July 2021 Newsletter  

Forthcoming events

Sunday 11th July 10.00 am – 4.00 pm. OPEN DAY - See the details below

Sunday 18th July 10.00 am – 4:00 pm Noakes Grove Work Party, come any time, bring refreshments.

  • Tasks include creating a new, small pond.

Wednesday 21st July 7:00 pm – 9..00 pm. Open Air AGM and Barbecue at Noakes Grove. See full details below

AGM Open Day Wild flowers & verges Wild Child book Kids Camp  


Open Day Sunday 11th July, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
Noakes Grove Nature Reserve Redgates Lane Sewards End

Free entry and car parking (Donations welcome)

To comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions - you (or your family group) should keep at least 2 metres from others and not gather in groups of more than 30.

For your kids
For everyone
  • Treasure Hunts
  • Puppet Shows
  • Bug Hunts
  • Catch-alive wood-mouse trapping
  • Dens and "jungle" exploration
  • Refreshments
  • Guided Tours
  • Family Relaxation Sessions
  • Meet the Sheep
  • Music - The Walden Buskers
AGM Open Day Wild flowers & verges Wild Child book Kids Camp


Our Annual General Meeting 2021

The AGM of Organic Countryside CIC (which trades as Walden Countryside) will be held at Noakes Grove Nature Reserve (in the open air) at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 21st July

All shareholders and "Friends of Walden Countryside" are invited to attend (and speak if they wish) but only shareholders are entitled to vote.

Following the fomal part of the meeting (which we expect to be brief) there will be a barbicue and a chance to explore the reserve at dusk and, with luck, detect some bats.

AGM Agenda

  1. Minutes of the 2020 AGM

  2. Accounts for the financial year ended 31st January 2021. [Both the Abridged Accounts prepared for submission to Companies House and the more detailed accounts for our own financial planning are available on line in draft form. The AGM will decide whether to approve these drafts]

  3. Company CIC report for the year ended 31st January 2021, for approval (or not) at the AGM.

  4. Nature Reserve Report for 2020/21

  5. Nominations of directors for the coming year. Any two shareholders may nominate and second a shareholder (with his/her permission) at or before the meeting. The following existing directors have indicated their willingness to stand for re-election: Susie Boatman, David Buckley, David Corke, Elaine Corke, Emma Horton, Nikki Phillips, Peter Savic. The company may have up to ten directors, if there are ten or less nominations they will be declared elected unopposed.

  6. Questions from the floor and AOB



AGM Open Day Wild flowers & verges Wild Child book Kids Camp

Wildlife Walks

There were two morning walks in June at Noakes Grove for those wishing to learn more about its wild birds and wild flowers,

Vvyyan Veal led the bird walk and taught us, among many other things, how to identify those birds that are good at hiding (or are the notorious "little brown jobs") by their songs.

Elaine Corke led the wildflower walk at just the right time: three different kinds of orchid a "common" broomrape that is actually quite rare and dozens of other plants, There is a list of all the plants that have been identified at Noakes Grove on our wildflower page.

Right The broomrape: no green leaves a dependent on the clover plants that it parasitises with its roots

Far Right There is a particularly good show of pyramidal orchids this year


pyramidal aorchid

Special Roadside Verges


verge sign

There's almost certainly a sign like this somewhere near to where you live. They mark those roadside verges which have been identified as wildflower rich habitats deserving of special conservation management by the County Council.

Many are in good condition and provide splendid displays of rare and common flowers.

Others have suffered by inappropriate management (or no management) or being turned into lawns by neighbouring householders.

There is a list of all the ECC designated special verges in the Walden area on our special verges web page. Take a look: you can download a large-scale map of each verge with details of why it is (or was) special.

You can be of real help if you can check a verge near where you live and and tell us what wildflower species are there and send a photograph or two of the verge and its flowers.

crested cow-wheat

sulphur clover

Sulphur clover is getting much rarer in the Walden area but there is a good display on the Howlett End (B184) verge. This is a wide verge that can be explored safely without walking on the road.

cow-wheat patch

Crested cow-wheat (above two photos) is plentiful on the Ashdon Road verge,

Traffic past this verge is very dangerous.

AGM Open Day Wild flowers & verges Wild Child book Kids Camp



Neria - a Wild Child goes back in time

The book created by the home-schooled group of Wild Child Club members and their club leader has sold quite well in the Saffron Walden area following considerable coverage of its publication in the two local papers.

The book is not just for those who live close-by. The story concerns a French boy and a girl from the Stone Age. It is available worldwide on Amazon (both as a Kindle electronic book and a real paperback) as well direct from the publisher.

Here is what the first reviewer of the book on Amazon said about Neria:

Great book, we really enjoyed it! The Neria storyline draws children in and the story weaves in nature facts and science and history. The thought-provoking questions at the end each chapter promote discussion, and more than once we researched things that cropped up during the chapter prompted by the questions.
5 stars.

Click to read the first four chapters for free and see what you think.

Every paperback sold earns over £2.50 royalties for Walden Countryside and its Wild Child Club.

You can buy your own post-free - click here - or in person at our Noakes Grove Open Day.

If you like the book, you can really help by mentioning it to your friends and/or on whichever of the social media you use. People will only consider buying the book if they know it exists. With your help we might raise a significant sum through sales to a much wider audience.

AGM Open Day Wild flowers & verges Wild Child book Kids Camp

Saturday night and Sunday morning

As a change from their usual Friday two-hour session our group of home educated youngsters camped out for a night at Noakes Grove,

The meals we cooked in the open air were all things that Mr Noakes and his family could have eaten when they lived there over 600 years ago.

The evening menu:

  • Partridge, carrot, peas , broad beans on a "trencher" of bread.
  • Cooked gooseberries and apples with cream and honey


  • Then we were entertained by two strolling players who got everyone singing some folk songs,


  • Scrambled eggs plus porridge with honey,

W;d Child camp sing-song

Photo: Chris Braithwaite

Some requests

Car park

The much improved car park has acquired some yellow lines that, if not ignored, will ensure that ar least five cars will be able to use the hard-surface car parking area. In dry weather, there is plenty of extra space on the grassy area behind the main notice board.

Forest School Log Rings

Please don't move the logs about but you are welcome to use the rings with your children when no class is in progress.


Help us at no cost to you: Where do you shop online?

The big names (Amazon, eBay, M & S, John Lewis) or any one of over 5000 other online merchants have all agreed to give us a small percentage of anything you spend with them. All you have to do is register with Easyfundraising.

The small group of supporters who have already signed up have already earned £50 for our funds at no cost to themselves, Would you join them?

Just browse online as you normally would and Easyfundraising will tell you when you are visiting a website that has agreed to give donations to Organic Countryside.

PLEASE visit our Easyfundraising page and sign up. It costs you nothing and will be a huge help to us.

Just click this link or copy this web address into your browser: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/organiccountrysidecic



Copyright 2021
Organic Countryside Community Interest Company
Trading as Walden Countryside
Company number 06794848 - registered in England
VAT No:GB- 947 3003 31

Updated 1 July 2021