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Monthly Archives: January 2022

Blewbury’s Green Lungs

January 31, 2022

The last in our series on the green spaces that help shape the special character of our village covers privately-owned land at Parsonage Farm and Orchard Dene.

In the heart of the village, Parsonage Farm is bounded by South Street and two small streams that run down to Watt’s Lane. The western stream provides a natural boundary between Orchard Dene and the garden of Parsonage Farm. Both properties were once part of the ancient prebendal (church) manor of Blewbury. Parsonage Farm was probably the main holding of this manor, and would have had a fine house (long gone) to serve the canons of Salisbury Cathedral when in residence. (Bishop Osmund, a nephew of William the Conqueror, was given church lands in Blewbury, and these were among many properties mined to endow the new cathedral in 1091.) Parsonage Farm was a thriving dairy farm, including a small retail unit called Robinson’s Dairy, until the post-war compulsory purchase of its fields to the east (for ‘Eastfields’) rendered it uneconomical, although rural links remained – there was a blacksmith’s forge here until the 1970s.

The 1805 Enclosure Award refers to Orchard Dene – the field that shelters the Blewbury Wagon – rather obviously as ‘part of an orchard’. At the end of the 18th century, land in this area was farmed by Thomas Watt, whose name lives on in the public footpath leading from South Street to the north side of the churchyard. It is from Watt’s Lane that walkers can gain the best view of both green spaces – these views provide us with a 21st century sense of Blewbury’s very rural origins. Both Orchard Dene and Parsonage Farm are home to a number of mature trees including chestnut, ash and blackthorn. At Parsonage, much of the ground is deliberately left to itself, providing an abundant home for insects and birds including green woodpeckers, little owls, tawny owls and red kites. There are also plenty of squirrels, muntjac and foxes. Orchard Dene and the land at Parsonage Farm help to form ‘the core of paddocks, orchards and streams’ referenced in the 1985 village plan – special places ‘for us, and for those who come after us’. Blewbury is lucky that the owners of both places are custodians who wish to keep nature right at the heart of our village.  Sustainable Blewbury



The Extraordinary General Meeting of the Village Produce Association was held on Tuesday 18th January 2022. It was proposed at this meeting that the current Committee would resign en bloc and a new committee be formed by attendees at the meeting.

It is with regret that we have to announce that a new committee could not be formed (no residents attended the meeting) and therefore the VPA has officially closed. A few formalities require completion upon which a full report will be available at the end of February. To receive a copy email:

May I take this opportunity to thank all the Committee Members, past and present, and in particular, Karen Foreman (Chair) and Chris Jarvis (Secretary) both from Blewbury and Maggie Maytham (Treasurer) and Malcolm Wright (Vice Chairman) both from Upton, for their hard work for so very many years. I myself, although not a resident of either village, really enjoyed the challenge of being Show Secretary and seeing the smiles on the faces of winners at the summer show. Unfortunately, over the years, support for the VPA diminished and we, the Committee, reached the decision that the VPA had reached the end of its viable life.

As the saying goes, all good things come to an end. On behalf of the ex-Committee – Thank You to everyone in Blewbury and Upton (and surrounding villages) for your support and as always HAPPY GARDENING.  Eileen Bracken


Community Speedwatch

Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a national initiative where active members of local communities join with the support of the Police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices.

Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the Police with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds. The fastest speed recorded is 65mph on Bessels Way.

Several Blewbury volunteers have been actively taking part in the initiative since the end of July 2021, but it would be great if more people could volunteer so that we can try to keep our roads safe, and with longer daylight hours and improving (we hope) weather, the more people we have the more we can do. The Parish Council is fully supportive of this group. For more details and to register please visit select ‘Join Existing Group’ from the left hand side of the webpage and look for Oxfordshire, then Didcot – Blewbury Speedwatch group or contact Jill Ingoldby on 07824 552562 / jingoldby(at)