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THE COMMONER VIEWS AND NEWS FROM RODBOROUGH Published by Rodborough Parish Council, funded by advertising and the Parish Council and delivered free by volunteers to every home in the parish. www.rodboroughgovuk Cows out for Summer O n Friday 13th May, several hundred frisky cattle will be turned out on the Commons. It’s called Marking Day and we hope Friday 13th doesn’t prove unlucky; every year, some of these cattle are killed and injured by drivers. 8 cattle died in both 2015 and 2014, and in 2013 it was 13. Most are hit by local drivers, often going far too fast. The worst period is from September as the nights draw in and the most dangerous stretch of road is near Moor Court between The Bear and Tom Long’s Post. New for this year will be a big drive to encourage drivers Rodborough Summer Sizzle 2016 MAY 2016 • ISSUE 50 to stick to an advisory 30mph limit across the whole Commons area. As part of this, large fold-down signs will be sited at the seven main entrances to

the Commons reminding drivers that the “Cows are Out”, with an advisory 30mph. Each autumn, when the cows come off the Commons, these signs will be folded down. There should also be an interactive message board that will be located by Bownham Park. New too, will be fencing by Crane’s Quarry to try to prevent cattle crossing the spine road unexpectedly and the National Trust has agreed to a trial lighting project around the area most cattle have been killed in previous years. And Rodborough Parish Council hopes to locate its new ANPR camera in the same area, so that drivers who persistently speed can be recorded and formally warned by the police, as is currently happening on the A46 Bath Road. So the message is, please slow down for the cows, we need them to graze safely in order to preserve the unique flora of the Commons and Rodborough in particular as this is one of only 230 Special Areas of Conservation in England (see http://jncc.defragovuk/page-23) Cllr Alick Miskin limited

access and you will be unable to park. Instead, please park on the nearby hills or many housing estates and walk to the event. Sunday 12th June | 2-6pm Rodborough Community Hall and Pavillion R oll up roll up to what’s set to be the hottest event in Rodborough this summer. The Rodborough Summer Sizzle will provide live music, a fun dog show, dance performances, food, drink, family entertainment and more stalls than you’ll know what to do with! Also, get your programme on the door, containing a ticket to enter into an exciting prize draw. Don’t miss out! And as an extra treat for the family, Children’s author John Docherty will be opening the event and will read one of his stories for the children. So make sure you get there early! PLEASE NOTE There will only be disabled parking at the event. Please avoid driving into Butterrow West as there will be very ‘Like us on Facebook’– search for Rodborough Parish Council THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 2 Our new Clerk,

Daphne Dunning D aphne joined us at the end of February and has been piled straight into our sometimes quaint ways of working. She hails from Somerset and has a background in HR, finance and education, so brings a range of appropriate skills as well as the experience of already working part-time for a smaller parish council. Married, she and her husband have four children, ranging in age from 24 to 32 and, so far, three grandchildren, so she is well equipped to deal with the diverse range of ages and personalities that parish clerks have to contend with. At present Daphne is commuting up from Pucklechurch, but with their house on the market she hopes to be moving closer to Rodborough later this year, enabling her to have time at home between working in the parish office and returning to attend our late evening meetings. A move our way will also bring her closer to the mountains of Wales and the Lake District for the hill walking she enjoys and hopefully provide opportunities for the

outdoor life and organic gardening she thrives on. Commoner Feedback. Thank you to those who responded to our Commoner Feedback survey in the last edition. We would still love to hear from anyone who has opinions on the content, appearance or frequency of the Commoner and the online survey is still available. Just click on the link on the News page of the Parish Council website (www.rodboroughgov uk). The parish is really interested to hear what you, the readers, want or how you feel about possible changes to the format. Alternatively, always feel free to email us with any comments. HANDYMAN AND MAINTENANCE SERVICES Routine maintenance. Painting and decorating. Flat pack installation Windows, gutters cleaned. Fences repaired. Smoke alarms, shelves, curtain poles installed. Gardening and vegetables. References and insurance. CRB clearance. Oak Leaf Services Kevin Lea 01453 762735 • 077408 54170 kevin.lea@virginnet www.oakleafservicescouk THE COMMONER Published by Rodborough

Parish Council Editors Kim Richardson, Huw Oliver and Alison Barnes Distribution Rodborough Parish Council Advertising Joy Jackson Compilation Qwertyop.couk Printer CBF Printed on recycled paper Contact The Commoner, Rodborough Community Hall, Butterrow West, Rodborough, Stroud, Glos GL5 3TZ Tel: 01453 762686 Email: thecommoner@rodborough.govuk Deadline for next issue is: 1st July 2016 No article necessarily represents the views of the editor or the parish council unless this is specifically stated. The theme for the next edition of the Commoner August issue is WW1. Deadline 1st July 2016 If you would like to provide an article for The Commoner, whether on the theme or not, please send your article to: The Commoner, Rodborough Community Hall, Butterrow West, Rodborough, Stroud, Glos GL5 3TZ, Or email a document file for articles or jpg file for photos to: thecommoner@rodborough.govuk ART EXHIBITION The Art Club, which meets on Tuesdays at Rodborough Community Hall, is holding an

exhibition of its work on Saturday 11th of June -11am - 4pm Sunday 12th of June - 2pm - 6pm (as part of the Rodborough Summer Sizzle) Rodborough Community Hall, Butterrow Lane, Rodborough GL5 3TZ Entrance is Free. Free Car Parking on Saturday. Please park off site on Sunday. We formed four years ago as a group of friends who just enjoy painting and drawing; we learn from one another and from the tutors who come along occasionally to give advice and teach different techniques. Please come along to our exhibition and see some of the work we have produced this year. ALPHA AUTO SERVICES At Kingscourt Garage Your Local Garage. SERVICING REPAIRS MOT PREPARATION CLUTCHES All Makes and Models welcome. Tel Maurice 01453 766197 THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 3 Somme Cemetary O n 1st July 1916 at 7.30am whistles were blown to signal the start of the attack, in what would be the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. Along a 15 mile stretch of the front line 20,000 men were killed

on that day alone and a further 40,000 were injured. I live here - Sophia Hughes At 7.15am on Friday July 1st 2016, a short tribute to them with take place in Rodborough Churchyard, culminating with the sounding of a whistle at 7.30 All are welcome The Five Valleys Great War Researchers Group will be holding an exhibition at The Bedford St. Church Hall (alongside the Subscription Rooms) in Stroud on Friday July 1st and Saturday July 2nd from 10-1, where there will be the chance to find out more about the men of Rodborough and the Stroud area who fought at the Somme. (The August issue of the Commoner will have a full feature about The Somme). Remembering Rodborough in Kingscourt Lane you can see some of those 7 foot sculptures in Perspex and steel in my garden. For the past five years I have been painting abstracts and that is my main occupation now. Living in Rodborough has been a gift. When I had severe sciatica years ago and almost had to learn to walk again – and later, when I

had ME for two and a half years – it was Rodborough Common that was my healer. Short walks in such a beautiful place got me through, and many a time I have sat there watching the sun sink, thanking God for where I live. W hen I moved to Rodborough from Somerset with my two young sons 35 years ago I felt we had come home. I could be myself, making pots and renovating the house without being thought odd - as I had been in Somerset. Stroud is so full of creative people I became the local potter for the next 25 years, selling well at Open Studios, Christmas markets and then the Made in Stroud shop. Ten years ago I stopped making domestic ware (though occasionally making one-off pots as wedding presents etc.) and made sculptures If you walk past my house BOOKS BOUGHT & SOLD Cash paid for a wide variety of secondhand books. If you are clearing the shelves or looking for an ideal gift Ring Michael Biard on 01453 750853 0796 797 1850 More recently, I suffered PTSD after falling off

a ladder and impaling the whole length of my arm on a sculpture (Google ‘Sophia Hughes Guardian’ to read about it). Again, it was the Common that came to my rescue. When I realised that I was trying to ‘hide’ on one of the benches, I made myself walk the full length of the Common and greet those walking there until I could do so without fear. Until recently my son Matt was Rodborough’s local IT support guy in Field Road, but a growing family caused a move to Cashes Green. My elder son Ridwan has Aspergers Syndrome and lives with me, expanding his selftaught knowledge of micro-electronics and computing. Sophia Hughes THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 4 Up on the Common Big Brother, should protect his little brothers and sisters B ack in 1996, Rodborough Parish Council did a parish wide appraisal. What this showed was that ’without doubt, traffic is seen by parishioners as the most important and serious factor affecting their quality of life on a day-to-day basis.’ That

was in 1996 and the speeding problem in our parish has got considerably worse. As chairman of the Rodborough Road Safety Group [RSWG], it has been a very hard task to come up with a solution for this problem. Speed Watch initiatives around the parish were found not to be a solution and a more innovative solution to the speeding problem was required. Even the Commissioner of Police having spent time in Rodborough, understands the issues. A company that designed ANPR [automatic number plate recognition] software was sourced and after a new radar unit was designed for the camera, the system went live in February 2016. The Police Commissioner has been unbelievably supportive of the project, funding 80% of the camera system and related costs. Chief Inspector Steve Lindsay MBE of the special constabulary and his brilliant team have also supported the RSWG for over three years. This powerful system has the ability to monitor speed, date and time and report speeding vehicles to the police for

appropriate action. Only the police can access names and addresses of registered owners and under this trial project the police will send letters to the worst offenders. They can then target not just those recording high speeds but also serial speeders. If the warned driver does then stick to the legal speed limit, this vehicle will act as a pace car, slowing all the vehicles down to the safe limit behind him. Marked changes in driving behaviour are already being witnessed – one white van had been caught speeding over 44 times in less than a month. Following a police warning, monitoring shows he is now driving at speeds of round 30mph. This is a good result all round; drivers, providing they take notice of the warning, are not fined or get penalty points. Most important for our community, slower speeds means our children and relatives are safer. Rodborough has received national coverage for its ground breaking system to monitor speeding drivers in our parish and if this project is a

success, many other communities could benefit from similar schemes. Cllr Charles Pedrick To read the full version of this article, please see the link on the news page of the parish council website – www.rodboroughgovuk National Trusts Richard Evans illustrates a point H ave you ever wondered why some areas are getting overgrown by scrub while others are cut back? To get some answers I met up with the National Trusts Richard Evans on a cold but sunny morning in March. Area Ranger for 14 years, Richard has acquired a deep knowledge of the complex ecological web that is perhaps the finest example of limestone grassland in the Cotswolds and southwest of England and, in his words, for botanists and lepidopterists simply THE place to go! Traditional commoners rights have dissipated over very many years and now mainly concern cattle grazing, the only natural control that prevents scrub (and ultimately woodland) establishing; following WW2 it didnt take many graziers to fall out of usage

to allow a marked increase in vegetation. In the mid 1990s the Trust took over (from the Commons Committee) the delicate job of managing the multiple layers of habitat and specialist ecological niches. This was illustrated perfectly as we walked back towards Kingscourt along the lane from Bear Hill. Richard said this woodland fringe, an extension of Amberley wood, has some 700 years of documentary evidence however is latterly hell bent on extending up the lower slopes of the common, with birch and ash often the first to colonise. But it turns out the transition zone between full woodland and open grass, what you and I might dismiss as scrub encroachment, is actually all-important to many species of rarer herbaceous plants and insects. Management is all about creating a balance - and aesthetics are just part of the mix. When he simultaneously get flack for cutting young trees on the one hand and for not clearing scrub on the other - thats when Richard knows he has probably got the

balance right! Geoff March Next time: cattle management - and a local rarity THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 5 News from Rodborough Parish Council January-April 2016 For more information see the article elsewhere in this edition. For more information about what happens in Parish Council meetings, please see the minutes available on our website. Grants awarded by the Parish Council 2016-17 Committee agreed grants totalling £2000 allocated as listed: T he parish welcomed our new Clerk, Daphne Dunning, who took up her post at the end of February. During March volunteers, including councillors and members of the public, turned out on a cold Saturday morning to litter pick as part of the nationwide scheme ‘Clean for the Queen’. We cleared various discarded rubbish along parts of the Quiet Lanes and even found an abandoned traffic bollard hidden in the hedges. We held an open meeting for prospective Councillors in anticipation of the May Local Council elections. The turnout was

good with four people attending to find out more about what being a councillor involves. The election will be held on 5th May so please exercise your right to vote. The Council had to temporally close the Rectory Gardens playground for a couple of weeks while the slippery surface was treated. As local families will no doubt be aware, this is an ongoing problem caused by the enclosed nature of the playground. The Parish Council will be looking for long term solutions over the coming months. The chair of our Planning, Transport and Amenities Committee met with Highways Department to discuss the problems caused by the volume and speed of traffic in the parish, in particular vehicles using The Butts to travel up to the Common. We would like to see through-traffic using Dr Newton’s Way and the A419 rather than the Common and have requested that Highways look at ways this could be achieved. Our Road Safety Working Group has worked hard to obtain an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition)

for the parish which has since achieved nationwide fame. The Old Endowed School Decoration of main staircase £150 St. Mary Magdalene Church Graveyard maintenance £100 Stroud and District Citizen’s Advice Bureau To support work with people in Rodborough £200 Home-Start Stroud District To support family work in the parish £100 Rodborough Lunch Club For Ring and ride to Club £200 Rodborough Friendly Circle To help with ring and ride and hall hire £200 Rodborough Glebe Allotment Association To improve access £150 Insight Gloucestershire Towards work of Home Visiting Advisor Service £100 Rodborough Community Primary School Sports funding to continue Kick Off Stroud activities £100 Stroud Sea Cadets For maps, compasses and stoves £100 Remembering Rodborough For an A0 folder for documents £100 Rodborough Cub Pack Towards an archery back stop net £100 Summer Sunday Family Fun Towards equipment and games £100 Rodborough Youth Project

Towards equipment and staffing £200 Rodborough Playgroup Interstars floor toy set £100 TOTAL: £2000 Committee agreed the following in kind support: Rodborough Youth Project Hall Hire for Youth Club (3 hours term time evening hire) £1,195 Remembering Rodborough Hall hire £300 Summer Sizzle (Fete) Committee Hall Hire (5 x 1.5 hour meetings) Pitch and Hall hire for event (9 hours) £102 £86 TOTAL: £1,683 THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 6 HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES A scout in Japan: a life-changing experience I n August 2015 I spent my summer holiday at the International Scout Jamboree in Japan. We started our trip with four days in Tokyo. The heat and humidity were immediately a shock but made it feel more real: we definitely werent in England any more. During our stay in Tokyo we navigated the tube system, ate bizarre and delicious foods, visited temples and shrines, explored fashion districts, climbed the Skytree and spent an early morning at the crowed fish market,

all of which was unlike anything I had every experienced before. At night we got to know our unit better and eventually went to sleep at the National Youth Centre in the old Olympic village. From Tokyo we travelled by bullet train to the Jamboree site near the beautiful coast of Yamaguchi. The site was huge, with over 35,000 scouts, leaders and IST spread over 15 sub-camps. We spent ten days at the jamboree site camping in up to 50ºC heat with scouts from 152 different countries. Days were spent completing different activities on the theme of ‘WA’, a spirit of unity. I also had the opportunity to visit a local school, and plant trees with a local scout group. Hours without set activities were spent swapping stories, food and badges with scouts from across the globe. Four ceremonies were also held, with all 40,000 scouts taking part. There was live music from J-pop bands, speeches from various Japanese ministers, the United Nations and several chief scouts as well as an Olympic

style flags parade. On the 6th of August we visited Hiroshima, to remember all those affected by the terrible A-bombings. We visited the memorials and museum, which was an upsetting and difficult experience, one that I will always remember and carry with me. Before leaving Japan we travelled to Hamatsu city in Shizouka, which is the province home to Mt. Fuji I then spent two days staying with a most welcoming and amazing Japanese family. With them I tried my hand at Japanese calligraphy, origami, watched some stunning fireworks, enjoyed Japanese home cooking, visited shrines and celebrated Obon, the festival that celebrates the return of their ancestors’ spirits to the living world. The home hospitality programme was by far my favourite and most interesting and enlightening part of my whole Jamboree experience. I learnt so much about Japanese culture and life and shared much of our own culture with them too. It was sad to say goodbye to Japan, but I looked forward to returning home.

Spending the three weeks in Japan has been an absolutely life-changing experience and a wonderful opportunity. It took a long time to get used to normal life again but I will never forget my amazing adventure. Juliet Biard Nepal after the Earthquake I n April 2015 I was trekking in the Kanchenjunga area in Eastern Nepal. This was my sixth trip to Nepal. I then moved on to Baseri, a hill village in Ghorka province in central Nepal, to give the school a laptop computer. I have friends who originally grew up in that village and I always get such a hospitable welcome. Unfortunately Baseri turned out to be very near the epicentre of the devastating earthquake. All the houses in the village were completely flattened, many animals were killed. We dug some out alive. Amazingly no people were killed in the village, but there were about 10,000 deaths and 750,000 houses destroyed in the surrounding area. I stayed in the village a few days helping out, but they were running out of food, so I

left. Many roads had been destroyed and it was a long walk to the bus for a 10 hour trip, stopping in Dhading temporary hospital with a badly injured woman we picked up on the way, and back the chaos of Kathmandu. No power, no water and little food. Back in the UK we started fundraising, and with the great generosity of the people in the Stroud area, we have sent around £7000 to date. This has gone via my friend Saroj from the village. (No middlemen!) Initially money was used to buy emergency food, and then large numbers of corrugated zinc roofing sheets for temporary shelters. I went back to the village in October and will be visiting again in 2016. They are surviving They are tough people and now living in small shacks they have knocked up. Education is very important in the culture, and they had managed to build a temporary learning centre for 330 secondary pupils. They used locally cut bamboo, old timber salvaged from collapsed buildings, old roofing sheets and some of the new

sheets. The catchment area for the school covers many villages. The children walk several hours to the school, and then several hours back home. No roads. No buses It was the time of the rice harvest on terraced fields cascading several hundreds of metres down the valley sides. A huge thunderstorm hit – shouldnt happen at that time of year – and destroyed some of the rice. Existence is always marginal, another blow. How can you help? If anyone else would like to help the Baseri villagers and trusts me to get the money directly to them, please send a cheque payable to Keith Eyles to 23 Bownham Park, Stroud, GL5 5BY or email sallydavis@ hotmail.couk for more information We will continue to support these villagers as best we can. What the people of Nepal really need are tourists! Much of the country wasn’t hit by the earthquake and a lot of what was has been repaired. Keith Eyles THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 7 HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES Holiday Occupation control where we lived,

shopped in the local shops, brought bread and honey from our neighbour, and learnt to sleep through the Moslem call to prayer and the sound of the local chickens and geese. Eappi Protective presence for shepherds in Qawawis E xploring the Old City of Jerusalem was amazing. It is such an old city, with so many different cultures and faiths on display. The sight of the golden dome shining in the sunshine is one that you cannot forget. Nor the view across to the Jordanian hills as they were lit up by the rising sun on Easter Day from the Mount of Olives. But we spent most of our days out in villages in the South Hebron Hills, an area of Palestine, within the internationally recognised border of Palestine but under Israeli occupation, where illegal Israeli settlements have taken land from the Palestinians and settlers harass local farmers and herders. The first time we were out shepherding we were ‘moved on’ by Israeli soldiers with loaded guns aimed us even though we were on the

shepherd’s land. We visited communities threatened with demolitions referring individuals to agencies that can try to fight these illegal actions through the Israeli courts and we attended peaceful demonstrations with other international and Israeli peace activists where we supported communities like Susiya whose residents were demanding the right to live on their own land. But I was not in Jerusalem as a tourist. I was spending three months in Israel and Palestine, taking unpaid leave to do so. I went as a volunteer Ecumenical Accompanier (EA) with the Ecumenical Accompanier Programme in Palestine and Israel, a project of the World Council of Churches. I imagine living under a military occupation is not most people’s idea of a holiday. Spending your first days on holiday learning about permits, international human rights and humanitarian laws, the difference between Israeli border guards, police and soldiers is also not the usual way of getting into the holiday mood. We also

visited Jinba in the Massafer Yatta to get evidence of damage to crops done by the Israeli Defence Forces during military manoeuvres and heard how two young people had been temporarily detained, tied up and in one case beaten and homes had been raided in the night – and all this during the main school exam period too. And after so many sad stories but also after innumerable cups of sage tea and wonderful hospitality, was the time well spent? Well it was certainly worth taking the leave to go. We were divided into international teams and my team went to live in Yatta, a town under Palestinian Authority If you would like to know more about EAPPI go to eyewitnessblogs.com Theresa Mansbridge Hooked on mountaineering S ince 2008, when I became hooked on mountaineering while climbing Kilimanjaro for charity, I have been going on mountaineering holidays. I have climbed peaks in in Nepal and India such as Mera Peak, Aconcagua in Argentina and Cotopaxi in Ecuador. These “holidays”

give me the chance to experience something stunningly beautiful and rare, and I consider that I am very privileged to be able to do them. Some aspects of these “holidays” are slightly unusual: You often have to take your ice axe to the toilet with you to stop yourself falling off the mountain. The ‘holiday rep’ is often known as the “lead Sherpa”. You could spend a week pinned down in a tent at 20,000 feet where it gets down to -20ºC at night, whilst waiting for a window of opportunity to summit. You might spend a morning being shown how to do a crevasse rescue or use a prusik knot to climb out of one. You might need a rest day in order to let your body catch up with the altitude you have gained. You might tip a Sherpa for getting you to the summit or saving your life! A mule brings your pack to base camp whilst you arrive on foot. But imagine the final approaches to a summit, knowing you have the strength to make it, and the sun has just risen on you, turning the entire

snowfield bright pink, with everything else around you being a feature the size of a cathedral, with air so thin that even mountains 20 or 30 miles away are crystal clear . you can see that such unusual features come with some incredible rewards. Phil Blomberg THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 8 Rodborough Real Gardens and Sculpture Trail SUNDAY 26TH JUNE 11- 5 pm None of the gardens are perfect but there is always inspiration to be had by the smallest or most recently created garden. It’s nice to see the solution to a problem you might have in your own garden. The gardens and sculptures are in and around Church Place and there will be plants for sale, ice cream and other interesting stalls. The Stroud Valley Project will be there again, giving tips on how to make your garden more wildlife friendly and a preloved gardening books sale. Local author Katie Fforde, one of those opening her garden, will be available to sign books and also books not available in the shops. Sadly, dogs

are not permitted L ast summer over 500 hundred people came to look round a selection of Rodborough’s gardens. It proved to be a splendid day out! This year we’re doing it again. There will be another Rodborough Real Gardens and Sculpture Trail. There are some new gardens and some garden improvements, some new artists and some who exhibited last year. There will be refreshments - home-made cakes, tea etc served at the Endowed School. It will cost £5 per person (children free) either in advance from Stroud Valleys Project Shop or the Albert or on the day. The money raised will mostly go to The Old Endowed Schools for their continuing improvements, but the Stroud Valley Project and another local charity, to be decided, will benefit from the rest. It promises to be an entertaining and informative afternoon out with something for everyone. If anyone would like to volunteer to be a steward, grow plants, bake cakes, or help in any way, we would love to hear from you! Contact

sarah@daisybankgardendesign.couk Parking Rodborough has many narrow roads and we all need to drive and park carefully to reflect this. Kings Road (off Rodborough Hill) is of particular concern and we have been made aware more than once of the problems caused by inconsiderate parking here. If you have to park here, please make sure that enough room is left for a wide vehicle to get through to the rest of the estate. On more than one occasion recently it would have been very difficult for a Fire Appliance or Ambulance to access homes in an emergency. Don’t let it be your vehicle which prevents them from saving lives. ALLOTMENTS Plots of various sizes available at Lightpill Allotments Come and join us and enjoy your own crops and free exercise. Contact Doreen on 01453 872733 for more information. THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 9 Alien Invasion T he spread of invasive non-native plants causes problems in the environment. The most common of these in this area are: Himalayan Balsam -

a relative of the Busy Lizzie which has been causing problems along the canal at Chalford, where there have been “Balsam Bashing” events to remove this pesky invader. It out-competes native species and in winter, when it dies back, can leave the banks bare and exposed to erosion. Giant Hogweed, related to cow parsley, can grow over 3m tall. It reminds me of John Wyndham’s “Triffids”! They have thick bristly stems, and the sap can cause severe skin burns which may leave the victim scarred and sensitive to sunlight. Definitely not a foe you want to get up close and personal with! Japanese Knotweed is a nasty individual which has even been spotted in the Community Hall car park! It is a tall herbaceous perennial with bamboo like stems, which often grows into dense thickets. It outcompetes native flora and can also cause structural damage by growing through asphalt and undermining foundations. It is an offence to plant or cause these species to grow in the wild. This includes

moving contaminated soil or plant cuttings. You’re not legally obliged to remove these plants, however, if you allow Japanese knotweed to grow onto other people’s property you could be prosecuted for causing a private nuisance. Also, both Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed are classified as controlled waste, which means you should use a specialist to deal with them. There are also a number of weeds dangerous to animals, or agricultural production, and also controlled by law. One of the most common of these is Ragwort which if ingested by livestock causes liver damage and can be fatal. It’s not an offence to have ragwort growing on your land, but you must stop it spreading to agricultural land, particularly grazing areas or land used for producing silage and hay. If you allow ragwort to spread onto someone else’s property, Natural England could serve you with an enforcement notice. You can also be prosecuted if you allow animals to suffer by eating these weeds. More information

on the above plants and others can be found at: https://www.govuk/guidance/prevent-the-spread-ofharmful-invasive-and-non-native-plants Joanna Bird THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 10 From Rodborough to Western Australia I t’s not many months since we attempted to shoehorn ourselves and our luggage into a Corsa and finally leave Rodborough – with some trouble fitting everything in. In some ways it feels a lifetime ago, in others only yesterday. Mindful that you have all had a cold and grey winter it would seem unfair perhaps to mention that we look out of the window at yet another day of bright sunny skies. Notwithstanding, we are seemingly acclimatising now for Peggy was heard to complain that it was cold at a 26! We have seen our first snake in the garden - on our patio a couple of feet behind Peggy whilst we were sharing a cuppa with a friend – ironically as Peggy was complaining we had been here some weeks and had yet to see a snake! Most weekends Toodyay is visited by

crowds of Bikers from Perth who ride here for a sedate cuppa with friends and then return home. Brian’s mid-life crisis minds him to join them and he has acquired a shiny new HOG (well more of a piglet really) which now proudly sits in our car port; the car is relegated to the garden. He can be seen and heard practising circuits of the church car-park most evenings as he cannot take it on a road before he passes the Aussie motorbike test. The challenge will be getting the Harley to do a ‘U’ turn in a narrow road – why would you when a 3-point turn seems far more sensible?! The long summer School holidays are over and most things are getting back to normal now. We are getting ‘stuck-in’ to the work involved with two Parishes but seven church buildings. Restoration of the Old Endowed School was an experience for us that we are capitalising on here; we already have projects to repair and restore a couple of the Church Buildings, and one was urgent after a mini-tornado

stripped part of the roof from a remote but old ‘Pioneer’ church building about 10 miles outside town. ¿Quieres hablar español? Would you like to speak Spanish? A s a Rodborough resident, Spanish teacher and new Mum, I began a new community class in January 2016, offering parents, grandparents, babies and toddlers the opportunity to come along to a weekly class and enjoy some Spanish. Since having my first baby, Alice, Id been developing a repertoire of Spanish songs to keep her entertained during breakfast, bath time and bedtime. Friends started asking me to teach them a Spanish lullaby or how to play the Spanish version of Peekaboo, and so I decided to start a weekly class: Spanish with Little Ones. Each class, we have a new theme and learn some Spanish words and phrases through songs that can then be used at home. Its a great way to practise what youve learnt and also for your little ones to start absorbing the sounds of a new language. We have plenty of time to chat over

tea and home-made biscuits at the end of each session so that everyone can get to know each other. The class runs every Tuesday (except school holidays) from 2.15 to 300 pm at Rodborough Community Hall For a free taster session please email me at bethycollins@gmail.com Future plans to bring more Spanish to Rodborough include a conversational class for adults and a Spanish summer school for primary children, so keep your eyes out for posters and please get in touch if you are keen to learn some Spanish! Beth Stapleton Yesterday Peggy was gardening when a tree fell over in front of her. This is not unusual here We’ve still a lot to learn We enjoy sipping a small libation on our back veranda at sundown most days and as it is getting toward that time, we’ll sign off. G’night Cobbers! Brian and Peggy Gloucestershire’s leading multi-disciplinary clinic Physiotherapy Osteopathy Sports Massage Acupuncture Podiatry Strength and Conditioning Please present this voucher to redeem your

discounted offer 40% OFF INITIAL CONSULTATION Back and neck pain / Sports injuries / Rehabilitation For use with any Physiotherapy or Osteopathy consultations Only valid with this voucher Not valid as part of any insurance claim Expiry date: May 31st 2016 Email: mail@physiofive.couk Tel: 01453 755948 THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 11 COMMUNITY GROUPS IN RODBOROUGH Activity and Organisation Name Contact Phone Activity and Organisation Name Contact Phone 1st Rodborough Guides Keeley Burke 07746 710107 Rodborough Tabernacle Secretary Peter Freeman 759943 3rd Rodborough Brownies 3rdrodboroughbrownies@gmail.com Rodborough Tabernacle URC Minister Eric Massey 766389 5VFit Kim www.5vfitcouk Rodborough Toddlers (TOES) Ellen Edwards 07958134873 Art Class (Endowed School) Cyril Corio 765649 Rodborough Youth Football Club Darren Vasey 07742 971974 Art Class (Community Hall) Steve Smith 752159 Rodborough Youth Project Dawn Quest 07855426554 Baby Massage NCT

020 8752 2494 Rugby Rascals Toddler Group Sharon Ashenford 750124 Break Out Productions Helen Carter 07899848180 Scrabble Club Kim Richardson 07833 336843 Cappella Singers Ken Lawrence 759634 South Cotswold Ramblers Richard Davis 762373 Coffee Pot Jane Tubbs 767557 Spanish with Little Ones Beth Stapleton 07811 923863 Community Hall - Bookings Joy Jackson 762686 St.John Ambulance 01452 858220 Croc N Roll Stephanie 07957235413 Stroud & Rodborough Educational Charity Shani Baker 860379 Dance Pointe Rhianne Banyard 07854298847 Stroud Music & Dance Academy Charles Dyson 07861699198 Fitness Class (Rodborough School) Julie McNally 750628 Stroud Rambling Club Ann Copeland 752654 Five Valleys Bridge Club Vesta Rock 886404 Stroud Rugby Club Gordon McDowell 07766763476 Gastrells Primary School Headteacher Kate Merriman 765959 Stroud Sea Cadets Paul White 755141 Glebe Allotment Association Sarah Zodiates 759422 The Old Endowed

School (TOES)- bookings Louise Ratcliffe 752265 Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archeology Ray Wilson 860595 Transition Stroud Seb Buckton 07557 508025 Hayward for the Commons Mark Dawkins 07973 326772 Village Agent for Rodborough Angela King 07776 245791 Jolly Stompers Line Dancing (Gastrells) Julie Cole 752480 Wednesday Fellowship (Tabernacle) Dorothy Ede 765978 Kingscourt Educational Trust Jenny Wills 763984 Woodcraft Folk Cyril Laffort 764698 Lightpill Allotment Association Doreen 872733 Yoga Class (Community Hall) Amanda Sultan-Black 755635 Meditation and Yoga Classes Elles Theulan 07815 552952 Mid-Cotswold Tracks and Trails Group Pat Harris 823841 Model Engineers (Secretary) W.P Phillips 883438 National Trust (Common Ranger) Richard Evans 01452 810056 Parish Church Jane Tubbs 765757 Pilates Karen Brown 07957 539634 Radical Stroud www.radicalstroudblogspotcouk Rainbows Debbie Wood Remembering Rodborough

rememberingrodborough@gmail.com Rodborough Beaver Scouts Mary Jones 766745 Rodborough Cub Scouts James Lynn 753864 Rodborough Fields Preservation Group www.rodboroughfieldsorguk Rodborough Friendly Circle Olive Heskins 765379 Rodborough Lionessess Ben Spencer 07960712609 Rodborough Old Boys FC Stuart Thompson 07800589173 Rodborough Playgroup Nicola Hurford 756141 Rodborough Poultry Club Kirsty Tallon 07751181076 Rodborough Primary School Mrs M Halsey 763159 Rodborough Scout Troop Theresa Mansbridge 07793286534 Rodborough Tabernacle - Bookings John Rohrbeck 01452 812934 Rodborough Tabernacle Choir Di Davis Rodborough Tabernacle Events RODBOROUGH PARISH WALKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH SOUTH COTSWOLD RAMBLERS Thursday 26th May at 6.30pm Through Manor Woods to Amberley – 4 miles. Thursday 30th June at 6.30pm Over to Selsley – 4.5 miles Thursday 28th July at 6.30pm Lagger Lane to Boundary Court – 4.5 miles 07810 455774 Thursday 25th August at 6.30pm

Canals and Railways – 4 miles Friday 22nd September at 5.30pm Rodborough Common – 3 miles. • This year’s programme of evening walks will be held on Thursday evenings. • All walks will start from Rodborough Community Hall, Butterrow West at 6.30 pm except the September walk which will start at 5.30 pm • Children are always welcome on walks accompanied by adults although the walks not suitable for very young children. • Most walks will be over reasonable tracks and quiet lanes but the nature of the area is such that there will usually be at least one steep climb. 762373 • There may be pub stops on some walks Carole Oosthuysen 872446 • Published walks may be subject to alteration. Rodborough Tabernacle Lunch Club Barbara Cook 763026 • Rodborough Tabernacle News Brian Oosthuysen 872446 If you have any queries please ring Richard Davis on 01453 762373. THE RODBOROUGH COMMONER PAGE 12 EVENTS DIARY Date Time Thursday 5th May All day Saturday 7th

May 11:00 Monday 9th May 20:00 Wednesday 11th May 10:00 Sunday 15th May tbc Sunday 15th May 15:00 Monday 16th May 19:30 Thursday 19th May 19:00 Saturday 21st May 11:00 Monday 23rd May 19:00 Monday 23rd May Thursday 26th May 18:30 Saturday 4th June 10:00 Saturday 11th June 11:00 Sunday 12th June 14:00 Sunday 12th June 14:00 Thursday 23rd June All day Sunday 26th June 11:00 Thursday 30th June 18:30 Friday 1st July 07:15 Friday 15th July 15:15 Thursday 28th July 18:30 Sunday 31st July 14:00 Sunday 7th August 14:00 Sunday 14th August 14:00 Sunday 21st August 14:00 Thursday 25th August 18:30 Saturday 3rd September tbc Thursday 22nd September 17:30 Saturday 24th September 10:00 Event Venue Contact Parish Council Elections Polling Stations Stroud District Council 766321 Plant Sale (Amberley Gardening Club) Black Horse Amberley Simone 873887 Rodborough Summer Sizzle meeting Community Hall rodboroughsizzle@yahoo.couk Remembering Rodborough archive at the Coffee Pot Endowed School

Pentecost Service & Fun Day Community Hall Tabernacle 766389 Churches together in Stroud Christian aid service Tabernacle Little Chapel Tabernacle 766389 Road Safety Working Group Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Volunteers BBQ Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Christian Big Breakfast Rodborough Tabernacle Tabernacle 766389 Annual Council Meeting (ACM) Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Full Council Meeting Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Parish Walk (to Amberley) Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Identification of flowers and grasses Rodborough Common National Trust 01453 753358 Art Exhibition Community Hall Art Group 762849 Art Exhibition (part of Summer Sizzle) Community Hall Art Group 762849 Rodborough Summer Sizzle Butterrow West rodboroughsizzle@yahoo.couk EU Referendum Polling Stations Stroud District Council 766321 Rodborough Open Gardens Church Place etc sarah@daisybankgardendesign.couk Parish Walk (to Selsley) Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Somme

Tribute Rodborough churchyard Parish Church Gastrells School Summer Fayre Gastrells School Gastrells School 765959 Parish Walk (to Lagger Lane) Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Community Café Community Hall Tabernacle 766389 Community Café Community Hall Tabernacle 766389 Community Café Community Hall Tabernacle 766389 Community Café Community Hall Tabernacle 766389 Parish Walk (Canals & Railways) Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Mikron Theatre Community Hall Contact Stephen 758138 Parish Walk (to Rodborough Common) Community Hall Parish Council 762686 Scrub ‘n’ Spuds on Rodborough Common Rodborough Common National Trust 01452 814213 PARISH COUNCIL – REGULAR MEETINGS Full Council - Usually third Monday of the month 7pm.Meetings in August and December subject to confirmation. Contact the clerk Planning, Transport and Amenities Committee - meets monthly – usually the first Monday of the month at 6.30pm Finance and Staffing Committee - meets once a quarter

(October, January, April, July). The public are welcome to attend all parish council meetings. All meetings are subject to change. For a full list of meeting dates please see our website www. rodborough.govuk and click on ‘Your Parish Council’ COUNCILLORS Cllr Philip Blomberg Cllr Joanna Bird Cllr Anna Karmilavicius-Guarino Cllr Jane Ansell Cllr Charles Pedrick Cllr Alick Miskin Cllr Simon Walker Cllr Steve Ponting Cllr Roy Derbyshire Cllr Shaun Barker Cllr Kiera Jones Cllr Paul Gibson 151 Bath Road, Stroud, GL5 3LL 07767834248 68A Kingscourt Lane, Rodborough GL5 3PX 765461 2 Dudbridge Hill, Rodborough, GL5 3HW 753920 Please contact the Parish Office 07847391172 2-3 High View Cottages, Rodborough Lane, GL5 2LH 07879428000 Laurel House, Butterrow Lane, GL5 2LX 753024 Bramble Cottage, Rodborough Hill GL5 3SS 767904 Morningside, Swellshill, Stroud, GL5 2SW 885689 42 Chandos Road, Rodborough Stroud Glos Gl5 3QZ 5 Castlemead Road, Rodborough, Stroud, Glos GL5 3SF 12 Woodhouse

Drive, Stroud GL5 3SG Five Gables Bowl Hill Kingscourt Stroud Glos GL5 5DS STROUD DISTRICT COUNCILLORS Elections are due to be held on 5th May GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCILLOR Cllr Brian Oosthuysen Copperfields, The Street, Kingscourt, Stroud GL5 5DL 872446 W = West Ward N = North Ward S = South Ward B = Butterow Ward * co-option www.rodboroughgovuk | Contact the Clerk: clerk@rodboroughgovuk or 01453 762686 – – – – W W N W B B N W W N N S 5 Councillors 4 Councillors 1 Councillor 2 Councillors