News in September 2008, part 1

Have you thought about using The SPOT?

The SPOT is a free health advice centre located in the new community room just below Twerton Infant School.
It opens every Tuesday from 8.30am to 10am in term time. SPOT stands for “Supporting People Of Twerton”.

There is a Health Trainer who can advise you on topics such as reducing your stress level, eating heathily and weight-watching, how to stop smoking, sensible drinking, and sexual health.
When needed, the Health Trainer can put people in touch with someone called a Community Activator who offers one-to-one support to help individuals become more active. The Community Activator also has the role of setting up activity groups in the area.
The photo opposite is of The SPOT when it first opened, during Healthy Living Week in May 2008.

Joe, 09/09/08

Bits and pieces, 9th September

The White Horse Pub at Shophouse Road will be celebrating the Cornish Beer Festival from 22nd to 28th September, with a selection of real ales brought in from Cornwall.
Boots the Chemist at Twerton High Street has a vacancy for a dispenser, with hours of 2pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Applicants with a dispensing qualification are preferred but staff are prepared to train someone up from scratch. Phone the shop on 01225 423382.
The Carrs Woodland Forum have arranged a nature trail looking out for owls, bats and moths at Carrs Woodland, Twerton, on 25th September at 6.30pm. Meet by the kissing gate at Pennyquick Park.

Joe, 09/09/08

Take a look at First Steps Twerton

First Steps Children’s Centre at Woodhouse Road had an open day on Saturday, giving people the opportunity to meet the staff and view the facilities.
I went along and made the video clip below to show what the children’s centre is like inside.

There are all sorts of fun things to help babies and children learn through play. Children aged 3-4 years can receive 12 hours of free day care per week in term time, and a small number of time-limited subsidised places are available (e.g. for families on benefits).
There is also a First Steps Annexe at Dominion Road which has a particular focus on supporting young parents.
Workers can offer advice in areas such as children’s behavioural problems, and will visit and walk with those parents who do not feel confident to go to the Annexe on their own.

Joe, 06/09/08

The nature reserve at Twerton Roundhill

Last Saturday after the football match in Twerton, I walked to the top of Twerton Roundhill to take some photos. The hill is a nature reserve and an example of a limestone grassland, so the grassy area around the top is left unmowed to preserve the wild flowers that grow there.
Some people wonder why the hill is called Twerton Roundhill when it is actually situated in Southdown. The answer is that the Parish of Twerton used to extend up as far as the Rose and Laurel Pub at Rushill.
Until the 1950s, the area that is Southdown was known as Twerton Hill. Incidentally, an old name for Twerton Roundhill is High Barrow Hill.

Most wild plants have finished flowering by now, but one that continues until late September is called Agrimony. It can still be found growing all over Roundhill at this time of year. It grows from about 25cm to 60cm tall and produces a spike of small yellow flowers. In times past, people thought that Agrimony could be used to heal all sorts of ailments. For example the Anglo-Saxons, who called the plant Garclive, considered it a cure for wounds and snake bites. Modern herbalists still use it to treat some internal conditions such as liver disorders.

An attractive purple flower called Greater Knapweed is still very visible among the grasses as well. The plant looks a bit like a thistle and is related to them. For insect life it provides a valuable source of nectar, attracting a variety of bees and butterflies. The butterfly shown in the photo is the Meadow brown. These are common throughout Great Britain but tend to stay away from cultivated areas, so you are more likely to see one at Roundhill than in your back garden. You can recognise them quite easily from the dark eyespot on their wings.

Joe, 03/09/08


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