Celebration of the Redlake Valley – October 2021

If all goes well, socializing will have resumed during the summer months, so this event, to be run jointly by the Society and St. Mary’s Church PCC, is planned for early October. After a difficult year and a half with so many restrictions and difficulties, there is still the need to help bring the community together again as well as welcome visitors to the valley. Old friends can meet up who may not have seen each other for a while, and there are quite a few new faces where houses have changed hands so we must make newcomers feel at home. The event will be spread over a number of days, and will be run on a drop-in basis according to people’s interests, with fixed exhibits to browse and scheduled talks and demonstrations in the village hall and church (some out of doors if weather permits).  On the Sunday morning there will be a service of thanksgiving for our beautiful valley. We want this to be as much about who lives here today as what went on in the past. From the opening night on Thursday 7th October through to Sunday 10th, we hope local people will take part by demonstrating or exhibiting their interests, their skills and their businesses. We already have a long list of possible topics but are still seeking more ideas. Watch this space for more news.

  • food and cookery
  • flower festival
  • photographic exhibition 
  • family history displays
  • local history
  • talks on wildlife
  • music by local performers
  • an organ recital
  • children’s games and competitions
  • bee-keeping in action
  • farming then and now
  • a display of old maps
  • walks
  • a get-together for former school pupils
  • gathering memories and recollections
  • traditional industries including a clog-maker in action using local alder
  • local artists, craftspeople and other business offering their goods and services
  • photo albums and dresses from past weddings at St Mary’s
  • Chapel Lawn in literature – readings by the book group

We will also be looking for volunteers to help with refreshments, car parking etc. so if you think you can help, please contact anyone on the the planning team:

Bob James (Chairman) 01547 530395 claudia@bryncambric.plus.com

Patrick Cosgrove (Secretary) 01547 530347 pccosgrove@icloud.com

Christine Oakley, 01546 530585 christineoakley1401@gmail.com

James Middleton, 01547 530247 middleton3@xlninternet.co.uk

Simon Jameson 01547 528546 simon@1066creations

Sarah Jameson 01547 528546 images@sarahjameson.co.uk

Funds raised will be shared equally between the two organisations.

A new website name

If all has worked according to plan, this website should now be accessible under the simpler name of redlakevalleycbs.org

Apart from opting for a simpler name, the reason we’ve upgraded on WordPress from a free to a paid plan is in order to eliminate the free ads which, although mostly quite innocuous, weren’t always!

However, working on the basis that IT doesn’t always what you want it to, next time there’s a new post (and there will be one shortly), please let us know if the ads are still appearing.

First Work Party of the Season

Our first conservation work party of the season took place on Sunday 25th October. Right on cue the sun shone and the woodland looked splendid in its autumn colours. After a bracing walk to the quillet it was down to work with step clearing and maintenance, repairing the deer exclosure fence, general tidying work and the felling of an oak to create more space and light – all on the agenda. We also pegged out two routes for extending our new path in Henry’s Quillet down to the public right of way.

After a break in the autumn sunshine for coffee and cake (thanks Karen!) the new footpath routes were explored and a consensus on a preferred route was reached – now we only have to build the steps and cut the path into the slope!  Following our “logging” operations anyone who is interested in buying lovely unseasoned oak logs for use next year, please let us know and we’ll get them across to the road and even deliver (if not too far away!). All proceeds will go to the RVCBS of course.

Many thanks to all who came along to work and to enjoy the autumn sunshine – a great day to be out in the woodland! Our next conservation work party will be on 22 November. We look forward to seeing you then, come and join in or just come for a look at what is going on – you will be most welcome!

Later dates are: 10th and 31st January 2021, 28th February, 28th March. Meet at 10.00 am in Redlake valley Village Hall car park.

Mark Limbrick, Chairman, Redlake Valley Community Benefit Society

“Spent forty years of my life in this valley. Loved it then. Love it now.”

That’s just one of the messages left in the visitors’ book at the top of the quillet steps. Here are the others.

“Thank you for this. It’s a special place.”

“Gorgeous wet walk with the boys. Had fun finding sticks and counting steps.”

“I grew up playing in the woods. Many happy memories. Lovely to sit here in the heart of the wood and remember those days”

“Very nice!”

Climbing the rustic steps

“Good overdue workout up the steps. Love the benches on the way up, but glad I didn’t stop as I don’t think I would have made it. Glad to explore my area of where I grew up. Keep up the good work of looking after this beautiful place.”

“Had a very good walk today and made some sheep  friends and also enjoy coming back  for a walk as I have come here before in primary. Thanks!”

“Magical place with hidden wildlife……. Listen.”

“It’s me again. I had a picnic.”

“It’s me again. I found some acorns which I can plant and I had a picnic.”

“I wish I could see some foxes and snow.”

“I like the magic steps*.”

“Love from Peru.”

“Thank you for all your hard work that goes into maintaining such a beautiful, ancient woodland.”

“We spotted this wood during our bike ride from Clun – so magical. Sat in the wood and watched a fox, heard a cuckoo and enjoyed the bluebells.  Thank you so much for your efforts to preserve this ancient woodland.”

“Me and my mum were walking along the footpath and saw a fox den. The fox den was a in a hedgerow second to the left of here and we could distinctly see a fox cub.   If you hear any rustles at all, always look.”

“Lovely place to spend time with family and reflect on life in such a beautiful place.“

* ‘Magic steps’ because it’s never the same number on the way down that you counted on the way up.

A Tale of Four Quillet Stones

Shareholders of the Society will know that their first quillet, number 2879, was marked by a quillet stone some years ago at the lower left hand corner of the plot, and that in 2019 we erected a second stone to mark the purchase of Henry’s Quillet, 2880. Well now, courtesy of Simon Jameson’s single-handed hard work during Lockdown, there’s a third stone to mark the bottom right hand corner of quillet 2879 (or the bottom left hand corner of 2878 depending how you view things). Together with the only known original stone further along the footpath to the east, that now makes four stones, although we’re not sure which quillet that older stone is marking. Apparently, all quillets were originally divided by stones so erecting the three stones is an attempt to resurrect the practice. Maybe other quillet owners will join in.

The oldest stone (easy to miss).
2880 Henry’s Quillet

Volunteer Secretary Appointment

Dear Shareholders,

The Redlake Valley Community Benefit Society is looking for a volunteer Secretary to work with its board of directors to help run the organisation. Our present Secretary, Karen Limbrick, has been with us since we started out in 2011 and although she will remain an active member of the Society, is standing down as a Director and Secretary in order to pursue other interests. The role of Secretary is more than organising meetings and taking minutes. We are looking for someone with administration and IT skills who will ensure that the Society runs in accordance with its Rules. Over and above that the role is as diverse as someone might want to make it and could, for example, include communication with shareholders and partner organisations, fund-raising, event planning and improving our profile on social media. There would be plenty of support from the outgoing secretary and other board members to ease the new Secretary into the role. The Secretary does not have to be a shareholder so do please tell anyone you know who might be interested and you think would do a good job. It might suit someone who has recently retired or who has just moved to the area and wishes to get to know people. In the first instance ask them take a look at this website.

Anyone who is interested should get in touch with our Chairman, Mark Limbrick, to talk it through and maybe visit the quillets if they’ve not been there. Mark can be contacted on 01547 530002 or by email at redlakevalley@gmail.com

Springtime in the quillets

As many shareholders and supporters aren’t able to get to the Society’s quillet during their allotted lockdown exercise, here are a few photos as a poor substitute. The first is self-explanatory, although it’s interesting to note that this year the bluebells were denser towards the western end of the wood, whereas in previous years they’ve been more luxurious at the eastern end. The second is of a narrow path that was made by a recent work party to enable visitors to safely enter Henry’s quillet by walking up the flight of rustic steps a few yards and turning left. The third came as rather a surprise because when a survey of the wood’s ground flora was undertaken in July 2015, there was no record made of Wild Garlic (also known as Ramsons). This was a small group of plants near one of the few damp patches in the wood, fairly well concealed behind a holly bush. In July the leaves would have been withering away so maybe it isn’t so surprising, but good to see, nevertheless.