The Watercress Line - Chugging Into Ropley Station

The Watercress Line

When we moved down to Hampshire we had no idea The Watercress Line would become so much a part of our lives.

On a day when the wind blows from the north the whistle of the steam trains cuts through the air as the trains travel in a wide arc behind our village and if the wind drops, a perfect trail of steam will track the trains location as it disappears into a cutting.Continue reading this article…

What do our teddy bears say about us

What does your Teddy Bear say about you?

While attempting to reunite over 75,000 teddy bears left behind in their hotels, Travelodge discovered that quite a few did not belong to children. They got curious and in 2012 they set up a survey to find out more. Of the 6,000 adults who took part, 51% of adults reported having a teddy bear since their childhood, the average age of the teddy bears was 27 years, 25% of males said they took their teddy bear away on business with them and 1 in 10 men surveyed admitted to hiding their teddy bear when their girlfriend stayed over.Continue reading this article…

binky-bear-at-woodlands-primary

Binky Bear Goes To Woodlands Primary

A rather wonderful thing has happened at Binky Bear – Woodlands Primary in Carnoustie, Scotland has opened a Binky Bear trail. We spoke with Deputy Head teacher Judith Connor to find out more.

1. Tell us about your school and your part of the UK

Our school is Woodlands Primary School which is in Carnoustie in Angus. Carnoustie is often called ‘the home of golf’. We are very lucky to live in a small town on the coast with a beautiful beach. Woodlands Primary School caters for children from 5 – 11 and we also have a nursery class for 3 – 5 year olds. We are an eco school and are currently working on our 4th green flag and we are also a fairtrade school with a fairachiever award.

reading-about-the-trail-at-woodlands-primaryContinue reading this article…

Watercress And All That

Watercress and all that!

One of the first things you notice when you come to Alresford, apart from the completely traditional high street, the striking Georgian architecture and coloured houses and the abundance of pubs and coffee shops, are all the references to watercress. So when back in December, Alresford Town Council invited us to join other businesses and produce a Welcome Pack for new families moving into Alresford, (download your copy at the foot of this post) we knew what we had to include.

There is watercress everywhere!

On most days in the season (April-October) you can buy bunches of the green peppery watercress leaves in the greengrocers on West Street, on any weekend during the year you can travel in and out of Alresford in a vintage steam train on the Watercress Line, then in May we have our nationally acclaimed annual Watercress Festival, when the centre of town becomes one great street festival of family fun entertainment. Finally if you wander around the town you will come across several watercress beds where you can see for yourself how this lovely green stuff is grown and if you are visiting from April to October you can probably see it harvested too.

Facts about Watercress…

Did you know, gram for gram, watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach. It is said that Hippocrates located his hospital on the Greek island of Kos close to a stream so he could grow watercress and use it to treat his patients and apparently Napoleon was a big fan. In the United Kingdom, watercress was first commercially cultivated in 1808 by the horticulturist William Bradbery, along the River Ebbsfleet in Kent. Although it is now grown in a number of counties most notably Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, Alresford is considered to be the UK’s watercress capital. It has been grown here for nearly 200 years and back in the 1800s watercress from Alresford was transported daily by train to be sold in Covent Garden.

So back to our Binky Bear Welcome Pack; we have put together an Alresford Calendar featuring as many of our local events as we could fit on one page, and in true Binky Bear style we have written a special poem to welcome all new families who are joining us in our beautiful corner of Hampshire.

So whether you are moving into Alresford or not, if you’d like to have a copy of our Binky Bear Welcome Pack you can download it by clicking on the link at the foot of this post. You will notice the The Watercress Festival this year is on Sunday May 15th and Binky Bear will be there in our usual place outside The Bell. See you there.

Binky Bear A4 2pp Alresford flyer 150dpi AW

Guide Dogs Yuri

Guide Dogs

Last month we took Binky on an outing to Southampton to visit The Guide Dogs Southampton Mobility Team. Binky met up with local fund raiser Katie Loucaides plus several guide dogs and puppies.

We want to introduce you to Yuri, a guide dog puppy, share with you what we found about this inspiring organisation and let you know how you can help them.Continue reading this article…

Competition Winner

Competition Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered our competition by telling us what great things you were doing to help your local wildlife cope with the cold weather.

Here are some of the brilliant suggestions you made:
1. “I’m a nanny and have been planning a nature week for the children. We will be creating bird pudding (lard with seeds), going for a walk in the local woods to explore and collect leaves and twigs, create little houses and nests with the twigs that we collect…” Apparently these are very smelly!
2. Food and fresh water daily for the wild birds (keep topped up as they learn where these are available). Lots of untidy leaves and piles of cut branches for the hedgehogs (spring is for garden tidying). Hedges left untended for birds to shelter in. When humans not using garden good to know the wildlife can find shelter.
3. “We put food out for a little hedgehog that comes into our garden! And I have an old hooded litter tray that I keep in the garden if case any wildlife need shelter from bad weather!”
4. “My mum got a post from a cat charity saying put a small saucer of food out if you see a stray..so she did. the first night a hedgehog turned up..in the morning 2 blackbirds and a blue tit finished off the dreggs. the next day she had a robin and 5 of the neighbours cats too..so its going really well.”
5. “I take pine cones and spread peanut butter on them and then roll them in bird seed. I hang them around the yard on low branches or garden poles. I also make sure the bird feeder is full.”
6. “I work in a primary school and we make bird feeders, bird houses and other types of little animal shelters. We also raise money for animal charities.”

We asked you, our Facebook Fans, to decide the winner by Liking the best suggestion and we have a landslide victory for….drumroll please Binky….Continue reading this article…

The Binky Bear London Walk

The Binky Bear London Walk

The Binky Bear London walk follows the route that Binky took in his third adventure, Binky Goes To London and you can buy a copy here. There is something for everyone on this walk. In just 90 minutes you will walk from Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall to Horseguards Parade and then out across St James’s Park. There will be plenty of wildlife to see and lots of space to safely run around in. Finally you will arrive in front of Buckingham Palace from where you trace your steps back to where you started.Continue reading this article…

The Binky Bear Winchester Walk

The Binky Bear Winchester Walk

The Binky Bear Winchester walk follows exactly the story in Binky’s second adventure book, Binky in Trouble. In this story Binky and his friend Dog have an adventure in the historic heart of Winchester. This 90 minute walk will help you explore this beautiful city and take you past the key sights of Winchester College and Winchester Cathedral, The Buttercross and into the muddle of lanes and alleyways that make Winchester such a curious place to visit.Continue reading this article…