Odiham Biodiversity Group - Newsletter February 2007

by otmg on Wednesday 21st March

‘Reviving Your Landscape’

Thursday 29th March at the Cross Barn

North East Hampshire is a very special area for biodiversity. The landscape is of great historical importance but much, especially the heathland has been neglected. Hampshire Wildlife Trust has set up The Grazing for Biodiversity Project as a new initiative to re-introduce grazing animals onto some of the most important areas and over time this traditional form of management will improve the area for wildlife.

Alex Cruickshank, the project manager is coming to talk to us about this project on the 29th March. The illustrated talk will start at 7.45 pm. All are welcome. Admission £2, children free.

Bird Walks

Some 20 of us braved the mud on the 10th February and we were rewarded with sightings of 28 different species of birds, including several Redwings. Admittedly, without Peter’s expertise we wouldn’t have seen half that number but we all learnt a great deal. One of the highlights wasn’t a bird at all – we had a very close sighting of four Roe Deer – 3 does and a buck.

Peter has kindly agreed to repeat the exercise on Saturday the 31st March and hopefully we will see some of the early migrants such as Chiffchaff. This time we will probably have a wander around the Deer Park or the southern end of Odiham Common. Please meet at the Colt Hill car park at 2.00 pm. £1, children free.


It has been suggested that we undertake wildlife surveys of the Cemetery and the Parish Council have encouraged us to do this. Being on the edge of the village and encircled by hedges should be wonderful for wildlife and I have seen deer there. We hope to start surveying in the next couple of weeks after obtaining advice from the Hampshire Wildlife Trust. If anyone is interested in helping with this project please get in touch.

Odiham Biodiversity Group AGM 3rd April

We will be holding our first AGM on the evening of Tuesday 3rd of April. All of you who receive a newsletter are ‘members’ and will be entitled to attend and vote at the AGM. At the meeting we will be electing a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. If you are interested in becoming more involved with the group please come along to the next Steering Group meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 6th March at Parkside. If you would like to attend the AGM please indicate on the atttached form so that we can arrange an appropriate venue.

Swan Line

In addition to the RSPCA (0870 5555999) and Hart Wildlife Rescue (01256 770438), Steve Lyons has drawn our attention to Swan Line a rescue service specifically for swans, as you might have guessed. Their number is 01753 859397.

Other Organisations’ Events

The Odiham Society is having a talk entitled ‘Hampshire – a Romantic Landscape’ on Friday 23rd March at 7.30pm. The speaker is George Watts and the venue – The Cross Barn. All are welcome.

Peter Hutchins who led our Winter Bird Walk runs the Basingstoke Local Members Group of the RSPB. On the 21st March they are having a talk on ‘Spring in the Cevennes and Vercors’ and on the 25th March they will be visiting the Blashford Lakes HWT Reserve. For more details please contact Peter on 01256 770831 or [email protected]

Steve Lyons will be doing his usual guided walks on Odiham Common this Spring starting with ‘A walk in the woods’ in May.

Hart District Council Rangers also guide walks at other sites in the District such as Hazeley Heath, Elvetham Heath and Fleet Pond. The first walk is at Hazeley Heath at 10.00 am on Saturday 31st March. Please book in advance on 01252 843893. For more information about other Hart District walks please call 01252 623443 or e-mail [email protected]

Diary of Local Events

6th March Steering group meeting. 7.30 pm at Parkside
21st March RSPB Talk Basingstoke
23rd March Odiham Society talk ‘Hampshire – a Romantic Landscape’
25th March HWT Volunteers. Rachel Remnant 01489 774421 or Tim Ransom 01256 764541
29th March ‘Reviving Your Landscape’ OBG talk at the Cross Barn 7.45 pm. £2
31st March Hart District Ranger walk at Hazeley Heath
31st March Spring Bird Walk, Colt Hill Wharf car park. 2.00 pm £1
3rd April OBG Steering Group meeting and AGM

For more informationplease contact Sheila Bates 01256 701187 or [email protected]

Blues And Booze In The Bury

by otmg on Tuesday 13th March

Saturday 16th June 2007 will see the first Blues and Booze in the Bury event in Odiham

This will be a blues festival and beer festival rolled into one, organised jointly by The NfA (Neurofibromatosis Association) and Odiham Town Management Group. It will be a big event, expected to attract about three thousand people from far and wide. Put the date in your diary now; Sat 16 June, 1pm – 6pm.

The event will feature two excellent bluesmen from the USA; Bill Sheffield and Mississippi Bill Abel, both on tour of the UK this summer, plus support from British performers, Pete Harris from Lock’s Heath and Bob Long from Lyndhurst. Bill Sheffield, from Atlanta, Georgia will be appearing with Paul Linden and Dave Saunders and this date will be the climax to his UK tour. Bill Abel, from Duncan, Mississippi, will perform solo at Odiham before joining up with Big George Brock for a tour starting in York on 19 June. Biographical notes on the artistes are given below. If you like blues this will be a rare treat to see and hear these men on a British stage.

The festival will include 20 micro breweries, a barbecue, hog roast, tea and coffee and homemade cakes. There will also be other entertainment with children in mind. It is a public space and a thoroughfare; although the road will be closed to traffic, the event cannot be ticketed. FREE ENTRY and FREE PARKING. The NfA will raise money from the tea and cakes, collecting buckets and a stall with tombola and a raffle.

Bill Sheffield

The bluesman from Atlanta needs no introduction to regular UK blues fans having sold out all his previous appearances here. Bill will perform his own interpretations of Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Willie McTell and other original blues masters songs along with his own compositions and versions of songs that have influenced him over the years. His experience of being Roy Buchanon’s tour and album vocalist and opening for blues greats such as Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughn (it’s a little known fact that SRV acually opened for Bill Sheffield once!) and his laid back yet energy laden stage style has made him many friends in the UK where he is always made welcome. Accompanied by ex Producers bassist Dave Saunders, this will be yet another ‘have to be there’ blues experience!

Those lucky enough to have seen Bill before know what a great singer/ guitarist and powerful performer he is. With his huge voice and stunning slide guitar this man puts his heart and soul into every show.

Mississippi Bill Abel

Originally from Belzoni, MS and now resident near Duncan, about half an hour’s drive south from Clarksdale in the Mississippi Delta, Bill Abel learned the blues first hand from the blues musicians he has known throughout his life, particularly the late Paul “Wine” Jones.

Bill sings and plays guitar both as a solo performer and as leader of The Bill Abel Blues Band. His influences and much of the material for his arrangements come from legendary bluesmen including Charlie Patton, Tommy Johnson, Son House, Skip James, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Bill is also much in demand to accompany other blues musicians. He has played with Cadillac John Nolden, Monroe Jones, Paul “Wine”Jones, David Lee Durham, Kenny Kimbrough, Terry Bean, Sam Carr, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Big George Brock, Hubert Sumlin and others. Last year, he recorded with Hubert Sumlin on the W.C. Handy Award nominated Big George Brock album, “Round Two”. In 2006, Bill was touring in Europe with Big George Brock and this year he’s back again and will join Big George’s tour of the UK in June.

Bill always enjoys his solo gigs as they give him the freedom to play his own interpretations of country blues classics. He is equally at home with acoustic and electric blues. His dazzling performance on the Acoustic Stage at last October’s Arkansas Blues & Heritage (former King Biscuit) Festival in Helena AR, won much critical acclaim. His appearance at The Blues & Booze Festival in Odiham, Hampshire, will be his first in the UK.

Pete Harris

PETE HARRIS (vocals, guitar) has performed on stage with many American blues artistes, notably Phil Guy, (brother of Buddy Guy), Lowell Fulson, Tabby Thomas, Gene 'Mighty Flea' Connors, Mojo Buford (ex Muddy Waters Band), Byther Smith, Carrie and Lurrie Bell and Jerry McCain. He has appeared on BBC Television and many times on local and national radio.

Bob Long

Bob is a British blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player specialising in "the old stuff". Most of what he plays is his interpretations of pre-world war II blues, jug band and ragtime material particularly music from the Mississippi delta, where he is a frequent visitor and participant in The Clarksdale Juke Joint Festival.

For more information about Bob Long, visit his website at www.bobalong.co.uk

Hugh Budden

The versatility and sheer brilliance of Hugh Budden's harp playing has given him a reputation as one of the South's best harmonica players. His career has spanned across the spectrums of both music and continents and he has developed a highly individual style of playing which lends itself to blues. Hugh has gigged throughout the UK at major festivals and smaller venues in France, Belgium, Holland, Eire, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Gibraltar, Mallorca, Tenerife and New Zealand. For more information about Hugh, visit www.dolfinmusic.com

For Organisational Enquiries contact Peter Fountain on 01256 702128 email [email protected]

For general enquiries, contact Tricia Stephens
email [email protected]
phone 01256 704701

For music enquiries, contact Bob Long
email [email protected] phone 023 8028 2821

Empty shop premises.

by Peter Fountain on Thursday 22nd February

High street retailers and residents attended a meeting at The George Hotel this evening 22.02.07 to listen to plans for the future of the Delicatessen and No 81. These prime retail shops and their accommodation will go on the market at some stage in March. It was unanimously agreed by retailers and residents that these properties should remain retail outlets and the Odiham Society, Odiham Parish Council and the OTMG will be urged to write to Hart planning outlining these wishes. Whoever purchases these properties will require some time to carry out the necessary repairs and this could well be as much as a year.
Thank you to all who attended.

Odiham And Greywell Cricket Club

by otmg on Wednesday 21st February

Odiham And Greywell Cricket ClubThe Odiham & Greywell Cricket Club is open to Members from Monday to Saturday 4pm to 8pm and Sundays 12pm to 6pm although the club stays open later during the Cricket Season which starts in April.

We can also cater for special occasions such as Birthday Parties, Anniversaries, Engagement Parties etc.

For a Membership or Hire of Pitch/Clubhouse Forms please drop in between these times.

The Rotary Club Of Odiham And Hook

by otmg on Wednesday 21st February


What now seems like a distant memory, Christmas 2006 was again a successful time for our Rotary Santa and his sleigh.

With teams of helpers from OCHRE, Neurofibromatosis Association, The Base Youth club and the Crohn’s Association, Santa managed to collect nearly £4000 in December, monies which will go to support both local and international charities and good causes. Particular thanks go to Tesco in Hook for allowing us to collect at the store and as a gesture of thanks we have sent £250 to their chosen charity Whizz-Kidz. The charity provide disabled children in the UK with customised mobility equipment, training and advice and it is good to know that some of your money is going to make a difference to the lives of these young people.

Another donation has been made to support the Rotary Kids Out fun day to be held at the Army Stadium, Aldershot in early June. Organised for physically and mentally disabled youngsters from our area, the day provides a wide range of activities and is attended by over 1000 young people and their carers/teachers annually.

Richard Ward is also a beneficiary of a Rotary donation as our local optician prepares to undertake a visit to Uganda where he has arranged to undertake eye testing and the provision of glasses to people living in the rural community.

Without the generosity of the people of Odiham and Hook to our Christmas Sleigh Collections none of this would be possible and so to all who contributed

Our next fund raising event will be a “RACE NIGHT” at North Warnborough Village Hall on Saturday 12 May when tickets will cost £8. To include a hot meal being cooked for us by the chefs of RAF Odiham. Last year 90 people attended and we are aiming to fill the hall again this year, so, if you would like a fun night out why not come and join us? Tickets are available from David and John whose telephone numbers are given below.

The Odiham and Hook Rotary Club are proud to work with and for our local community. We meet weekly on Tuesday evenings, 7.30pm for 8.00pm at the George Hotel (first Tuesday monthly at The Bell) and enjoy a wide range of speakers and social functions as well as our monthly business and fellowship evenings. If you are interested in finding out a little more about Rotary then why not come along and see us, you will be made very welcome.

Please contact
David Woodward 01256 702712
John Hughes 01256 764804

Or take a look at the website at www.odihamandhookrotary.co.uk

Tourism South East 'Welcome to Odiham'

by Peter Fountain on Sunday 11th February

A specially designed customer care training programme for Odiham.

Through Tourism South East the OTMG have managed to secure 2 dates in March to enable retailers and businesses to improve their retailing skills.

Welcoming customers
Understanding your customer
Delivering service excellence
Communicating successfully
Providing information and advice
Meeting specific needs
Dealing with difficult situations
Boosting business

Where ? The George Hotel
When ? 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. 6th March and 14th March.
How much ? Free if you are involved in the business of promoting tourism and £15 for the 2 sessions if you are not. ( normally £75 )
This represents excellent value for money, and will include hot drinks and sandwiches and is open to anyone.

For further information or a registration form please contact Peter Fountain on 01256 702128 or email [email protected]

Foyles War, 'Bleak midwinter'

by Peter Fountain on Friday 9th February

The episode of Foyles War filmed in Odiham last March is due on our screens this Sunday at 9 p.m. on ITV. Apologies if this is a false alarm, it was supposed to be on earlier in the year. The filming was centred around The Bury, Terry's Alley and Stoney Alley featuring a murder.

New President for Odiham and Greywell Cricket Club.

by Peter Fountain on Thursday 8th February

Following the death of our much loved President, Doug Smith last year, we are pleased to announce that retired Squadron Leader and old hand of the cricket club Alan Laycock ( tidier up of the notice board, wicket keeper in his time and general good egg, and last but not least Fixtures Secretary )
will take up the role of President this season.
Alan has given much to the club over many years and his job as Fixtures Secretary makes the whole season tick. Alan will be wheeled out on special occasions as the figurehead of one of the oldest clubs in the country.

South East Water lifts hosepipe ban.

by Peter Fountain on Tuesday 6th February

South East Water is from tomorrow (7th February) lifting the hosepipe and sprinkler ban which has been in force for its 1.5 million customers in Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

The move follows a water recharge period with four months above average rainfall, which has significantly improved key underground water sources across the Company's supply area. These underground sources account for three quarters of all South East Water's supplies.

Customers can log onto www.beatthedrought.com or www.southeastwater.co.uk for more information.

Defective street lights.

by Peter Fountain on Sunday 4th February

Whilst Hampshire County Council's contractors regularly 'scout' the area to identify defective lighting, if you know of one that is not working you can easily report it either by telephoning 0845 850 4422 or by filling in the online defective report which can be found on: