Category Archives: Words from our Chairman

PBCG work parties – Jan 10th and 24th etc

Hello Slashers and burners

Am writing to invite you to join us on our Saturday working parties. We start this Saturday, 10th January and continue until end of March; every 2nd Saturday (i.e. 10th and 24th January, 7th and 21st February and 7th and 21st March).

We have reviewed the work needing doing against the NE implementation plan and have concluded that for the January Saturdays, at least, we should concentrate our efforts at the NW end of the Beacon (known as Areas 2, 3 and 5 and possibly Woodland Glade 1). This means we will use the lay by and car park just off the B4073 Gloucester Road where the track to Madams Wood houses starts. (and where the water trough for grazing paddocks 3 and 4 was).

The main work is brush cutting and cutting of young ash and burning. We are very close to agreeing that PBCG members can use glyphosate poison on ash tree stumps immediate at Catbrain Quarry car park and we will observe their practice and seek to follow it)

We will be on site with tools etc from about 9 am until about 1 pm. Please feel free to join us for as much of that time as you are able.

Best wishes for 2015

David Bishop

Words from our Chairman

13th November; a date to remember! Painswick Beacon Conservation Group will be hosting an important meeting after the brisk AGM at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 13th in the Church Rooms, off Stamages Lane, car park. With several expert speakers we will cover a range of topics: – What PBCG is for and how you might help – How Edge Common (also known as Scotts- quar Hill or Rudge Hill Common) has been hugely improved and shows how Painswick Beacon can follow suit. (Paul Griffiths). – How the meadows can be improved by seed collection and distribution (Katherine Hol- mes of the Cotswolds AONB’S Magnificent Meadows team) – How the number of Junipers on the Beacon is being doubled. (Tim Wilkins of Plantlife) – How the Duke of Burgundy, and Large Blue butterflies are being helped by the planting of 1,000 cowslips and 350 Wild Thyme. (Polly Lillico of Butterfly Conservation.) – How the woodlands can be improved to produce excellent habitats plus firewood and charcoal. – And also a Question and Answer session. The cattle on the Beacon have vastly improved the paddock (known as No. 4) to the west and north of the Hillfort. The grass is now short and they have also enjoyed eat- ing most of the “weeds” and the leaves of unwanted ash and sycamore self-sown trees. Last Thursday, 23rd October, our “four-legged mowers” moved east towards Cheltenham to pasture new (Paddock 2) occupying the Southern ramparts of the hillfort as far as the Cotswolds Trail. They will stay there almost till Christmas or until the feed is all gone or weather too frightful. Elsewhere the Saturday work parties have been planting wild thyme, reducing the compe- tition of other trees and bushes round the older junipers, and, mostly clearing unwanted ash and sycamore from “should-be” flowery grass areas. One of the perks of being a workparty slasher is free firewood; – predominately ash. Come and join us, and help yourself. Dates are Saturdays November 8th and 22nd, December 6th and 20th. See the Village Diary. If you are a keen rose grower do help yourself to the quantities of cow dung in the used paddocks. Natural England aims to reduce the fertility of the limestone grassland so you can please them as well as your plants. A win-win situation?
David Bishop Chairman 814205,
David Allott Vice-Chairman

PBCG AGM on 13th November

Dear PBCG member

I write to invite you to the Conservation Group AGM on Thursday 13th November at 7.30 pm in the Painswick Church Rooms. Attached is a poster about the AGM. If you are able to display that in your window or on a public notice board I would be grateful. You will see from the poster and the article in November’s Painswick Beacon paper that we have a line-up of experts to talk about, and answer questions on, most aspects of our work in the last year or two – a chance to find out more about cattle grazing, junipers, butterflies etc . With the guidance of Natural England, help from HLS money and under the leadership of David Allott we have achieved a lot in the past year or so on several fronts. This is a chance to find out more and help the committee set future priorities.

All are welcome – not just current PBCG members – though we will of course encourage them to join the group !

The proceedings will start with a formal AGM. We would like to conduct this properly but expeditiously. To that end there are three documents attached which you might like to look at before the meeting : –

· AGM agenda

· AGM 2013 minutes – for comments and matters arising

· 2013/14 accounts (alongside previous years). These accounts are currently with an independent examiner so there may be some changes. The main feature of the accounts this year is the large income from High Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme money – though a fair bit of that was paid out to professional tree fellers for work in Long Quarry.

Annual subscriptions of £5 are now due and can be paid to our Treasurer, David Little, on the AGM night. If you are unable to be there please could you let him have the money when practical (Sunhyld, Tibbiwell, Painswick, GL6 6XX).

The next work party is on the morning of Saturday 8th November – details will be circulated nearer the time – meet at the Catbrain Quarry public car park.

Best wishes

David Bishop


Annual Accounts 2013-2014.pdf

AGM poster 201411 – DCB.pdf

PBCG AGM Minutes 6 11 2013.pdf

201411 – AGM agenda.pdf

Painswick Beacon Conservation Group

Dear Member,

Here are a mixture of items for you!

TUESDAY 8TH APRIL Joint Meeting with the Bird Club 7.30 p.m. in Painswick Town Hall. The history and wildlife of the Forest of Dean an illustrated talk from expert naturalist Andrew Bluett. Identify yourself as a PBCG member and get in for £1 (normally £3). Andrew’s photographs and knowledge are highly regarded

THURSDAYS, 10th and 17th APRIL. Joint Working Parties with Cotswold Wardens in Long Quarry. We are fortunate to have their help in the clear up of felled trees’ branches on the two days. Do come and swell the numbers. We will start from 9 a.m. on site, joined by the Wardens from 9.30 a.m. They bring coffee and lunch, and work on till 2 p.m.+. Feel free to come and go as suits you, but please help the planning by letting me know if you will be joining in. (812624).

Skittles. The skittles evening at Painswick Centre on March 25th went well. We were only a dozen or so but we had great fun and earnest conversations! We plan to do something similar in the near future, especially for those who missed out in March. Let me know if you are interested, and we will see when the alley is available. With a select team we can challenge other Clubs etc?

Thank you to all those who have helped at our work party (slashers!) sessions this last season September – March. We have achieved a huge amount and now receive compliments from passers by and others we meet in the village. It is particularly gratifying to me that recently we have averaged 10 volunteers each Saturday, about TWICE what it was a year ago. Also there have been extra weekday and weekend sessions to meet the challenging programme we set ourselves. The big party planned for 25th March did not attract sufficient numbers, but, undaunted, the committee is looking at options for a summertime ‘do’ (probably outdoors) to celebrate being ‘21’ and to provide a treat for all our supporters.

Thank you again.

David Allott

Saturday Slashers 29.4.2014

Hi, Slashers, This Saturday 29th., March is the last “Regular” outing this season. There will,however, be more in April; see below. On Saturday we will return to Long Quarry, which is now dried out somewhat. There are lots of branches to deal with.
Rendezvous,(from 9.00am onwards) will be the layby on the Painswick—Gloucester road, by the turn to Holcombe at the top of The Plantation, coming from Painswick. Look for the smoke signals! Please let me know if you are coming,since we may have sufficient numbers to work two locations.

In April we have Thursdays 10th., and 17th., when we will have huge help from Cotswold Wardens. The 10th., at least, will be at Long Quarry again from 9.00am. onwards; the Wardens continue after 12.30 lunch-break until about 2.30pm.
Again, please let me know if you expect to be with us. Any questions? Try (01452-) 812624. Best regards, David A.

Work Parties- Extra

Further update for you:–
The Cotswold Wardens have agreed to come and help us, principally in Long Quarry on Thursdays 10th.,and 17th. of April.  I know that for some of you weekday working is easier than Saturday.  This should appeal to you.  And to any others?   Please let me know if you expect to join us, so that I can plan equipment etc.  We will principally be dragging tree branches and twigs to 2 large bonfires following on from a LOT of tree felling last year.  ‘Till April it will not be dry enough to get into the quarry.
In passing, yesterday was Summer?  We had a Brimstone and two (keen-to-increase-their-population) Peacocks in the garden. Real warmth, at last.
Regards,  David A.

Painswick Beacon Conservation Group Important Dates

Dear Member,

While we wait, and wait for drier weather, so that we can finish some of the jobs we have begun, here is some information for you.

1. On Saturday 8th March, hoping to repeat their WIN last year, PBCG’s team of four will be competing in the 2014 Village Quiz. It is not, unfortunately, a spectator sport, – Painswick Centre will be full of competitors, – but you might spare a moment to send a good wish through the ether?

2. On Monday 10th March, PBCG will be the host organisation for the Community Lunch at Ashwell House in Painswick. Your committee has organised the provision of soup, bread and cheese etc and a team of waiters and washers up. We would like you to be some of our appreciative customers! Lunch is available from 12 noon to 1.15 pm (for a modest £3 including tea or coffee). Ashwell House is off Churchill Way, off Gloucester Street, postcode is GL6 6RL.

3. On Tuesday 25th March you are invited to a well earned Party to celebrate the amazing positive changes to Painswick Beacon that have resulted from your efforts in the last two years, and our 21 years as a group. The celebrations will be held in The Painswick Centre’s Beacon Hall and adjoining Skittle Alley, they will start at 7 pm and end around 10 pm. There will be food, a bar, music, displays and lots of not-at-all-serious games, as well as time to chat and relax with fellow guests. We will also host our friends and helpers from the Cotswold Wardens, FWAG, Natural England etc. There is no charge but during the evening there will be the opportunity to make a donation towards the costs. Admission will be strictly by ticket only, guests will be welcome, until our total number reaches 100. If you would like to offer help with an indoor game please make contact. It should be a fun evening so to be sure of obtaining a ticket(s) return the attached form to me asap and certainly by Monday, 17th March

4. Finally, during March I shall be working to fulfil a personal commitment to help Meister Masonry install landscape planting round the quarry to satisfy the requests of Stroud District Planners. It will involve some strimming and then planting and staking 50 or more small trees or shrubs. If you would like to help with this, please phone me on 812624 or email david You may well recall that Meister are donating £500 to be used by PBCG for training.

Have a good Spring, I hope we will meet up more than once!

Yours sincerely,

David Allott

Gloucester Cattle at Painswick Beacon

Gloucesters on the Beacon

At last, after some false starts, we have five Gloucester heifers grazing in the paddock on the south face of the Hill Fort, beside the Cotswold Way. We trust that Jenny, Elsbeth, Daisy, Vert and Marmalade will enjoy their new surroundings and Painswick grass. Please enjoy looking at them, and reporting if you see anything amiss. Contact numbers are displayed on the fence notices. Sadly there has been some meddling with the fencing and water supply already.

David Allott, Chairman, PBCG

First steps onto the Beacon

First steps onto the Beacon2 3

4The heifers explore their new home


Sat 6th April

Dear Member,

We will be joining with others in a “Saplings and Champagne” event on Saturday 6th April.  This is to provide landscape planting to soften the appearance of the new building and other changes at Catbrain Quarry.  It is being done in collaboration with Meister Masonry, and with their support.  We will transplant a goodly number of ‘doomed’ shrubs and sapling trees (that would otherwise be destroyed) to the newly selected planting areas.  The initiative for this comes from this Conservation Group.  There will be a normal working party session on this Saturday morning and it will prepare for the afternoon.  From 2 p.m. – 4p.m. (when the tea, buns and champers will be available), the barrowing and planting will take place.  We hope that you may be able to join us for some of the day.  If not, perhaps you can interest and encourage others?  We are having something of a members recruitment drive this year, so new faces and willing hands are especially welcome.  We may well have more work parties during the summer doing jobs that do not risk disturbing nesting birds or risk crushing valuable plants.

Equipment: We shall have a selection of spades, forks, barrows and watering cans available, but if you have a wheel barrow, trenching spade (to get under small trees) watering can that you can easily bring, it/they will be most helpful.

Safety: Some of the work (for nominated, trained and certified brushcutter operators) will be near the quarry edge,   If you have to have a sailors’ safety harness to enable the wearer to “clip on” to the safety fence, it will be most welcome.

Numbers: So that we know how many to prepare for, and cater for, please let David Little (813734) or me (812624) know if you are joining in on Saturday. Please advise at what time you will be with us and whether you are bringing any tools.

Grazing: The Watts family (from Hardwick and Saul) plan to introduce six Gloucester heifers to Paddock 2, as soon as grass grows, and then 5 cows with calves to Paddock 3 when they have successfully completed their veterinary tests.

Yours sincerely,

David Allott