Sunday, 31 May 2020

Sustainably Reared Chearsley Beef

Per her new Down on the Farm blog, Rose Dale of Manor Farm is now selling very local beef from her longhorn herd.

"I expect many of you have seen and admired our small herd of beautiful pedigree English longhorns. They arrived on the farm last April aged around 2, having been born and reared on an organic farm in Cheshire.  In May last year, they were introduced to our handsome bull, Curly, who came from a farm near Banbury that also has a herd of pedigree longhorns.  So far, we have had 18 lovely longhorn babies. We have our first batch of beef coming soon (not from the calves!) – sometime next week I believe.

The beef is basically organic (we are in transition to organic with a year to go), grass fed (meaning it’s high in omega 3 and conjugated linoleic acid and higher vitamin and mineral levels – all good for your health - see the Pasture for Life website- and obviously very eco as there are very low food miles!  It will be sold through Sandy Lane organic farm shop in Tetsworth but I thought people might like to book a one-off delivery to the village. If there is enough interest, we could do this next week. It will be fresh and suitable for freezing. Mince and steak in 1kg packs (sorry, none smaller as butcher is short-staffed due to Covid), steaks in packs of 2 and joints from 1-2kg.

Prices as follows – It is not the cheapest but is high quality and extensively reared in a wildlife friendly, natural system. I hope you will find it good value and delicious. Payment will be based on the actual weight of the beef per kg. We would invoice in advance of delivery and ideally take payment by bank transfer although I am sure we can sort something out if you are keen and can’t do that.
For orders, please email me on
All the best,

All in packs of 2, sold per kg

Sirloin £30
Rump £23
Fillet £36
Rib-eye steaks £30

Joints -
Per kg

Topside £16
Silverside £13.50
Brisket £12

Below in kg packs-

Chuck steak £12.50
Shin £10
stewing steak £9
Mince £9

Down on the Farm 31st May 2020 Issue

Down On the Farm is a new occasional blog from Rose Dale.
Rose, Mike Heybrook's daughter, has taken over the running of Manor Farm in Chearsley with a focus on sustainable farming.

The wildflower meadows are marvellous now, standing tall with the early summer flowers. The meadow is alive with insects and is a valuable resource for pollinators. Each year, it is mown around late July and the grass is removed to reduce the soil’s fertility.  A low-fertility soil reduces the vigour of the grasses and, therefore, actually provides better conditions for the wildflowers that grow amongst the grass.  Traditional hay meadows were treated like this for decades and this is why they are such amazing matrixes of wildflowers, with up to 40 species in a single square meter. Newer meadows take a long time to reach this equilibrium but even leaving your lawn unmown will soon result in wildflowers springing up, with plants like dandelions, clover and daisies sprinkling the surface and providing valuable food for bees and other pollinators.

Plantlife, a charity that supports Britain’s wild plants, has launched a campaign encouraging people to mow their lawns less often – dubbed No Mow May, it explains how doing this is so beneficial to insects like bees. It’s called Every Flower Counts, you might like to have a look, there is a short animation and activities that children can do (counting flowers!)

The field above the church was planted in about 1998 by my parents as a permanent meadow. Every year, a slightly different mix of flowers comes up with different species gaining prominence as it evolves. Oxeye daisies, also called dog daisies, are the tall and showy white daisies you can see now. Mum (Suzie) says there is also yellow rattle, buttercup, beaked hawksbeard, bird’s foot trefoil, Lucerne, red clover, and common vetch and that they are best seen by the footpath to the churchyard.

The paddock by the road, along our drive, was awash with lovely cowslips this spring. There were so many, you may even have seen them from the car! It was planted about 19 years ago. Last year we found 3 pyramidal orchids there which was exciting. They were not planted, they just appeared in a mysterious way, perhaps from the old seedbank of seeds lying in wait in the soil, sometimes for decades. We wonder whether they will be back this year. They flower in June and July.

I decided to convert the farm to organic cultivation with the main emphasis on pasture.  I selected Longhorns as a hardy, old-fashioned breed that can forage on mixed plants and survive well outdoors throughout the winter. I would like the system to be as un-intensive and natural as possible, using a minimum of feed and tractors – by planting trees on the farm and replanting permanent pasture, we are aiming for zero-carbon beef!  I found a lovely group of young heifers on an organic farm in Cheshire.  They arrived last spring and have recently been calving for the first time after a 9 month pregnancy like ours.  A female cow remains a heifer until she has produced a calf. So far, we have had 18 calves. One was stillborn, so we bought a replacement to suckle the mother from a local organic dairy farm – easy to spot, she is entirely black, we have called her Midnight.
The others all have to have names beginning with U for their pedigree registration as English Longhorns. 2020 is U and I suppose 2021 will be V!
So far, we have Una, Uno, Ursula, Ulysses, Undine, Ulli, Ulf, Usiah, Ulrik, Uriel, Umberto, Umbrose, Ubi, Unity and Urquhart. An unnamed bull calf arrived 2 days ago and a heifer calf last night.  Any suggestions of names for the last few to be born will be gratefully received – I must admit we are running out of ideas! Only one more to calve now. Fingers crossed it arrives safely, the first calving is the most risky.

The photo above show the latest to arrive, a gorgeous heifer calf who we hope will join the breeding herd,

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Sale of Vegetable Plants May 31st Sunday morning

Julian George is selling plants to help raise funds for the village hall.

"Okay, all you veg growers and allotmenteers - new or otherwise, I have the solution to your need for veg plants: A sale of them outside Furze Farmhouse in School Lane.

There will be Tomatoes (both Cherry and normal types) Corno de Rosso peppers, Cucumbers and Brussel Sprouts. All of these will be at £1 a plant.
In addition there will also be some Savoy Cabbage, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Cavalo Nero, all of these will be 50p as they are less well developed.

Please put the cash in the container provided.
I will have them outside on Sunday Morning May 31."

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Rabans Lane Recycling open 29th May but read the restrictions ...

Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council

27 May 2020

Traffic control measures allow last four Bucks recycling centres to reopen this Friday 29th May

Four Buckinghamshire household recycling centres that have remained closed since the coronavirus lockdown was enforced are set to reopen this week with traffic measures in place to manage queues at busy times.
The sites at Aylesbury (Rabans Lane), Burnham, Chesham and Langley will reopen on Friday 29 May, which will mean that from that date all nine of the county's recycling centres will once again be open. Residents still need to carefully consider whether their trip is essential and only visit these sites if they cannot store their waste or dispose of it in another responsible way. These four sites will resume their normal summer opening times, that's 9am to 6pm. Langley is open seven days a week and the other three sites are open every day except Wednesday and Thursday.
The number of people allowed to visit any site at one time has to be limited to ensure social distancing, so queues will build up during busy times. In the case of the four sites that are set to reopen on Friday, the local road layout means queues would be likely to affect the flow of traffic near the sites and potentially be a safety risk to other road users. To alleviate this, traffic control measures are being put in place by Transport for Buckinghamshire around each site:
Aylesbury (Rabans Lane) - Temporary parking restrictions will be in force on Rabans Close to stop queues blocking the road
Burnham - Residents can only access the site via Walton Lane. When exiting the site residents must use Crow Piece Lane or Allerds Road. Diversion signs will be in place.
Chesham - Temporary stop/go traffic management will be in place on Latimer Road to keep traffic flowing. If the site is full, residents should visit at a quieter time. Please do not queue on Latimer Road.
Langley - Residents can only access the site from north end of Trenches Lane. There is no access to the site from the B470 (Langley Park Road). Diversion signs will be in place.
Residents are asked:
  • Carefully consider whether the trip is essential. Only visit if the waste cannot be stored or disposed of via a registered waste contractor.
  • Bring proof of address. Only Buckinghamshire residents will be allowed entry, though Burnham and Langley sites will also admit residents of Slough, who must also bring proof of address.
  • Check waiting times online to avoid busiest times.
  • Don't arrive before the sites open - a queue makes it difficult for site staff to get to work and open on time.
  • Remember social distancing measures are now in place, which also means no assistance for unloading can be provided.
  • Don't bring a trailer. The permit system is still in place, but trailers will not be accepted at any site.
  • That only one person gets out of the vehicle whilst on site.
  • Remember that non-household waste will be charged for in the usual way.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Bucks Recycling Centres and Covid testing news

An extract from Martin Tett’s (BCC leader) recent email. Apologies if you have already seen.

I’m really pleased to let you know that all of our Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will be open from next week – Friday 29 May. We already have the sites at Amersham, Aston Clinton, Buckingham, Beaconsfield, and Wycombe open, and the HRCS at Aylesbury, Burnham, Chesham and Langley will also be open from Friday 29 May, 9am-6pm. Please remember that Aylesbury, Burnham and Chesham are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

All sites will operate the same social distancing measures that we have in place at those already open. It’s harder to manage long queues safely at some of these sites so can I please ask that you avoid visiting at busy times. You can check the website for up to date waiting times and remember to bring some ID to show that you live in Buckinghamshire. Thank you to you all for your patience while we’ve worked hard to get this service fully operational again for you.

Coronavirus testing in Buckinghamshire
Anyone over the age of 5 who has symptoms of coronavirus can book a test to see if they have the illness. The main symptoms are a new continuous cough, fever and a loss of, or changes in your sense of smell or taste.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Soul Spark - this week

If you would rather not follow the clues, here are the locations of the stations.  
Note, there are 3 in the churchyard.

Chearsley PC Meeting Recording

The recording is at . This link had to be changed at the last minute so apologies for anyone inconvenienced. Any PC questions or comments to the usual address Any technical queries to

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