AQIVA News Letter 19

Cirencester Roman Amphitheatre

Friends of the AMPHITHEATRE QUERNS WOOD and IV ACRE FIELD

Newsletter No. 19

Autumn 2019

We haven’t got as many photos as usual this time round, no kids, no Roman armies, no flowers or animals.

But, hey folks, see below, we’ve won an award, for work done in clearing around, improving access to and developing/maintaining the obelisk area. (CPRE = Campaign to Protect Rural England). Serious work in recovering what was little more than a derelict, overgrown site started in 2014, since when several organisations and groups have made contributions in different ways and at different times to the work, and this award (just a piece of paper and a plaque, no money!) is shared between all of us. However, only AQIVA and the town council have been continuously involved since the project started and our group have assumed responsibility for the ongoing care and maintenance. Some of you have helped us in our efforts in this respect and our thanks go to all who have wielded trowels, forks, spades, secateurs or who have assisted in other ways. We are delighted that we have all been recognised in this way.

AMPHITHEATRE

This area was given pride of place in the last newsletter, with the introduction of the toposcope. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s not too late.

Our annual bat talk and walk again took place in September as part of Heritage Open Day. Around 50 people came along, which was somewhat more than the number of bats that put in an appearance.

Other activity includes the installation of 6 bat boxes in the wooded area between the amphitheatre and the dual carriageway. This has been done by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) as part of their Wild Towns project. See our 4 Acre Field section for information on more of their work. It would be nice if, come our bat talk and walk next year, the bats could show some level of appreciation for the efforts made on their behalf.

We have been exploring the possibility of a self closing gate at the pedestrian entrance from Cotswold Avenue (the same principle as the one installed on 4 Acre Field last year). This is still under investigation but, meanwhile, the town council have worked on the mechanism of the existing gate and have achieved a significant improvement in the operation of what is already there. In case you are wondering why, this is another location where, amongst other things, dogs have been known to run out onto a busy road.

Finally, many thanks to all those who helped with our visitor counts this year: don’t go away, we’ll need you again next year.

QUERNS WOOD

Within the last couple of weeks, safety handrails have been put up in two locations.

It is worth noting that only a few years ago, there were no pathways through the woods except for one leading from the west side through to the hospital car park. Now there is also one on the east  side and a link between the two. The down side of such improvements is that everything you do creates more need for care and maintenance, particularly at this time of year when a carpet of wet leaves creates a hazard. Credit is due to the town council for their work in this regard.

FOUR ACRE FIELD

Thought we’d include this picture of late November sun: it has some rarity value!

You may have noticed that our benches along the drystone wall disappeared for a while. This was so more durable bases could be put in and it would seem that during their absence, there was a happy event, as we now have three instead of two.

We wrote in our last newsletter of work that was planned by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust as part of their Wild Towns project. This has now taken place throughout the county, including several locations around Cirencester.

As far as our neck of the woods is concerned, you may have seen the signs in 4 Acre Field, which relate the creation of a wild flower meadow, covering part of the area between the bottom of the slope (behind the two benches) and the tree line of Querns Wood. The surface has been turned and seeded with a mixture of flowers and grasses. All these will be self-propagating and we understand that, although results will be seen come the spring, it will actually improve year on year. If you would like to learn more of what GWT are about, do visit their website   www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk  

COMMUNICATION

Apart from this newsletter, you can find information and photos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.co+m/FriendsOfAmphitheatre?fref=ts

We also have a twitter account:

@aqiva_ciren

See also the notice board at the entrance from Chesterton Lane into 4 Acre Field

If you would like any more detail, please contact our secretary, Alison, at aqivasec@gmail.com.

If you have friends, family, neighbours or anyone who might be interested in learning more about what is going on, please pass on our contact details.

MEETINGS

Our committee meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of every month at Chesterton primary school, starting at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend and contribute, either as a visitor, or to become a member of the committee.  There is no December meeting, but early dates for 2020 are:

23 January                    27 February                  26 March                      23 April