Spring Bulb Planting Morning

With around 80 people taking part in our Spring Bulb Planting Morning, we’re very pleased to say that this project was an even bigger success than we had dared hope for. There were a wide range of ages, from toddlers right up to our lovely friends from the Wixams Retirement Village; it was wonderful to see different generations working together to make sure the bulbs were happy in their new homes. In the spring we’ll see the fruits of our work when those beautiful flowers start to bloom and add a splash of colour to Wixams.

We had some great comments from parents and the kids seemed to really enjoy the experience. Gardening is very rewarding, it can also be therapeutic for some, so we hope to have inspired a few of our residents to enjoy nature at a very young age.

There are some important Thank Yous down below but a special thank you needs to go to Karin who planned the whole thing and shared a huge amount of gardening advice, in order to give this project the best possible chance of success. Karin is a very hard working lady and she gave up a lot of her own time on this project and did the most physical work in the prep sessions.

You can have a have a read about this project below or skip to the bottom for some wonderful photos from the event.

Preparation

There was a lot of preparatory work required to get this project off the ground. Over the last few months a few members of the Wixams Gardening Group have been meeting fortnightly to prepare the areas for planting. This started with a lot of weeding, removing of dead shrubs and we then moved a lot of the grasses from the areas next to the Village Hall to create a nice border. Finally, the day before the event we met one last time to loosen the soil and to dig out the holes for the bulbs to go in.

You can see some great before and after shots of the prep work on the Wixams Gardening Group page.

The event

We invited everyone to arrive at 10 am whereupon we gave them a little brief, some instructions and then sent them off to our 5 planting areas where they got stuck right in, rather enthusiastically in some cases! In the holes they added some compost, then the bulbs, more compost on top and finally they filled the holes back in.

There were 5 main areas in which we worked:

Spring Bulb Planting Map
Map of the 5 areas where we planted bulbs

In areas 1-3 we planted tulips and daffodils in alternating (hopefully) rows, daffodils in area 4 and crocuses in area 5.

Altogether we planted around 1000 bulbs!

Some thank yous

The event could not have gone ahead without some very busy people giving up their time to help us. As well as the thanks to Karin, huge thank you also goes to Adriana for her help on the prep sessions, ordering the bulbs and for creating the lovely fliers and content for the Wixams Newsletter. We’d like to thank everyone else who has helped preparing the ground for this event, including a special mention to Curly for his hard work and positive spirit.

Thanks go to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for all the hard work taking and editing the excellent photos. Thank you Paula and Sheila for providing the much needed refreshments and biscuits for our participants on the day. We’d like to also thank our friends from the Wixams Walkers who helped us run the day and showed everyone where they needed to plant the bulbs. The Wixams Community Group would like to send a big thank you to Colin and the rest of the Lakeview Village Hall Committee for funding this project.

Finally, we’d like to thank every single person who came out to take part in this event. By working together we have achieved something wonderful which will make people smile as they walk past our flowers next year.

Free gifts for all participants

The planting didn’t stop at just the event itself, we gave out a small bag of daffodil bulbs to everyone who took part. We hope they’ll enjoy putting them into their own gardens and it will remind them of their contribution to the Wixams community.

Spring Bulb Planting Box of Gifts

There were 66 bags, each with around 20 bulbs inside…

That’s another 1300 bulbs!

Photos

Here’s some of the great photos from before and during this event, and of a clever little robin looking for food after everyone had left.

Halloween Comp Winners 2

Halloween Decorations Competition 2019

The very first Halloween Decorations Competition was a resounding success, with dozens of houses around Wixams covered in a wide range of spooky props. We saw many skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, witches (including a set of legs poking out of a cauldron), ghosts, grave stones, light shows and a lot of excellently carved pumpkins. Wixams has already become famous for getting into the Halloween spirit (pun intended) so everyone should give themselves a pat on the back for helping to create a fantastic community-led event.

Some thank yous

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Michelle at Budgens in Wixams for donating the prize for this competition, she was super helpful throughout and Budgens have been very generous. Another big thank you goes to my sister Amanda who did a fantastic job of putting all the prize items into a great Halloween themed hamper. We’d also like to thank Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who came along with the judges and took some excellent photos for us. Finally, a big thank you goes to the judges who took a few hours of their time to help us select a shortlist and then covered a few thousand steps so we could pick the winner. Thank you Cecilia, Barbara, Saqhib, Trish, Paula, Karin and Adriana 🙏🏼

The prize

We put together a bumper hamper of goodies for our winners, including drinks, chocolates, snacks and more…

Halloween Hamper 2019

The winners also received a trophy, ‘Scariest House in Wixams 2019’, which they can show off for years to come!

And the winner is…

We’re pleased to announce the winning home is the colourful house on Brooklands Avenue. The judges were very impressed by the variety of spooky items on display, lots of cobwebs and the overall impact of the lights display. A big congratulations goes to them and we hope they enjoy their prize.

Halloween Comp Winners 1 Halloween Comp Winners 2

Other contenders

There were a lot of fantastic homes to choose from this year, the judges really were split in deciding the winner. Here are some photos of a few of the other contenders we considered and some other great scenes on display:

Wixams Tree Survey Featured Image

Wixams Tree Survey

The Wixams Gardening Group are currently liaising with Bedford Borough Council’s Tree Officer to try and get the dead trees in Wixams replaced. As the majority of trees here have all been planted in the last decade, we have many more dead trees than you’d find in a more established community.

To help our community with this task we’ve created the map below which we’re adding to when we find new dead trees. BBC have access to this map and they’ve already made a start on replacing some of them.

Would you like to help?

If you see a dead tree on public land near your home which isn’t already marked on the map, please follow the steps below to let us know:

1. Find the tree on Google Maps, right click on the exact spot and then select ‘What’s Here?’.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 1

2. A box will appear with some information, click the coordinates. The coordinates in the example below are ‘52.091864, -0.460795’.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 2

3. A sidebar will appear, highlight the coordinates and copy them.

Wixams Tree Survey Instructions 3

4. Send the coordinates to us using the contact form (select Wixams Community Group) and we’ll add that spot to the map for BBC to see, that’s it!

 

WGNG Logo

Wixams Good Neighbour Group

If you need help at home, in the garden, with shopping or occasional lifts, the Wixams Good Neighbour Group is here to help!

We have a dedicated team of volunteers who are ready to offer you assistance in a great range of ways:

  • Lifts to the Doctors/Hospital/Opticians/Pharmacy etc.
  • Prescription collection
  • Help with shopping
  • Pet care/dog walking
  • Form filling/letter writing
  • Small household or garden tasks
  • Help with using technology or computers
  • Even just someone to talk to

Please get in touch with us today to see if we can help:

Volunteers needed!

With the recent opening of the Wixams Retirement Village we’re already seeing an increase in calls and emails from people needing help. So we can continue to say “Yes!” when people call we’re going to need some more volunteers.

Being a Good Neighbour simply means that when someone has a request, you’re one of many that will be contacted to see if you can help them. If you can then great, if not then hopefully someone else can. You’re never asked to do anything you don’t want to and you decide when you’re available.

If you’d like to become a volunteer or just want to find out more, please get in touch with us using the detail above.

 

Plantlife Wildflower Verge

A6 Wildflowers

You might have seen the recent BBC news story about wildflowers grown on the side of main roads: Why are England’s roadsides blooming? This led us to setting up a new project where we’re hoping bring some beauty to the stretch of the A6 alongside Wixams.

Wixams Birdeye Wildflowers Marker

For this project we will be getting in touch with the campaign behind this story, led by Plantlife. We want to learn the best way to move forward before contacting Bedford Borough Council. We would like them to devote the entire verge from Southern Cross to The Causeway along the A6 to wildflowers, saving the council money and providing a habitat for the bees, butterflies and other creatures.

You can learn more inspiring stories from the Plantlife site but we’re sure you’ll agree of the importance of protecting our wildlife. If you want to help out then please join in the conversation via our Facebook group and Twitter account. It’s important to us that your voice is heard.

Wixams Walkers Logo

Wixams Walkers

As part of our ongoing efforts to bring the community together, we run the Wixams Walkers group, part of the national Walking for Health scheme. The group is aimed at all ages and abilities and simply gives an opportunity for residents to get some exercise, meet people and to explore parts of Wixams they might not yet have seen.

Wixams Walkers meets each Saturday at 10, in front of Seasons Garden Centre on Bedford Road. After each walk, all are invited into Seasons for a cuppa.

Routes

There are currently 4 main routes in and around Wixams which are all around 2 miles /3 km and take 45 minutes to an hour:

  • Three Lakes – Around the three lakes north of Wixams and the retirement village
  • Three Lakes and a Pond – A route around the lakes within Wixams itself, and a pond
  • Southern Trail – Follows the walkway around the south side of Wixams
  • Duck End Lane – To the end of Duck End Lane in Wilstead where there are lovely landscapes

Excursions

During the summer, we will be exploring more of Bedfordshire by walking in the local country parks. In July we visited Woburn Abbey Deer park, a beautiful open space which is home to 9 species of deer. We also visited Millennium Country Park in August and Priory Country Park in September.

Stay in Touch

You can stay up to date with our plans on our Facebook page or you can get in touch using the Contact page (select Wixams Community Group).

Microphone with audience in background

Community Talks

To help people in the community to stay informed and learn new things, we will be bringing a series of talks to Wixams covering a wide range of topics.

It is hoped to run a talk once per month, we started with a talk about Dementia Awareness in August, followed by Cyber Crime & Fraud Protection in September and Website Building in October.

There are no more talks currently scheduled but there are many other ideas for future talks including:

  • Mental health – including stress, depression, anxiety and loneliness
  • Autism awareness
  • Climate change
  • GDPR and protecting your data
  • Making your home more energy efficient

If you have any suggestions for talks or have attended a talk which you think would benefit the people of Wixams, please get in touch with us using the Contact page.

Lake Bedding Area - Before After 2

Wixams Gardening Group

The Wixams Gardening Group is a small group of keen gardeners who are willing to give up a little of their time to help improve and maintain some of the communal green spaces in Wixams. We meet fortnightly on Fridays to crack on with the next area.

We’re already running a couple of extra projects like those below and we have a few bigger projects planned for next year.

Here you can see some of the work we’ve done so far:

We think it makes a big difference to the area and almost restores it back to its former glory.

How You Can Help

There are quite a few patches in the area which need to be weeded and we’re trying to do it in stages as it can be hard work. If you’d like to help us then you just need to turn up on the next arranged date and time with:

  1. Clothes you don’t mind getting a bit grubby
  2. Bottled water
  3. Hand tools if you have them such as a trowel.

Next Steps

The Wixams Gardening Group will be meeting again in 2020 to start the next lot of work. Check back here or join our Facebook group for announcements.

Wixams Book Exchange Version 2

Wixams Book Exchange

As you may have seen in other villages, train stations and airports, Wixams now has a bookcase which is used to provide free books to all. If you have any old books you’d like to share, you can drop them off in the book case and pick up a new novel whilst you’re there.

We now also have a shelf dedicated to DVDs, especially those for the kids to watch over the summer holidays!

You can find the Wixams Book Exchange in the foyer of Lakeview Village Hall.

Wixams Book Exchange Version 2