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Hazeldene Meadow 13 Mar 2018 (Eynsham Village) Margaret Key describes how this new housing development is giving something back to the community

As relative newcomers to Oxfordshire, and especially to Eynsham, we can understand how local residents must have felt about the impending development of 100 houses at Hazeldene.

We wanted to move to the area to be close to family and grandchildren. After searching for over a year, we realised that Eynsham was the only village that seemed to fit our requirements: friendly people, good range of independent shops, plenty of clubs and associations and a feeling of ‘belonging’.

We viewed a property on Hazeldene and were persuaded by the trees, open spaces and meadow which deserve nurturing and protecting. During our first year here we met other like-minded people; and our thanks go to Martin Flatman for his help with the necessary contact names at Taylor Wimpey and from Hazeldene. We have found a group of willing residents to work together to restore the area at the main entrance to Hazeldene back to the meadow it is designated to be.

Many readers may have noticed the bare patches that have recently appeared in the grass. We have taken advice from Wychwood Trust to clear several one-metre squares within the area, sow yellow rattle seeds which hopefully will feed off the grass roots and allow the yellow rattle to flourish from March. Then in the autumn of 2018 to sow suitable wild flower seed which eventually will spread and return the area to the meadow originally envisaged.

We are working closely with the ground maintenance company who have agreed to ensure our needs are met.

The grass has just been cut very closely to try to remove the very tough grass areas, and will not be cut again until September, when it will be strimmed and the cuttings left for a couple of weeks to allow any seed heads to dry. It will then be raked by hand so the seeds are left to flourish the following spring. Ground maintenance have offered to donate wild flower seeds to help with our ambitious plan.

Hopefully the wild flowers in spring 2019 will reward us all for our work. Please watch with us and see if the ambition comes to fruition.

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