Newsletter and Activity Days

The Autumn/Winter 2012 Newsletter fro Sun Rising is now complete, the PDF posted on our webpage at :  https://sunrising.co.uk/visiting/newsletters.html.  All those who are on our email mailing list will receive a note letting them know it is up and ready to download and read.  Postal recipients should have their printed copies by the end of this week.

In line with the Newsletter, we have also updated our News and Activity Days pages.  Do have a look, come along to join us for an event, or let us know if there is anything we can help with.

 

The New Interpretation Board

New Interpretation Board

The interpretation board at the entrance of the burial ground was designed in 2006 just before we first opened.  Much of the wording expressed what we hopedto create, and the map showed a vision of how we thought the nature reserve would develop.  We have now updated the board.

The New Interpretation Board

The New Interpretation Board

The words speak of what we are creating, and most of the pictures are those taken at the burial ground itself.  The hare and butterfly pictures are of our residents, as is the meadow of flowers at the bottom of the board.  The map of how we are developing the site is also updated, showing fewer tracks and more woodland than we originally intended.

We hope you like it!

Late Summer Meadow

Late Summer Meadow

There is something so beautiful about the wildflower meadow in late summer.  It is no longer the burst of colour that it has been since May.  Now it is a dozen shades of brown, from straw to mud, with the occasional splash of white (the last oxeye daisy or a white butterfly), purple (thistle, scabious, betony, knapweed or teasel), or yellow (toadflax or buttercup).  Sitting in the meadow as the sun slides towards the western horizon this evening, there were more moths than butterflies, and the hum of grasshoppers, the occasional squeak of a shrew or mouse, and the chatter of a woodpecker in the hedgerows filled me with peace.

Late Summer Meadow

Late Summer Meadow

It is a tatty time of year!  Although the verges are mown, and the grass is again now thick and green where the hay was taken off a few weeks ago, the meadow itself is a getting wizened with the year.  As I walk past, I let my fingers move through the seedheads, feeling the precious little things scatter into the breeze, each one potentially the beginning of a beautiful new plant. In a few weeks we shall be mowing the meadows and tidying up, but for now, the magical work of nature is at work, seeding a new generation …

The first English apples are in the greengrocer.  Autumn is almost here.

Corncockle

Nature Watch

The Nature Watch on 11 August was a glorious day, with sunshine and soft breezes, and a steady flow of amateurs and enthusiasts visiting, helping to record everything that was seen on the day.  The butterflies are now around, having been noticeably absent for much of this cold wet summer, but many were recorded, including the Small Copper, Peacock, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Common Blue.  The flower lists are growing, with a good deal more Betony evident in the wildflower meadow this year than in previous summers, and other new plants for the list, including Musk Mallow, Prickly Lettuce and Corncockle.

Corncockle

Corncockle

In a few weeks we’ll be scything down the meadow and preparing for the autumn.  At this time the wildflowers are all drying, going to seed, and although it can look untidy compared with a well kept garden, these are precious weeks in the cycle of the burial ground, when the wind spreads the wild seeds across bare earth.  I sit quietly and hope that next year this self-seeding will bring even more delight and healing to all who visit the site.

Creativity Day

Creativity

Thank you so much to all who attended our Creativity Day at the beginning of August : florists and families alike, bringing flowers and seedheads, willow, corn, beads and ribbons.  The most beautiful arrangements were made, some taken home and some left on the graves of loved ones at Sun Rising.  It was such a success, we are hoping to do it again next year!

Creativity Day

Creativity Day

 

Knapweed and Bedstraw

Nature Watch 11 August

Just before the wildflower meadow goes to seed, the soft purples of the knapweed are beautiful against the white bedstraw and yarrow.

Knapweed and Bedstraw

Knapweed and Bedstraw

There are butterflies all over the meadow now, and with some sun-blessed days ahead, we are hoping for a glorious Nature Watch this Saturday, 11 August.  We’ll be at the burial ground from 2 pm – 8 pm, and all are welcome to come – experts and amateurs, adults and children.

Paths through Woodland Burial Area

Open Weekend and Summer Days

Our Open Weekend was quite a mix in the end.  On Saturday, with cool breezes, bursts of rain and moments of soft sunshine, not many stopped by at the burial ground, but Sunday was a different story.  The sun gently shone and the air was completely calm, with wonderful patterns of clouds tumbling and drifting past overhead, and a steady flow of visitors arrived, walking the site and sitting in our marquee enjoying tea and cake.  Our violin recital, given by professional violinist Steve Bingham, was a real delight, music playing over the meadows as families listened, shared picnics, and enjoyed the calm of the afternoon. Thank you so much to all our volunteers and to Steve and his family!

Last summer the drought meant that we barely mowed at all throughout the entire season, but this year we are mowing regularly.  As a result, the paths look far more distinct through the areas of long grass – it all looks beautifully tidy, for a day or so after the mower has been around, but a few days later the grass and flowers are pushing through once more!

It isn’t only the grass that’s growing.  Our saplings have grown more this past month than in the last 18 months of drought.  How glorious to watch the little trees pushing out leaves and stretching into new wood growth.  The roses too are splendid in bloom, both around the Roundhouse and in the hedges and upon graves.  It is well worth taking a few hours to come and visit ..

Paths through Woodland Burial Area

Paths through Woodland Burial Area

New Tracks

Visitors to Sun Rising will notice that we have, at last, been able to complete the track running from the Roundhouse to the top gate.  The quarry nearest the burial ground, from where all our stone has come in the past, has been open only occasionally over the past year, and wonderfully this last week we had both dry weather and stone together.  Our builder, Brian, worked hard, and the track is now down, awaiting only the roller over the next few days.  If you have any queries, let us know.

Chaffinch in the Bird Cherry

Chaffinch and Cherry

So much is later this year because of the drought and the cold rain, but after the beautiful cowslips the wildflower meadow at Sun Rising is beginning to fill out, with leaves spreading and the first hints of flower buds.  This time last year, it was a profusion of colour, but this year we must be a little more patient.

There is blossom, however, on the hawthorn, the cherries, and even on the older crab apple trees, which is wonderful to see.  When we plant a little sapling, to see it find its roots in the soil and grow to be strong enough, and big enough, to blossom, is a real delight, especially for families watching the trees planted in honour of loved ones.

We are still not seeing many green finches, after last year’s reduction in their numbers.  There are plenty of chaffinches, however, glorious in the mating colours, and singing out into the warm summer air.  This photo is of a male chaffinch on the bird cherry by the gate.

Chaffinch in the Bird Cherry

Chaffinch in the Bird Cherry

Spring Posey

Wildflower Tributes

As part of our social ethos, at Sun Rising we are always keen to support local businesses whose ethics we feel are in keeping with our own.  Naomi (whose brother is buried within the peace of the nature reserve) and her parter Kate run Wilderness Gardens near Gaydon in South Warwickshire.  They specialise in supplying natural grown, seasonal cottage garden and wildflowers, all from their beautiful cottage garden, with the aim that all their materials are recyclable and friendly to the earth. It’s a pleasure to support them here.

Spring Posey

Spring Posey

For more information and contact details, see our webpage on how to make a funeral more personal with special extras (https://sunrising.co.uk/arranging/extras.html).