A great day. A large group of us met at The Skylark statue at 11am, and from there marched to the bandstand in Hayes Town to protest against the decision to build a school on the land.
The local council want to build a school on 5 precious acres of Lake Farm aka Botwell Common. Despite there being various other empty plots around Hayes Town, the council has submitted a planning application for a three entry form school for up to 630 children, a nursery, play area, sports pitch and a Special Resource Provision Unit.
John McDonell, the local MP has been very vocal in his support for Save Lake Farm. He wanted the demonstration to be noisy and loud, so we had megaphone, whistles and a large 'ghetto' blaster pulled by a tandem bike.
Please sign the petition at the top of the page. Every little voice counts.
After the demo, I walked back to Lake Farm to see what birds were around today. I expected to see Stonechats and Reed Buntings. At least two pairs of both have stayed over this winter, and they didnt disappoint. One of the male Stonechats was as curious as ever, and let me get fairly close before swooping down into the long grass. Instead of two pairs of Reed Buntings, I found three pairs, so that was a pleasant surprise.
The area around the willows is so flooded now that a pair of mallards have moved in. But apart from being a bt muddy, the rest of Lake Farm is okay and walkable. There were plenty of dog walkers out and about, and the BMX track was full of kids.
As I was leaving to come home I heard a 'yaffle' behind me and turned to find a lovely male Green Woodpecker perched just in front of me. Made a nice finale to a great day. And the wine waiting for me at home, made it all the more worthwhile.
But the strangest thing I saw today was a big fat pollen laden Bee feeding on the Mahonia. It's only the 5th of January, surely way too early to see bees ?? It might be fairly mild, but even Im still wearing a thermal vest when Im out and about.