May Events at Earth Trust

Earth Trust have arranged the following events to take place during May:

Moth Night on Saturday 6th May, 8pm-10pm

Uncover the wonderful world of moths during an evening of moth trapping. £6 per adult, £3 per child; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Dawn Chorus Walk on Sunday 7th May, 4.30am-6.30am

Join us on the Clumps to hear the dawn birdsong. £6 per adult, £3 per child; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Sunday Drop-in: Go Wild! on Sunday 7th May, 10am-2pm

Discover what wildlife lives on the nature reserve, including looking at what’s been caught in the moth traps that were set up at yesterday’s Moth Night. £4 suggested donation per child, accompanying adult(s) free.

Green Woodworking Course on Tuesday 9th May, 6.30pm-9pm

A 6 week course (Tuesday evenings 9th May-13th June) where you’ll make your own stool to take home. £75 for 6 sessions; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Tree Climbing on Saturday 13th May, 10am-5pm

Use ropes and harnesses to access the treetops! 1hr sessions with The Great Big Tree Climbing Company. £20; booking essential: online only at (incurs a booking fee).

Scything on Sunday 14th May, 9.30am-4pm

Learn the traditional way to tackle tall grass and long weeds, with expert Clive Leeke. £50; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Intermediate Wildlife Photography on Sunday 14th May, 10am-3pm

In each of these workshops professional photographer Andrew Walmsley will cover a different aspect of photography so you can build up a more in-depth knowledge. This workshop will cover wide angle tricks. Future intermediate workshops: 18th June; book one or more as a course: first workshop £80, subsequent workshops 15% off. Booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Bat Walk on Saturday 20th May, 8.30pm-10pm

A guided walk with the addition of bat detectors to find out more about these marvellous mammals. £6 per adult, £3 per child; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Drawing from Nature on Sunday 21st May, 2pm-4pm

Explore Little Wittenham Wood with your sketchbook and get top tips from artist Gareth Lloyd. £20; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Natural Dyeing for Families on Tuesday 30th May, 11am-4pm

Forage for natural dyes to colour wool, then make colourful felt. Suitable for ages 10 years+, £20 per adult, £15 per child; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Woodland Adventure on Wednesday 31st May, 10am-12pm

An expedition for 5-8 year olds. Use your detective skills to explore, build and play in the woods! £4 suggested donation per child, accompanying adult(s) free.

Wildlife Wednesday at Thrupp Lake on Wednesday 31st May, 2pm-4pm

Our roving Wildlife Wednesday visits a different Earth Trust community nature reserve each school holiday. Come out and play and learn about your local wildlife!

All events take place at the Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, OX14 4QZ unless otherwise stated. More information can be found on our website


Update from Blewbury Post Office

We are collecting the last “Active Kids” vouchers from Sainsburys’, for Karens girly guides, please bring them in!

We will be closed on both Monday 1st May & Monday 29th May, for the Bank Holidays, allowances paid on those days will be paid early, usually the Friday before.

Some Bank cash deposits can now be made using your debit card! (Cheques in the envelope as usual). Almost all Bank and most Building Society accounts are online with us – Barclays definitely works!

We have some beautiful British Bird stamps coming out in early May.

Karen & Angela

Bake Up Enjoy the Tarts

There was a fine turnout for the second Upton baking social in March. The theme was ‘tarts’ and we tasted a panoply of pastry-based goodies, both savoury and sweet.
A humdinger of a pissaladiere took centre stage, and other onion fillings proved popular in the savoury section. Spanakopita and cheese and tomato slice were also devoured with gusto.
In the sweet department we had lemon curd tarts, rhubarb and almond, apple slice and Swedish nut pie.
One audacious recipe dispensed with pastry altogether and used bacon for a base with an egg, bacon and cheese filling. Breakfast in a bite!
If you have a yen to bake (not competitively) the next meet-up is on Friday May 12 at 11am at Fieldfare near the church.
The theme is quite simply ‘cake’. Do come along and don’t forget some Tupperware for the divvy up.

Kieron Humphrey

Blewbury Post Office News

Royal Mail has put their postage rates up from Monday 27th March, 1p on first and second (standard size) and 2p on first class large letter, 1p on second class large letter. Everything else goes up too, including parcels, but customers can now see when their parcel has been delivered (for free) by going to  The postie will scan the 2D icon on the parcel as he/she delivers it, (hopefully!). Royal Mail have also introduced a new 3rd class stamp, cost 35p, with a delivery aim of anything up to 3 weeks, but are only on sale 1/4/17, and are valid all year.

David Bowie special stamps are on sale at the moment, with iconic racehorses on sale later in April.

We are collecting the “Active Kids” vouchers available in Sainsbury’s, for Karen’s girly guides, so if you have a few and don’t know anyone who is collecting them, please bring them in!

We will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday; allowances paid on those days will be paid early, usually the working day before. We are open on the Saturday morning. Anyone who needs emergency top up of gas or electric during the days we are closed can ring my mobile 07825154842 and I will pop round to the PO.

Karen and Angela

£5 swim offer for Upton residents age 60 plus

If you are age 60 and over, living outside a market town, then make use of this great Spring swim offer to try out a leisure pool near you.

Most residents living in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse can reach a pool within about 20 minute drive time, but taking that first step to try out swimming can be hard. To make it easier, GO Active Gold, in partnership with Better Leisure Centres, are offering unlimited swimming for £5 during April 2017 to residents age 60 plus living in rural villages.

GO Active Gold is a Sport England funded project, encouraging people living in rural areas age 60 and over to become more active by setting up activities local to them.

Research shows that as you get older, you’re far more likely to become inactive: 42 per cent of people aged 55 and over are inactive compared to 29 per cent of the population as a whole.

Swimming is an ideal workout for the elderly, mainly because it presents little risk of injury and is low impact. Swimming also develops strong and stable core muscles, which are necessary for good balance control — a major protective factor against falls.

Make sure you don’t miss out on this offer by registering your place before Saturday 1 April 2017, just call 01235 422226 or complete the online registration form on our

Once you have registered, visit your local leisure pool during April.  Your one month swim offer will start from the date of your first swim.

South Oxfordshire District – Participating pools include

•           Thame Leisure Centre

•           Henley Leisure Centre

•           Abbey Sports Centre

•           Didcot Wave

Vale of White Horse District – Participating pools includ

•           Wantage Leisure Centre

•           Faringdon Leisure Centre

•           White Horse Leisure Centre

Village Litter Pick

Volunteers are needed for the annual Village Litter Pick which will take place on Saturday 25th March, meeting at the Village Hall at 9.30.

Hi viz vests, litter-sticks and refuse sacks will be made available but we cannot manage this task without volunteers and the more we have the more litter we can clean up.

It is amazing just how much litter accumulates around our roads and footpaths and how much better the village looks when it has been removed.

Thank you

Rob Traynor

Friends of St Mary’s Good Friday Walk

Following the success of last year, the Friends of St Mary’s are planning another walk for Good Friday afternoon. The first time we organised this, we arranged a circular walk via Blewbury and Hagbourne, then last year we trekked across the downs from East Ilsley, in fabulous weather, on both occasions finishing at the church for tea and cakes.

This year, the idea is to start at the top of Kingstanding Hill on the A417 between Aston Tirrold and Streatley which will offer two alternative routes back to Upton. The ‘low road’ will skirt Lollingdon Hill and drop down into Aston Tirrold, continuing on via Blewbury to Upton – this is about 4.75 miles, the same distance as the walk from East Ilsley last year. For the more energetic, the ‘High Road’ goes up into the downs along the Fair Mile as far as the Ridgeway then runs gently back down to Upton via Saltbox – about 6.5 miles in total. As usual, tea and cakes will greet the weary walkers in the church.

We’ll aim to start about 2.00 and reach the finish at 4.00 – 4.30. At the end there will be transport arranged back to the cars left at the start.

It would be great to see a good number of Uptonians out and about on Good Friday – everyone’s welcome, children, dogs and all! If you have any questions at this stage please call Paul Batho on 851251 – more details will be published in next month’s Upton News.

Paul Batho

Whats On in January at Earth Trust

Winter Fruit Tree Pruning – Saturday 7th January, 9.30am-4pm.

Give your trees some TLC and get a bumper crop this year. Learn all aspects of pruning with Andy Howard  Cost £50; booking essential.

Sunday Drop-in: Forest School Fun – Sunday 8th January, 10am-2pm.

Whatever your age, you’re welcome to come and have fun at this woodland adventure!

£4 suggested donation per child, accompanying adult(s) free. No need to book.

Wildlife Photography Walk – Saturday 14th January, 8am-10am.

Learn how to capture images of wildlife with guidance from professional photographer Andrew Walmsley. Cost £20; booking essential.

Hedgelaying – Saturday 14th- Sunday 15th January, 9.30am-4pm.

A very practical, hands-on two days learning to lay a Midland style hedge with expert Clive Leeke. All tools provided. Cost £75; booking essential.

Spinning and Weaving – Sunday 15th January, 10am-4pm.

Discover the world of spinning and weaving and try out different methods of spinning. Cost £30; booking essential.

Botanical Illustration – Sunday 22nd January, 10am-4pm.

Learn some invaluable tips and techniques from RHS Gold Award winner Romilly Swann. Cost £30; booking essential.

All events take place at the Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, OX14 4QZ. For booking courses call  01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

Post Office News for Christmas

We are now getting really busy with Christmas post! We will have extra collections from early December to help clear our tiny Post Office, otherwise we can’t get to the kettle! We do not have time to stick your stamps on, and  All AIRMAIL post must have an airmail sticker on it, and if “NON EU” must also have a customs label BEFORE you get to the counter, the people behind really appreciate it! We are not being difficult in asking for all post to be in by half an hour before closing, we don’t get paid for overtime, and we have to cash up and dispatch the paperwork before the postie comes in (approx. 15 minutes before closing) At this time of year we do at least an extra hour every day!

Last date for UK Christmas posting is 2nd class Tuesday 20th December and 1st class Wednesday 21st, Special Delivery Thursday 22nd.

Other last dates:

Mon 28th November; Int. standard to operational HM forces

Sat 3rd December; Africa & Middle East

Weds 7th; Cyprus, Asia, Far East & Japan, Eastern Europe

Thurs 8th; Caribbean, Central & South America

Sat 10th; Greece, Australia, New Zealand,

Mon 12th; Int. Standard to static HM Forces

Weds 14th; Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland

Thurs 15th; Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA

Fri 16th; Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland,

Sat 17th; Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

Please also remember that anything flammable or explosive have restrictions on them, phones, batteries, perfumes, nail varnish & aerosols have to have special labels on, be securely packed, and have the senders address on!

Santa’s address is “Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM45HQ”, for Christmas letters etc, post early & remember to put a return name & address for a reply! The latest he can reply is usually the first weekend in December, so write in early!

I expect we are having the Scout post again, I haven’t heard yet! It covers Didcot, Harwell, Upton, Hagbournes and Blewbury, it gives the Scouts some much needed funds.

Love from Karen & Angela

December Events at Earth Trust

Natural Christmas – Sunday 4th December, 11am-3pm.

Get into the festive spirit by making decorations and gifts from natural and recycled materials. Plus, meet Father Christmas at the Earth Trust, Little Wittenham,. Price by activity, no need to book.

Winter Wetland Birds – Sunday 11th December, 9.30am-11am.

Come and explore Thrupp Lake in Radley (OX14 3NG) and find out about some of the wetland birds that call it home over the winter. With Ben Carpenter. £5 adult, £2 child; booking essential: 01865 407792 or online at (incurs a booking fee).

More information can be found on our website