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The Sun is out. . . 
. . .and the bees are too.
Wassail Party
Sunday 5th January 2020
This year’s Wassail party was a great success with many people attending to enjoy the fun with music, dancing and marshmallow toasting on the bonfire.
Crowning the Wassail Queen
This year a local troop of Morris Dancers provided entertainment, the Wassail Master directed events and plenty of mulled cider and mince pies were served.
To see more photos click here.

Butterfly Leaflet
Our newly published Butterfly leaflet identifying 24 varieties of butterflies can be found here

Green Flag Award 2019/20
Congratulations to all of the Pensford Field supporters as we happily announce that all the hard work has paid off once again with the news that Pensford Field has been given the Green Flag Award for a fifth time. Thanks to all the volunteers for giving up their time, most especially the local resident volunteers who join our once a month Saturday morning workday.  Give yourselves a pat on the back.
For more information about the Green Flag Award please click here.

Work Day 6 July 2019
Pictures from this workday, where we tackled a variety of tasks around the field including clearing the rampant brambles and nettles from the loggery, mowing, pond clearing and installing the two new benches, can be seen here.

Honey from the hives

Summer Picnic Party
Over 200 local residents gathered in Pensford Field on Sunday afternoon to relax with a picnic. Pimms flowed and Italian ice cream added to the ambiance as did three different groups of musicians. The St Margarets Elastic Band opened proceedings with their big band medleys. Kelvin Christian's Jazz Quartet provided the polished professional heart of the music. Local group The Motleys played us through towards dusk with a bonfire and marshmallow toasting occupying the children who had earlier been well entertained by the Whoosh Pop leaders. Enough money was raised to cover the running costs of the Field for the year and to purchase two more benches.
St Margarets Elastic Band

One of the new benches 
More pictures can be seen here.
Bat Survey
A bat survey is underway and if you see strange electronic looking stuff around the field, please leave it alone.

Reptile Survey
Hannah Fletcher has completed the reptile survey in the Field. She placed small squares of roofing felt in various parts of the field and inspected them to log whatever she found hiding there.
The report can be found here.

The Knight Frank Oak Tree
Knight Frank, local estate agents, have given each of their offices the task of planting an oak tree in their local neighbourhood. Pensford Field was the lucky recipient of one of them last Saturday. Thank you Knight Frank.

Work Day 9 March 2019
We attacked the thicket of brambles covering our stag beetle loggery behind the tennis wall. A stolen drivers licence belonging to a neighbour was found amongst it, as were 376 tennis balls. Thanks to Barbara, David, Diana, Halil, Hannah, Harriet, Harrison, Lotte, Mary, Tom and Stephen.
 Clearing brambles
 Tennis balls
A well-earned cup of tea
More pictures can be seen here.

Short-term priorities for Pensford Field
The following activities will be prioritised for completion in the next 12-18 months:
- Establish links with Kew Gardens to provide advice on management
- Increase therapeutic use of the Field with organisations ‘Dose of Nature’ and ‘Creative Minds’
- Approach local schools and nurseries to encourage use of the Field
- Determine whether any local Tai Chi groups wish to use the Field
- Undertake ecological surveys of fungi, bats, wild flowers, reptiles and invertebrates
- Build up dry hedges around bee hives
- Paint the studio
- Varnish benches
- Clear bramble from loggeries
- Power cable to be installed to the Field

The full Management Plan can be found here

Butterfly Reports
Ian Cunningham has kindly provided us with his butterfly reports for 2016 and 2017.
He concludes that we are doing a fine job with 16 different species spotted, and increase from 12 the previous year.
He has also promised to produce a Children’s guide to butterfly spotting in Pensford Field by spring of next year.
The reports can be seen here: 2016 2017.

London in Bloom Gold Medal Again!
We have won a Gold Medal at the London in Bloom awards for the second year running in the Small Conservation Area section.
Well done to everyone for their hard work.
For more information about this award please click here.

Asian Hornet
Vespa velutina
The Asian Hornet has spread throughout mainland Europe and there have now been sightings in the British Isles. They have been spotted on several of the Channel Islands. There have now been sightings on the mainland in Cornwall (where a nest was removed), Devon, Gloucestershire and East Yorkshire.
It is a highly effective predator and feeds on insects and, in particular, on our native honey bees. They hawk (hover) in front of the hive and attack returning bees. Eventually the bees stop venturing out and will subsequently die. The hornets then clear the hive completely, thus posing a significant threat to our colonies.
This hornet flies only during the day and is active between April and November. It is up to 3 cm long and its body is black with face, legs and the fourth section of the abdomen being yellow. It builds small nests near the ground early in the season and then the workers make much larger nests in tall trees, being hidden by the foliage. When the leaves fall in autumn and the nests can be seen but the queens will have already have left.
It is very important for our bee population and the pollination process that they are not allowed to settle here.
All sightings should be reported, preferably with a photo, to The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology by email or use the free Asian Hornet Watch app on a smartphone.

Further information can be found on the RSPB website here.

Five Fox Cubs
Five fox cubs were spotted early in the morning on May Day playing in the filed.

Pensford Field Dawn Chorus
21 April 2018
What a fabulous start to the day with a very impressive field guide, Dominic Couzens.

These are the birds that we heard or saw:-
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Coal Tit
Wood Pigeon
Rock Pigeon
Song Thrush
Canada Goose
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Herring Gull
Black Headed Gull
Lesser Black Backed Gull

The biggest surprise was the very healthy population of Blackcap in the Field, who out sang their competitors throughout our stay.
Minor surprise - no Sparrow or Starling!

Pensford Field Orchard
The orchard was planted in 2004. When I recently took over as Chair of Pensford Field Environmental Trust, I was presented with a large carrier bag full of important documents. On my first rummage through I discovered the answer to a question that has always intrigued me – What are all the trees in the orchard? – it was the planting plan.
To see more detail, go to our History page.

Friends of Barnes Common
A big thank you goes to the Friends of Barnes Common who brought their special equipment and special knowledge to the field recently. 
They did a great job of pruning the massive hedge that separates the field from the tennis club.
Mike Hildesley (on the left) is the Chairman of the Friends. 
Sharon Morgan is planning their very first Wassail Party for 2019 and we are sharing knowledge and contacts with her. 
Adrian Podmore wielded the chain saw on his first return to Pensford field for many years. He was one of the team that planted the Pensford Field orchard all those years ago.
It gave him great pleasure to see how well it has prospered. 
They are just about to plant their own orchard on Barnes Common and are keen to find a bee keeper to set up a hive or two - I detected slight tones of envy!

Whoosh Pop

A lot has been happening at the field recently. 
Barney Smith has made a great repair to the mushroom tables.

The bug hotel is open for business.

The first lily flower has made it to the pond surface and the floating oxygenating plants are thriving.

The orchard is showing signs of a good harvest. Damsons are almost ready to eat and the branches are weighed down with fruit.

The Rotary Club log bench has finally fallen apart but has been replaced by a brand new bench.
Our 25th anniversary silver birch is taking root and we have a rota of helpers to keep it well watered especially in the extended period of hot dry weather.

Wild flowers are blooming across the field and three bee hives are now in production.

Our recent inspection for the Green Flag award went very well and our field was much admired.

Once the summer holidays are over, we will be having a work party in the field on Saturday, September 9th.
Put the date in your diary now and we will remind you nearer the time.

Some quotes from some primary school age children who came to do activities in the holidays with
Shirley Emmins
Extended Day Care Team
Children’s and Adults Services

‘I like Pensford cos we can explore on our own’

‘I like doing fires and drinking hot chocolate’

‘I like watching the fire’

‘ I like making things like magic wands and painting pebbles’

‘ I don’t like it when it rains cos everything gets wet’

‘I like making skeletons’ (with twigs)

‘I liked pond dipping and looking at the newts’

‘I would like to go there every day!’

Wild Education
Local mum Ellie Wrigglesworth believes passionately that our children, now more than ever, need to be outside. They need to be exploring, learning, playing, discovering and having adventures. Forest School is an innovative, child-led approach to outdoor play and learning. This ethos of outdoor learning started in Scandinavia and is growing in popularity in the U.K.  It is fun and unhurried, process not product, journey not destination.  Ellie set up Wild Education after re-training as a Forest School Leader, and wants to encourage as many families as possible to learn about, explore and protect our amazing natural spaces.

Wild Education runs Forest School activities for schools, pre-school groups, after school clubs and The Little Wild Nursery. They run pre-school sessions in Pensford Field on Fridays 10-11.30am.

To find out more go to or contact

Mencap at Pensford Field
In the summer holidays I was once again working on Richmond Mencap's play scheme for children and young people with learning disabilities. On one of the days in our last week we spontaneously decided to bring our group to the Field. So we packed 7 young people, of various abilities, and the same number of staff in to the minibus and off we drove to Pensford Field. It was another beautiful August day with blue sky and a benign breeze, and the minute we stepped in to the meadow I could sense the mood changing in some of the young people. All of them were happy to be there. One lad disappeared off into the trees closely followed by a volunteer. He spent the next hour and a half exploring the perimeter of the field and every inch of undergrowth without any kind of break or deviation in his urgent pace. Eventually he came out into the middle of the meadow panting, sat down and broke his 90 minute silence with a request for water.
One of our other young people spent his time lying in the long grass watching the clouds above. He seemed to me to be in complete bliss - he giggled as he waved his hands at the grass stems and marked the movement of the clouds and members of staff who were talking to him and showing him things. Another of the young people had designed treasure/scavenger hunts for everybody, and what really impressed me was that she had made bespoke hunts - she had taken each young person's needs and abilities into consideration and created them their own personalised hunt.  This way each person was able to play the game and explore the field in their own way; I found the whole thing absolutely delightful.
I suppose I should mention the staff - the priority is the young people, but it was apparent that the staff really enjoyed their visit too and made a very happy team. It was the mixture of contented young people and a great place to spend time in that made it a successful day. As for me it was another in an ample catalogue of brilliant days that I have spent in the Field with young people.

Richard Ferriday
Play Worker and Team Leader for Mencap
Committee Member, Pensford Field

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