There were 21 new planning and building control applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.
What a month of weather February turned out to be! We had two storms, Ciara and Dennis, as well as sleet, mild, warm, cold and windy weather. The average temperature for the month was 11ºC. 22 February was the warmest day at 16ºC and 27 February the coldest at 5ºC. Despite the crazy weather, my Whitley garden was not short of wildlife and there was an unusual level of activity for the time of year.
Supermarkets Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and Aldi and wholesaler Bidfood are now donating their unsold produce to the Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA) at 252 Northumberland Avenue in Whitley, Reading. The food is available for free; this is not a formal food bank, so neither social services nor any charity has to refer anyone. People do not have to fill out any forms or identify themselves to take the food they can use.
What a crazy start to 2020’s weather! Still, it has been heartening to see and record an abundance of wildlife in my Whitley garden, and I am optimistic that spring will be very busy.
England’s Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBCE) has proposed big changes to Reading’s electoral wards. The town’s residents have until 13 April to give their opinion before the LGBCE present their final recommendation on 1 September. If they go ahead, the boundary changes will affect all wards in Reading except Park.
Thank you to all our readers and regular and occasional contributors for making it a wonderful year on Katesgrove Hill. We hope that you continue to enjoy reading or contributing to the Whitley Pump in 2020.
Major Archibald Henry Buchanan-Dunlop of Whitley Rise was pictured in the Berkshire Chronicle of 8 January 1915 beneath the headline “Major who sang carols between the trenches”. A short paragraph beneath reported that he was one of the “moving spirits” in the Christmas truce between British and German troops on the Western Front [ref 1].
My Whitley garden was burgled in September, leaving me with very little equipment with which to record wildlife. Fortunately, I still have one working camera which I move about the garden each week and, of course, I have my trusted Fuji camera permanently strapped to me!
The Four Horseshoes public house at the corner of Basingstoke Road and Long Barn Lane was an ancient hostelry originally known as the Long Barn. In the 1820s, it was at the centre of a libel case involving tenant James Leach and Reading’s brewing and political elites.
David Turner’s monthly diary of Whitley wildlife was interrupted one night in September when somebody stole some of his garden monitoring equipment and vandalised the rest. Nobody was hurt, and both Bubbles the hedgehog and the fox family were left unmolested, but there could be no further wildlife photographs from mid-September.
Temperatures reached a balmy 29ºC for a few days in September, although the average temperature was 19ºC. The weather dramatically changed on 22 September; it became very wet and remained wet but mild right through October.
The late summer weather in my Whitley garden varied from warm to very hot indeed, with the occasional very wet day. The sun helped increase the numbers of butterflies, bees, insects and moths, of course. One of my photograph highlights for July was the vixen fox with a huge rat, striking a superb pose.