Red and blue January flowers are peeping through to cheers us in the wet winter
Evergreens sparkle in the sunshine and wallflowers are on their way
It’s early, but our campaign is already under way. We need some new posters to remind
dog walkers to clean up after their pet, because dog-fouling is against the law.
Young people under the age of 18 are invited to enter a poster competition. There
are prizes for each of three age groups and winning posters will be used around the
Our small, but willing and able volunteers waded, tugged, cut, sawed, clipped and
lopped on the afternoon of Tuesday 4th March to remove dead wood and blockages from
the brook and banks of the newly-resurfaced Grassy Lane. Brambles and holly were
cut back and all the removed plant matter was taken for composting and recycling.
There is still much to do, with only about a quarter of the length being cleared.
The area will be allowed to naturalize during the spring and summer and identification
and recording of its plants and living creatures will take place.
The Launch Meeting for Haughton 2014 (Best Kept Village Competition) and Haughton
in Bloom (Heart of England in Bloom) was held in the Village Hall on Friday 7th March.
Information-sharing, the noting of themes, initiatives and key-dates took place,
before the evening concluded with discussions and refreshments.
Our campaigns are now officially underway!
Grassy Lane and Brook Clearance Event
Thursday 13th March - 1.30pm - Playing Field car park
Bring your own wellies, loppers and clippers
Grassy Lane Update
After several sessions of tidying and maintenance work the Grassy Lane will be left
to nature for the spring and summer. Because the area has been wild for several
years there is the need for further work, especially on the south side of the brook
and to the brook itself. Dead wood has been removed from the banks where possible
and some of the tangles of ivy and branches that were in the water have been cut
back. The collected wood has been used to create log piles, one at each end of the
path. Over the spring and summer, grass and wild flowers should return to the disturbed
banks. During the coming seasons, records will be kept of the plants and creatures
that live in the area. Further maintenance work will take place in the late summer
and autumn, including dredging the brook. Many people have already made good use
of the path, adding it to their walking route. Although the new surface resembles
that of the Greenway, Grassy Lane is a public footpath, not a bridleway and is for
the use of pedestrians and not cyclists or those on horseback. Dogs are welcome.
Please help in the regeneration of this right of way by clearing up after your dog
and by keeping the area litter free.
This project was made possible by the use of the village’s prize money for winning
Best Kept Village in Stafford District in 2013.
These log piles have been placed at the ends of the Grassy Lane, using the timber
collected during initial clearance work.
For news on early-spring work in the churchyard, visit the Haughton in Bloom 2014
We have received a massive 150 entries in the young people’s dog-fouling poster competition.
Judging is taking place and winners will be announced shortly. Selected posters
will be on display around the village from May onwards.
The Civic Amenity Van will be making 3 visits to the Village Hall car park during
the next 10 months for the disposal of bulk refuse.
Our first Tidy-up of the new season was held on Thursday 17th April. The Village
Hall surrounds and the shops’ area were given a dust and brush up and Newport Road
and the Grassy Lane were scoured for litter.
Litter-picking in Newport Road and the unearthing of a polythene bag found in the
newly-formed bank in Grassy Lane.
Amongst many important jobs, such as cleaning under hedges, dead-heading flowers
and mowing, cutting of the edges of the greens has to be undertaken.
Disinfecting, brushing and litter-picking taking place during the last Tidy-up of
It’s a big job to fasten 147 children’s posters to the fence at the Village Hall.
The Grassy Lane was further improved in early April when 20 young hawthorn trees
were planted in the gaps in the hedge. The plants were donated by Stafford Borough
Council’s Street Scene and put in place by volunteers.
Sections of the bank are cleared and prepared prior to planting.
Water collected from the brook is used to help the young plants off to a good start.
This young hawthorn has been planted near the pedestrian gate into the playing field.
Dog-fouling Awareness Competition
The children’s posters have been judged and a selection of winning and Highly Commended
posters have been put on display around the village. 150 posters were entered, with
the young people of Haughton St Giles School excelling themselves in support of this
initiative. Shown below are the top three entries in the 9-13 age group. Winners
in the 8 and under age group can be found on the 2014 Haughton in Bloom page.
Winner -9-13 -Christopher
Second -9-13 -Grace
Third -9-13 -Amara
The maple tree won by Haughton as Best Kept Village in Staffordshire in 2013 can
now be seen on the corner of Newport Road and Meadow Drive. The words on the plaque
thank the volunteers and sponsors who made the three-in-a-row successes possible.
The third Tidy-up took place on the damp evening of Thursday 8th May. Volunteers
are sorting out their equipment for brushing, weeding and litter-picking tasks.
The weather for the fourth Tidy-up on Wednesday 14th May was bright, warm and sunny.
All the usual activities took place, including the picking up of cigarette ends
and the cleaning of the bus shelters.
On a warm day in May the tractor tyres and the mountain ash tree bed were planted
with summer bedding.
The Village Hall has donated two water butts to help in the Best Kept Village and
Haughton in Bloom campaigns. The water collected will be used to water the Hall’s
hanging baskets, the poppy trough and nearby flowerbeds.
More summer bedding has been planted in the Newport Road beds and a fourth tractor
tyre has made an appearance on Newport Road Green.
In our open competition for under 18s, asking for the designing of a dog-fouling
awareness poster, all entries came from the pupils of Haughton St Giles School. On
Friday 23rd May Councillor Derek Warbrick presented the winners with their cash prizes.
The pupils have decided that the prize money of £75 for the Best Kept Village Poster
Competition this year will be given to the School Council. The two representatives
from each class, who make up the council, have decided to spend the money on improving
the Millennium Garden. They will add hanging baskets, and will improve the biodiversity
of the area by putting in bird feeders to encourage a wide variety of birds to visit
The weather for the Tidy-up of Thursday 29th May was not very warm, so even though
everyone was working hard, coats were kept on. Here, volunteers are weeding the
Royds’ tomb in the churchyard, sweeping up around the phone box and disinfecting
The Civic Amenity Van came to the Village Hall on Saturday 31st May for the collection
of bulk refuse.
The Newport Road summer planting has been completed.
This new bench is a tribute to Horace Wilshaw, fundraiser for the traditional annual
trip to the seaside for senior citizens. Horace was often to be seen riding his
bicycle around the parish, wearing his flat cap. The trip has continued in his name.
Pictured here, left to right, are the three trustees of ‘Horace’s Outing’, Derek
Warbrick, Roger Williamson and Peter Rowley.
A new bird box has appeared above the fence where the children’s posters are displayed
at the Village Hall.
The traffic on Newport Road makes a lot of dust, so sweeping is a regular part of
Tidy-ups. Brushing is taking place here on 6th June, in front of the shops.
Collecting windfall twigs was one of the tasks of the 18th June Tidy-up.
A new bin has been placed at the Prince Avenue/Back Lane end of the Grassy Lane.
The Best Kept Garden Awards Evening
will be held on Friday 8th August at 7.30pm at the Village Hall
At the Best Kept Village Announcement of Results evening held at Tenterbanks Hall,
Stafford College on Monday 4th August, Haughton was awarded Best Kept Large Village
in Stafford District and Best Kept Large Village in Staffordshire for the fourth
year in succession. Representatives from the village received the County Shield,
to keep for one year, a small replica, an oak tree donated by Staffordshire Wildlife
Trust, and a copper beech tree presented by Mr Amyas Stafford-Northcote on behalf
of the Staffordshire Branch of CPRE. Haughton was mentioned several times in the
introductory remarks of John Perry, Chairman of the Best Kept Village Working Party.
The children’s posters, village map, the open spaces, beds and WI sign were praised,
as was the playing field with its children’s and adult equipment, and the churchyard.
Best Kept Garden Awards Evening 2014
An evening of celebration was held on Friday 8th August at the Village Hall, when
the winners of the annual Best Kept Garden and Hanging Baskets Competition were presented
with their prizes. The competition was organised and sponsored by Haughton Garden
Guild, and the awards were presented by Roger Barker, Chairman of the Garden Guild.
The County Shield and the two certificates won this year were on display and refreshments
were available. The evening also provided the opportunity for the many people who
had helped make the campaign such a success to be thanked.