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January 2015

posted 1 Feb 2015, 09:08 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 1 Feb 2015, 09:26 ]
Vera Hopley

A sad start to 2015 as Vera Hopley, one of our long standing members, passed away aged 92. Vera had been a very active member of the Trust for over forty years, being both secretary in the 1980s and pinner in the 1990s. She, along with others, were instrumental in protecting and preserving the Green as an area of meadowland, at a time when it faced an uncertain future. Vera not only spent many hours on the Green pulling ragwort and cutting thistle, but she was also the first person in the Trust, to start writing a diary and recording events and sightings on the Green - something that I am trying to continue today (albeit in a different format and medium). Vera was keen to promote public awareness of the Green and she not only wrote an informative booklet celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Trust's formation, but she also promoted Pipe Green at public events. The photo, taken from her diary, shows a very smart Vera (on LHS) at the Lichfield Wildlife Festival in 1993. Vera was also a keen and talented artist and amongst other things, she drew our goose logo. So it is somewhat fitting that part of Vera's legacy will still be with us, as we continue our efforts to conserve Pipe Green for the future. Thank you Vera.

snowdrops in january

On a happier note, there are signs that spring may be getting closer. A small clump of snowdrops on the edge of the Green are starting to flower, which is always a welcome sight. I have also heard a greater spotted woodpecker drumming on the trees surrounding the Green, again suggesting that the birds are starting to establish breeding territories. Two herons have also been spotted quite regularly by the brook. I don't know if they are a pair or not, but it will be interesting to see if they stay around.

Maple hayes from Pipe Green

A different view from the Green, this time looking towards Maple Hayes, with the deer helpfully posing in the foreground. Over the last year I have been researching the history of Pipe Green and finally, over December, managed to finally add some pages to the website, under history. So far I have covered what we know about Pipe Green prior to 1793 (not a lot), the establishment of the Pipe Green Trust in 1793 and details on Leomansley Mill when it was owned by the Hartwell's (1791 - 1833). This is very much an on going project and there is loads more still to do. I can see is going to keep me busy for many years to come!

Finally there have been notices put up on the Green by Staffs County Council concerning a footpath diversion. More details of, and links to, these modification orders can be seen on our facebook page. In summary, the County Council are making the footpath that is walked today, a public right of way. The Trust supports this proposal.