.co.uk

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Wildflower Meadow

I have been trying to turn a meadow by the River Penk into a Wildflower Meadow. With the help of wildflower plants supplied by South Staffs. Council and with some donated bulbs. At last I have pictures to show you that indicates, I believe, that we are succeeding.
Last autumn we planted 140 bulbs of wild Snakeshead Fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris). This flower has become a favourite of mine ever since I was involved in managing the last two meadows in Staffordshire where this flower still grows in the wild - one at Wheaton Aston and one at Tamworth. At one time - before farmers started to drain lowland wet meadows, plough them and put fertilizer and chemicals on them, many of our wetland rough grazing meadows in lowland Staffordshire must have been covered by these purple chequered bell-shaped flowers.
I now have them growing in my own garden and on the front lawn (once part of the Great Marsh of Penkridge) and over the years I have grown many from seed (they take several years before developing into a proper bulb and start to flower like the one in the photo taken today).
The plan with our Meadow is to turn it into a really beautiful natural wildlife meadow on the banks of the River Penk. We checked what was growing there before we began introducing new species and found there were very few species. We have so far introduced about ten new wild species and the Fritillary is one of the first to flower in the spring - early April is their flowering time. Penkridge Parish Council have agreed not to mow the field until after the main flowering season so that the plants can seed and spread.

Friday, 10 April 2009

CHURCH BACK IN TIME.............

At last we will be able to catch that train and bus folks! The Church Clock is ticking again. And you'll be pleased to see that its moved on from ten to three! TIME STOOD STILL IN PENKRIDGE FOR NEARLY 6 MONTHS! Three cheers for the Clock Winder.



Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Pro's and Con's - two sides to the coin

There are always two sides to a coin - and sometimes you have to make a choice. Sometimes its made for you which of course, often goes against the grain - but sometimes we are given a choice. The problem, however, is that often the odds are weighed against us.

Today I am referring to the Planning System which is much more open than it was and now all planning applications are open to the public for comment. They all now appear on the Planning Authority's Website and you can even make your views known online.

Penkridge Parish Council regularly receive notices and details of all planning applications relating to our parish and their views are requested. The Planning Authority (i.e. South Staffs. District Council) then take those views, and any others they receive from the public, into account in arriving at a decision to either approve or reject the application.

In the near future, two very different applications will be submitted to the District Council for consideration by the Planners (the officers will advise the Council Members on them but the Members will make the final decision). Those two applications will be:

1. An Application by South Staffordshire Housing Association for a replacement Care Home for the elderly to replace the now demolished Silverdene which was closed by the County Council last year.

2. An Application by a developer (Wind Direct Ltd.) to erect two 130 metre high Wind Turbines on the Rodbaston College Estate.

Now, on the face of it, the above two applications seem pretty straight forward and most people would say "I have no problem with either of those - we need another Care Home and Wind Turbines turn the wind into energy that we can use and need".


I will leave it at that for the time being. Think about them both, ask questions, ascertain facts. I will write more about the the pros and cons of these two applications a little later or when they are submitted.