Springtime in East Farndon – A short guide to keeping safe

Article written by Bernie Fallon, 25th May 2021.

It’s that time of year when nature has been woken from its Winter slumber and begins to dazzle us with its wonder.

Springtime, particularly in the Countryside brings so much hope and beauty as a new cycle of natural life begins. Living in a rural village like East Farndon gives us the opportunity to get closer than most. For the farmers it is one of their busiest times of year, not just with the preparation of land and crop planting, but because it marks the start of the lambing and calving season which, for the lambs, requires 24 hour attention.

The idyllic scene of young lambs and calves frolicking in the fields on a sunny spring day brings joy and excitement to children and grown-ups alike and presents a great opportunity to teach little ones about the countryside and how to respect it. 

Many of the fields have ‘right of way’ footpaths that allow walkers and ramblers to pass through without damaging crops or disturbing grazing animals. This creates a relative harmony that for most of the year causes very few problems. It is important to remember however that this is a working environment for farm staff, and visitors should remain vigilant of animals, machinery and vehicles.  

Springtime, particularly when young calves and lambs are grazing, should be a time when the respect for the countryside and its new additions is essential.

Cows are naturally very protective of their young and have been known, on occasions, to charge at walkers. On very rare instances this has led to serious or fatal injuries to those involved. Although right of way footpaths may exist through fields with grazing cattle, sometimes it’s better to take the longer route and admire the herd from a distance rather than risk potential conflict. 

Dogs are recommended to be on a lead at all times even if their temperament is good. Cows will do whatever they feel necessary to protect their young and as calves are playful and inquisitive, they will often wander away from their mothers to explore their surroundings. The arrival of a dog nearby may be cause for alarm.  

East Farndon Parish Council, who have a dedicated Footpath Warden, in partnership with the farm landowners, keep an eye on the upkeep and maintenance of our footpaths, including those through farmland.

These footpaths are signposted and clearly marked as official routes, so to avoid unnecessary upset, it is best to keep to the marked walkways.

If you spot a problem, maybe an obstruction on the path or damage to a stile, in the first instance contact East Farndon Parish Council. They will then investigate, and if necessary, notify the relevant landowner and / or West Northamptonshire Council (who have responsibility for footpaths). To do this, please email the Parish Clerk at: parishclerk.eastfarndon@gmail.com

The Countryside is there for us all to enjoy and admire throughout the year, but it comes with a responsibility that we all share to make it accessible and enjoyable for everyone. 

For more information about livestock and rights of way visit: https://www.nfuonline.com/cross-sector/rural-affairs/access/access-news/livestock-and-rights-of-way-reducing-the-risk/

The Countryside code: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/985422/Summary-Countryside-Code-A5.pdf

Guide to farming Calendar: https://www.countryfile.com/wildlife/farming-calendar-a-year-in-the-life-of-a-british-farmer/

Hotel Opens in East Farndon

On a sunny morning in April, 10-year-old Louis Jeanneret and his 5-year-old brother Leo (ably assisted by Paul Hodgetts) constructed the East Farndon Bug Hotel on Marriott Green.

Residents including ladybirds, woodlice and beetles quickly flew and crawled in, eager to settle into the new en-suite rooms.

As part of the hotel complex, a bird box that Louis had built at Cubs was installed in a near-by tree, ready to receive its first occupants.

The hotel campus also includes a hedgehog house, built by Louis and his dad Paul, and this sits close to the main hotel, on the bank near the hedgerow for easy hedgehog access. Refurbishment has been completed, and it is now covered in earth, moss and sticks. Bookings are good for 2021, but the first hedgehog is yet to arrive.

A second hedgehog house has already been placed on the left-hand side of the green container as the facilities continue to expand.

Back in December at the Jeanneret home, mum Carly put out 3 Christmas wreaths for recycling, but before she had chance, a family of robins nested in one of them. Mrs Robin laid 3 eggs, and 3 baby robins hatched in April. Carly kindly donated the other 2 wreaths to Marriott Green and these are hanging on trees, waiting for more robins to make their nests.

If anyone has any wreaths they’d like to donate (at any time of the year), we would love to hang more up.

Inspired by Louis and his family? We would love to add more bird boxes etc to the East Farndon hotel complex. Children – grab your parents! Here are some ideas for building bird boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog houses. There are lots of websites that tell you how to build them – these are a few examples:

Build a bird box (rspb.org.uk)

Naturehood Actions | Wildlife Housing

Bug Hotel Plans DIY | Build an Insect Hotel – The RSPB

How to make a hedgehog house | Natural History Museum (nhm.ac.uk)

 Keen to help?

Volunteers are turning the neglected area of land around the green container on Marriott Green into a wildlife area. If you can help in any way, for example, donating plants, bird boxes etc – or if you have some great ideas, please contact Anthea, Donna and Judy via the website. Plants (e.g. colourful bushes) for the grass bank that borders the road would also be gratefully received.

The pdf version of this article can be accessed by the clicking this link: Marriott Green Bug Hotel

Also, for more information, click this link to visit the Marriott Green Home Page

Written by Judy Hodgetts – May 12th 2021

In Memoriam – Brenda Hopkins

It is really sad to learn that Brenda Hopkins has passed away. Brenda lived at Orchard House in East Farndon and she moved to the village in the late 1970s with her husband Derek, who died in 2013. May she rest in peace.

The following was announced in the Daily Telegraph on February 22nd,

Brenda Elizabeth Hopkins died peacefully at home with her family on 12th February 2021, aged 91. Much loved mother of Sara, Simon, James, Clive, Charlotte and Emma and grandmother to twelve grandchildren. Family funeral. All enquiries to J. Stamp & Sons. Tel: 01858 462524 www.jstampandsons.co.uk

Incredible Historical Find in Little Oxendon – BBC News

A gold figurine found buried in a field could be an ornament from Henry VIII’s lost crown, according to the metal detectorist who discovered it. The figure, depicting Henry VI, was found by Kevin Duckett in Northamptonshire in 2017. After years of research, he now believes it once formed part of the Tudor King’s crown, a view shared by some experts. The British Museum said more research was needed. Following the Civil War, the crown was melted down on the orders of Oliver Cromwell, but it is believed the figurine, which was one of several adorning the royal treasure, could already have been removed. Mr Duckett, from Fleckney in Leicestershire, found the object within 30 minutes of searching the field in Little Oxendon. Click the link below to read more.