Children's Gardening Club

The Children's Gardening Club runs from March until October, every Saturday morning from 10am until 12 midday, at Gilberts Nursery on the crossroads of Salisbury Road and Branches Lane.  The group is run by volunteers and there is no cost to attend. 

We request that parents stay on site please within Gilberts Garden Centre and cafe, and if the child is 5 years old or under to please stay within the children's garden area itself. 


For further details please call in one Saturday morning

or email:

Covid Update

Unfortunately the Children's Gardening Club will not be running for the 2020 season

I have the email for the CEO’s office at Openreach and that seems to have made the difference – we now have fibre to our property rather than just passing by! The household is delighted and even the ancient computer seems to have a new lease of life now that updates, file downloads etc complete in a ‘blink of the eye’…

I smiled when the project leader at Newtown Square sent me his latest update “Slow Slow Quick Quick Slow!”. After waiting months for Openreach to set up a web portal for their agreed scheme Kevin received an email giving him less than 4 weeks to ask everyone to pledge and then complete voucher claims …so here’s hoping that enough property owners correctly jump through the hoops in time to secure the funding to cover the cost of this 4th scheme.

The current Rural Gigabit voucher scheme has ended and the Mill Lane project is waiting for information on how a new voucher scheme will operate.

West Wellow 3 (WW3) properties remain in limbo, as quotes so far have been just too expensive and cumbersome to be successful as community schemes. Many are using 4G hubs to get a reasonable internet speed, although this is highly dependent on your location and available signal strength. The geographic dispersion of WW3 properties right across the parish and the significant distance from their ‘home’ (Wellow) exchange means installation costs from Openreach are high. Despite fibre being present in the village, sometimes to direct neighbours, and many discussions we have made little headway. WW3 there is hope, but you need an energetic & enthusiastic project leader to lead you through and I am happy to provide support.

With 5 exchanges in the parish, 3 completed projects and another in progress Sherfield English has gained fame as a leader in Community Fibre Partnership projects and we are now supporting other communities in Hampshire and beyond!

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Not much change since last month, I’m afraid. Can’t get Openreach to phone or return emails…

We do have a final quote for 49 WW3 exchange properties BUT at a cost of @£145,000 which is at/above the current voucher grants available and would require an extremely high level of interest and some contributions to make it feasible. Previous attempts suggest that a scheme of this size and cost will not succeed. However you are welcome to contact me to discuss if you are interested to take it further.

I do have a cautionary tale or two for those which are supposedly able to now connect to FTTP or might be able to in the future. Even after infrastructure has been built things are not straightforward!

We had to change our provider to get FTTP but Openreach failed to connect our property because they turned up without the required equipment, even though previous survey work had been carried out and reminders sent. However BT still took over our telephone line and therefore cut us off from our existing supplier and our broadband service. It took us MANY phonecalls and 2 weeks to get reconnected to FTTC and with no effective mobile signal it was rather tricky in Lockdown working, studying etc from home. One teenager moved out the tent and borrowed a little signal from the neighbours! FTTP connection date is still unknown – perhaps June.

In the meantime another neighbour has had at least 3 no show engineer visits and no FTTP in sight, one also had their landline cut (although FTTP had been connected so at least they had some communication options) and another household are struggling to get their provider to recognise that FTTP is now available to connect and so can’t order a service.

Openreach, in theory, will not be able to collect our voucher monies,@£5,000 until we are connected but there is also a ‘disconnect’ between finance and providers so this seems to be overlooked.

I was also amazed to be contacted not only by other localish community leaders, but now one from North London in need of support and advice.

Currently a little fed up with Openreach and BT although we seem to be enjoying a free FTTC broadband, and perhaps telephone, service! There are now a few more properties in the parish with FTTP so a little progress has been made.

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Further to completion of the Upper Doctor’s Hill Scheme, Lower Doctor’s Hill and adjacent Newtown Road properties are now FTTP enabled. Property owners need to request an FTTP service to get connected. Connection is free and price plans have reduced considerably in past 12 months and may actually be cheaper that you currently pay. Speeds from 30Mbps download and 10Mbps upload to …as fast as you like!

Kevin is leading a CFP for Newtown Square area and is just waiting for enough householders to sign up for the Rural gigabit vouchers scheme to cover the cost and get the scheme underway. Openreach have changed their model and no longer require schemes, which are completely covered by customer vouchers, to create a company to sing the CFP contract, so once less hoop to jump J.

No progress with the WW5, Mill lane project or WW3 schemes to report.Lots of emails to Openreach, but as usual replies are slow to return…

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