The present hall is in urgent need of refurbishment and expansion. Blean’s vibrant and growing community need a hall fit for the 21st century. To date, thousands of pounds have been raised through extremely generous donations for which the parish council are HUGELY grateful. Nevertheless, much more is required and soon too.
To qualify for the large grants on offer, the village has to raise £20,000 by early 2013. Although the fete and other ventures have already contributed significantly, a lot more money is needed.
How can you help?
To contribute to the future wellbeing of the community of Blean by helping with the raise the roof appeal go to www.localgiving.com
For more information on the Village Hall including the planned improvements and fundraising events, visit www.bleanvillagehall.co.uk
Ash Dieback Disease was first identified in Poland in 1992. Since then it has spread across Europe with Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark particularly affected. In Denmark it is reported that some 90% of their Ash trees may have been killed or been infected by the fungus causing the disease.
In the UK evidence of the disease was found early in 2012 in tree nurseries and sites recently planted with young Ash trees. However it was not until October that the disease was found in established trees, in East Anglia. A recent survey has now revealed affected trees in Kent.
It is not yet fully understood how the disease is transmitted. Initially the disease was carried on young trees imported from Europe and these infected new planting sites. It is now thought likely that spores of the fungus have also been carried by winds blowing from Europe, infecting established trees and woodlands.
The presence of the disease does not make an infected tree any more hazardous or likely to fail. It can take a number of years to kill a mature tree and there is evidence of a natural resistance amongst the Ash population. It is therefore premature to consider felling trees. It will be difficult over the winter months to assess whether trees have been infected as the most obvious visible symptoms affect the leaves.
Additional information, including guidance on how to identify the disease and how to formally report suspected outbreaks is available on the Forestry Commission website.
Details of new restrictions on the importation and movement of Ash trees (including seeds and seedlings) can be found on this page of the forestry commssions website.
The Forestry Commission have just published a new Chalara helpline, which can be used to report suspected cases of Chalara fraxinea infection.
Chalara helpline: 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am – 6pm every day)
To report any suspected cases of Chalara please complete the form on the Forestry Commission website and include photographs.
Updated: 19th December 2012
A new waymarked walk exploring the Blean Woods, north of Canterbury, opened in May 2012.
The Big Blean Walk is a 25 mile circular walk through one of the largest and most distinctive areas of ancient woodland in England. The Walk, combined with 18 new interpretive panels, promotes The Blean to visitors and locals, inviting people to explore a world of history and nature.
The Walk has been developed by the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership as a member of the Blean Initiative, which is a partnership of landowners, local authorities, parish councils, conservation bodies and community groups that look after and promote The Blean. The Big Blean Walk is part funded by Heritage Lottery and the Kent Wildlife Trust and The Landscape and Nature for All Project
Ian Brown, Chair of the Blean Initiative Group says ‘This walk provides a great way to explore this area and helps bring a sense of identity to a part of Kent, which we are all trying to enhance and enjoy’.
The symbol for the Walk is the Heath Fritillary butterfly, one of Britain’s rarest and perhaps The Blean’s greatest conservation success story. Close to extinction in the late 1980s, the Heath Fritillary colonies in The Blean are now some of the country’s largest.
John Bennett, Chief Executive of Kent Wildlife Trust says “The Big Blean Walk is an opportunity to see dramatic landscapes in one of the country’s most important and historic woodlands. Rediscover our countryside and celebrate the wildplaces on your doorstep. We all owe a debt to The Heritage Lottery Fund and many people of Kent who have contributed to the huge amount of work that is making these changes possible.”
A free colourful (printer friendly version) walk guide with a map and information about the history and nature of The Blean can be be downloaded here. It can also be obtained from the Canterbury Visitor Information Centre on Stour Street; Faversham Tourist Information Centre; the Horsebridge Community Centre in Whitstable and Macari’s Information Point in Herne Bay.
The walk can be done either starting from the west end – Selling Railway Station or the east end – East Blean Wood National Nature Reserve Car Park on Hicks Forstall Road near Hoath. Starting from Selling Railway Station the route goes through orchards to South Blean Woods, owned by Kent Wildlife Trust, where the route splits North and South. The South Route joins the North Downs Way and passes through No Man’s Orchard and touches Bigbury Camp before heading over the A2 to Willows Wood and the RSPB managed Blean Woods National Nature Reserve. It then follows the Sarre Penn stream, locally known as the Fishbourne stream, before heading through Tyler Hill and Great Hall Wood to Cole Wood and then to KWT’s West Blean Wood and eventually to East Blean Wood.
The North Route goes from Court Wood to Forester’s Lodge Farm before heading over the A2 to Dunkirk. The Walk passes through the RSPB National Nature Reserve and up to the Woodland Trust’s recently planted Victory Wood with fantastic views over the Swale Estuary. It then follows Denstroude Brook to the Forestry Commission Clowes Wood. After Clowes it goes through West Blean and Thornden Woods, owned by KWT, and finally KWT’s East Blean Wood National Nature Reserve.
The eighteen interpretive panels have been installed outside pubs and other gathering places including a village hall and a garden centre. Each panel tells a different story about The Blean. Topics include ‘The Battle of Bossenden’ 1838, the last armed uprising on English soil; ‘The Wood Ant’; ‘Butterflies of the Blean’; ‘Trees of the Blean’. The panels were part funded by a grant from Viridor Credits. Click on the thumbnails below to view all eighteen panels:
The Wildart Trail highlights and celebrates features of the native woods, a walk of discovery through different habitats within a beautiful ancient woodland setting, with a surprise around every corner (see leaflet).
Kent Wildlife Trust’s art and sensory, all-access trail in Thornden Wood, between Canterbury and Herne Bay uses natural, local materials to create sustainable, non-invasive artwork which blends into the surroundings. The use of sustainable materials is essential on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and means that the artwork can evolve and change through the years; as pieces begin to decay, new artwork can be created and installed.
Enter the trail between wildlife totem poles, follow the path past log cabin insect homes and see if you can spot the heron in the tree. There’s an empty frame by the path, a work in progress. Ants keep guard around their nest. See the woodland workshop, where the woodsmen are just taking a break and look at the dazzling bark of the silver birch trees.
The Radfall is an ancient droveway, with banks and ditches on either side, where livestock such as pigs, would be led between Canterbury and the coast. Wildlife images, created from drawings by children from local schools, are carved onto coppiced tree stumps along the Radfall, and look out for living willow structures.
On the way round the trail, there are five wooden woodpeckers; three of these are obvious but can you spot the other two? The raptor on its nest at the top of a tall Scots Pine is hard to miss, but it’s easy to walk past the arch, blending in with its natural surroundings.
Mini totems, carved with images of wildlife found in the woods, edge the path back to the car park, also from drawings by local children.
Parking is available on Thornden Wood Road, with space for blue badge holders and people with young children to park on the same side of the road as the all-access path.
Thornden Wood Road, between Tyler Hill & Greenhill
Post code: CT6 7NZ | Map ref: TR 143 633
For more information, please contact the Blean Project Officer on 01227 719506.