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Thistley Place Meadow


Thistley Place Meadow Nature Reserve – 2022 Update

Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Registered Charity Number 1193032


As we move into 2022 we hope that the lockdowns and restrictions of the last two years can be put behind us and we can all start looking forward to leading more ‘normal’ lives.


With the great fundraising initiate of Captain Sir Tom Moore touching the nation’s hearts DVCP were delighted when Austin Cox and his team at AGC Fabrications approached us to see if they could construct and erect a model of Sir Tom on Thistley Place.  This sculpture now stands proudly alongside the Remembrance Memorial.  However, some mindless vandal(s) decided to graffiti spray the memorial statue overnight on 29th/30th December.  Our Chairman discovered what had been done the next morning and literally felt sick that someone had carried out the graffiti which spelt out IRA and immediately covered the statue with a black bin liner so no-one could see the damage.  The matter was reported to Police (who are appealing for information as to who carried out this childish act) and was widely reported in newspapers and on the BBC news online. Austin Cox, from AGC Fabrications, who originally donated the statue came to the rescue by restoring the statute to its original pristine state and let the vandals know in no uncertain terms that, no matter how many times they tried to deface the memorial, AGC had the expertise and materials to ensure it would always be restored!


Again, in 2021, we couldn’t hold any of our own Fundraising events but, on the August Bank Holiday Saturday, we did host a fundraising event for Poppy Goodall who suffers from a rare genetic condition – Canavan syndrome – as her family are hoping to raise the necessary funds to allow her to travel to American for life enhancing gene therapy.  It was a fantastic day, and the weather was warm and sunny, with great community support and the family raised £6,400 towards Poppy’s journey to America.


In September Good Life Pharmacy hosted a thank you event on Thistley Place for all volunteers and vaccinators who helped at the Covid-19 village injection hub at the Jubilee Hall.  Luckily the weather held out for them and they had a really good evening for all those who gave up their time to help out and make sure the vaccine programme was a success.


During 2021 we lost one of our Trustees.  Colette Morley was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away in July.  People will probably remember ‘Charlie’ from the Duck Race and her smiling face encouraging people to part with the money and buy a duck.  She was a hard-working committee member and her input has been greatly missed.  Many people have lost loved ones during the pandemic – let’s hope 2022 is the year when we can all start to look forward to a more normal life.


On visiting the Meadow, if you look amongst the shrubberies you will come across the newly constructed Bug Hotel thanks to the hard work of our Chairman, Anthony.  This has been firmly staked into the ground so, hopefully, floods and high waters won’t dislodge it again!  There are also two new recycled picnic Benches in the ‘picnic area’ which have been used regularly during another lockdown year.  However, the wood for the old, damaged benches didn’t go to waste.  The sections of timber which were usable have been positioned either side of gate leading down to Marston, where it becomes virtually impassable in wet weather, thus allowing everyone access no matter what the Great British weather throws at us!


During National bird box week a fantastic display of boxes, feeding stations and habitats were placed in the shrubberies and will be in situ for the annual event in 2022.  These were well used by the local bird population for nesting and feeding and it was lovely to walk the Meadow and watch their antics.


We were also very lucky to receive and unexpected Grant from Julie Patten from her Derbyshire County Council Community Leadership Fund.  The £575 she donated to us helped greatly and we purchased essential equipment for maintenance on the Meadow.


The Celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee: We are working with Hatton Parish Council to hold this major celebration on Thistley Place.   We will be holding a traditional fête in the afternoon with a band, Punch and Judy, poetry recitals, fairground rides, Tutbury Fire Brigade, Linjoy Wildlife Rescue and amusements as well as many stalls including refreshments and a mobile bar.  This part of the event will take place from around 1.00 p.m. until 4.30 p.m.  Then, in the evening, there will be a free event for all the community.  We have a band – The Detroits – booked as well as a disco, a large slide and bouncy castle.  This will be themed on Picnic and Music in the Meadow and we are hoping you will come and join us. We are suggesting that everyone brings their own food and drinks but there will be limited catering and the mobile bar on site should you wish to purchase refreshments from these.  The money for all the attractions for both the afternoon and evening events have been either donated or granted to DVCP.  Further details will be posted on Social Media and posters will be issued to local shops and businesses – so please keep your eye out for the latest details for the day.


The Peregrine Falcons came back to roost on the Nestlé factory in 2021.  The female was seen to be in the eerie but then Nestlé reported that, on their CCTV, it appeared that the female had actually died in the eerie.  Dave Budworth (who rings the Peregrines) came and took the body away for analysis.  This was in May so, even though another female appeared alongside the male, it meant that it was too late in the breeding season for them to breed and successfully raise their young.  Luckily a male and female have been seen on their perch on the factory at the beginning of 2022 so we are hoping that they will breed successfully this year.  


As we were unable to run fundraising events the Bonus Ball again provided a financial lifeline and has helped to pay for our expensive Public Liability insurance and the extra petrol we have needed to carry out additional mowing of the Meadow during lockdown - we were glad of this financial boost as 2021 proved to be another year where people stayed at home and used the Meadow on a daily basis.  If anyone else would like to take part in the draw please get in touch.


On Remembrance Sunday, a service was held alongside the memorial on the Meadow with a short service and the laying of wreaths, to remember those who were not only lost in wars but also those lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Lest We Forget flag was flying and two replica ‘Tommies’ were positioned each side of the Memorial.  This will, hopefully, be an annual event on the Meadow.


Nestlé, once again, generously donated the Christmas tree which sat proudly on the flood bank adjacent to Marston Old Lane.  Quite a few people came to visit and it was really satisfying to be able to provide a bit of light and joy at the end of another austere year.


2022 has begun very much as 2021 ended.  However, as well as the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations we are hoping that restrictions will not be reintroduced and we will be able to hold some community events on the Meadow.  When we are able to arrange events I will update this website and we will put notices on Social Media. However, everyone can rest assured that you, your family and friends are more than welcome to visit Thistley Place.  Your children will love finding the bug hotel – so look out for Mr. Caterpillar!  You never know you may see the Peregrines on the tower or the kingfisher and heron on the island.  Bring your binoculars you don’t know what you may find!  Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous 2022.   


Lynne Saul - Secretary to the DVCP.

Please keep updated by checking our Facebook page to see the latest news and events on the Meadow.!