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Businesses Network for Nature 17 Feb 2022 (Eynsham's Nature Recovery Network!) Eynsham’s Businesses Network for Nature Recovery!

Over twenty Eynshamers gathered in the Primary School on 12th February to help plant hedgerow around the new Welfare Garden designed by Eynsham’s Nina Turner. Some of us were parents, some of us were members of Eynsham’s Nature Recovery Network but as we all worked away, we realised that the event was also an amazing coming-together of Eynsham businesses, who have supported the Nature Recovery Network from the start.

Jonathan was there from the Market Garden - he organised the NRN’s first fundraiser, donating 10% of sales from his shop to NRN’s Storm George tree-planting in 2020. Ian was there from the Eynsham Cellars who promoted and sold tickets for the NRN’s Comedy Night which raised £700 for NRN. The Comedy Night was the brainchild of Julie Macken of Neves Bees, who worked incredibly hard to make it a roaring success. Her husband Ross has been driving around delivering hay bales from their wildflower meadow (restored in 2019 by Long Mead) to use as mulch by the NRN groups and schools, who have been planting hedges in Eynsham, Standlake, Stanton Harcourt and Freeland.

Robin Saunders of the Evenlode DIY, Eynsham’s tree-planting guru, was also there. If you enjoy wandering beneath the now majestic trees of the Fishponds and elsewhere, blow a kiss of thanks to Robin. He and Dave Russell have planted over 1000 trees since the 1970s.

For NRN’s hedge-planting, Robin devised and donated 100 metres of rope from his shop (painstakingly notched every 30cms) so that everyone, from toddler to totterer, would know where to plant the next ‘whip’.

On the Playing Fields in January, Robin instructed 70 hedge-planters as they turned up with their spades, their passion and their varying skills. In the Primary School, he showed the way again with David Rivalin of Monsieur Jardin Designs fame. Robin’s rope has now been borrowed by Stanton Harcourt and Freeland to help them get their hedgerows straight.

Finally, Nina Turner of BUG Design organised the hedge-planting event (with plants funded by Wild Oxfordshire) to circle the magnificent Welfare Garden that she has designed and created for the school over many months, giving her time entirely pro bono.

It is a brilliant example of a connected community – a local network for nature recovery, among other important things. Talking to people as our spades went in, we realised how lucky we are to live in a place where we have shops and businesses on our doorstep that meet our needs and who offer us so very much more than their trade.

In our post-Brexit-Covid world, with supply chains broken and prices rising, there was also talk of times being tough. If we need reminding, which most of us don’t, it is clear we must never forget to use them or we will risk losing them - and the many varied benefits that they bring to our community.

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