Churchyard Nature Note with Andrew Tompsett

February 2015

Signs of spring


Snowdrops are appearing and the first daffodil has been seen in the churchyard.  Spring is coming we can be confident of that but it is coming slowly with every likelihood that cold weather will put it on ‘hold’

This year you may have noticed that snowdrops and some daffodils are a little later than usual. This slight delay is because w e did experience warm and sunny weather last October. Many of our spring flowers do benefit from cool conditions in autumn and this is the reason that some bulbs are sold as ‘prepared’ (cold stored) which is necessary if you want them to flower in time for Christmas.
At this season there is always a time of waiting and we welcome each sign of improvement as the days lengthen. I am reminded of some lines of poetry by Mary Wilson, the wife of the late Sir Harold Wilson as she ponders these things.
‘Primroses, daffodils, jasmine and crocus Pale chilly flowers of hesitant spring’ Yes! Hesitant, that’s the word. Weather forecasters struggle to pin it down. We all know it will come, but when?
To the Christian, the second coming of Jesus is a certainty, but like the spring His coming cannot be predicted except the Bible says that wars and rumours of wars will be a sign. However, we have seen both of these endlessly over the last 2000 years.
I recall an occasion when, whilst delivering the ‘Link’ magazine, I met a lady and asked her if she would like a copy. Her reply puzzled me “No thank you” she said, “there is too much wickedness in the world today”. My response was probably inept but I attempted to say that Jesus knew all about it and would overcome it one day. Unfortunately I did not have the chance to improve upon this as the lady died shortly afterwards ¬– I often think of her.
The Bible says that Jesus will come again in glory, so we must await this patiently, just as we await with certainty the coming of spring. Enjoy the spring as it gradually comes in. Andrew Tompsett

Thank you volunteers

Over the years we have been very lucky to have the enthusiastic support of churchyard volunteers without whom much of the area would have become a wilderness and we all appreciate the current band!
One of the more regular ‘community groups’ giving some 200+ hrs p.a. has been the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (latterly they dropped the ‘British’ designation from their title). Under their leader, Claire North, and using unemployed people who gained useful work experience, they have helped with much of the clearance and added some attractive features such as the hedgehog shelters.
Sadly their grant support has been taken away and the help of these other enthusiasts is no longer on offer. We thank them all and especially Claire who has herself found gainful employment with The National Trust. We wish her and all the young unemployed members of TCV best wishes for the prospect of future employment.