This website has been created for the residents of Abbotts Barton and surrounding areas so that you can keep up to-date with what's going on.

Apart from news you can find information about events, campaigns, and how to contact councillors.

Abbotts Barton Community Group is a community association which serves the people of Abbotts Barton and aims to act as a community anchor organisation. The main areas of work for the Group are:
  • ☐ To enable residents to find out how we can make where we live even better and do something about it.
  • ☐ To run events and activities for the benefit of inhabitants of Abbotts Barton.
  • ☐ To strengthen community participation.

Big Lunch 2014
We always welcome people to join us, it's easy and free and there is no obligation to do anything! Please see our Membership page for more info!

If you should be interested in helping out at events, as a street champion, or as a Councillor's Surgery visitor, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Also let us know if you have some ideas for events or skills that could be useful (e.g. face painting at the picnics)! Read more about how you can help on our Get Involved page!

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If you want to receive news (approximately monthly) from the Community Group about Abbotts Barton, please enter your name and email address below:

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Sunday 28 July 2013

News roundup

I think last week's posts on Facebook and Twitter mainly focussed on things to do (with or without children), but first the other items:

Abbotts Barton specific

You have most likely noticed the new lines appear on the roads bit by bit but have you received the letter from Winchester City Council re the parking permits? While the new permit system is coming into place 1 August, there is no need to worry if you don't manage to get your permit for that day. There will be advisory notes first to make sure everybody has enough time to get a permit and also to allow the council to finish the work on lines and new signs.

Oh yes, the next Councillor's Surgery is not long to go: Thursday 1 August, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, at Hyde Parish Hall.

The next Picnic & Play event is planned for 11 August! Let's hope for good weather (we are back to normal obviously).


Hampshire Chronicle says Civic chiefs will mitigate lost open spaces but quotes Cllr Tait saying "there will be occasions where the council will consider the loss of open space in favour of the housing". I say, build on the brownfield sites first!

More on the Leisure Centre: Calls for scrutiny group over Winchester Leisure Centre

Scouts in plea for more Barton Farm facilities - hm, wouldn't it be nice to have something like that on the land near the Cadet building, possibly combined with a community facility. One can dream!

An article in the Guardian about Energy-efficiency squads that will visit UK households.

You've probably heard about this by now, but Jane Austen has been selected to appear on a new £10 note.

The Guardian had A guide to British ladybirds - in pictures.

Things to do with or without children :)

National Marine Week (with loads of events that the whole family can enjoy) is starting on the 1st August (running until 15 August, go figure).

On 3 August there is a free Navy Neverland event at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Winchester Cyclefest: Winchester Criterium & Family Cycle Day bicycle race on 11 August.

Have you heard about the CultureAll passport? Depending on your family and what you like to do this can work out a very cheap way of getting outside and seeing many of Hampshires child based attractions. If you buy from Hillier Gardens you also become an annual member with them and therefore have access to other attractions too.

Stagecoach has a special campaign to help you save money on the bus when travelling with children.

Take a look at these parent driven websites that list things to do in and around Winchester and Southampton that don't cost the world:

Winchester City Council posted an updated list of  things to do in and around Winchester and also of free sports events.

The Go! Rhinos trail in Southampton seems to be very popular! Might do this myself this week!

If you like going to Lepe beach why not try taking the Hythe Ferry and then the Beach Bus instead of driving all the way?

Finally, if you like apps, then this RNLI Beach Finder might be for you.

Please feel free to share our website with your friends that live in and/or near Abbotts Barton and tell them to sign up for updates! The more the merrier!

Saturday 20 July 2013

News roundup

Here we are again, a quick collection of links published via Twitter and Facebook over the last days but only those that are still relevant:

Community and parks

Anything you would like to discuss with our ward councillors? Next Councillor's Surgery is coming up on Thu 1 Aug, 7:30-8:30pm at Hyde Parish Hall.

The Save The Parks in Abbotts Barton Group have been working hard to get heard by Winchester City Council. As their reasons and even the petition with over 500 signatures are still being mostly ignored, they are asking Winchester residents who would like to keep the parkland as it is to write to the Winchester City Councillors. Please take a moment to read the post about what YOU can do on the Save The Parks website and write!

If you are interested in what's happening to the Skate Park at North Walls, here's a Facebook page with all the news when they happen: Sk8 Winchester

General news

Guardian: No freedom to play or explore outside for children.

Almost 1,000 extra primary places will be created in Hampshire.

One thousand visitors? It felt really quiet in Abbotts Barton at that time...: Winchester sporting legends return for charity football fun day

What's on

Medieval artefacts, activities and a man-at-arms will be at the City Museum next Saturday (21 July).

New exhibition in the City Space in the Discovery Centre: Edwardian Summer.

Planning for school holidays with the kids? We have lots to do in Winchester: Summer fun for children

50 Things To Do Before You Are 11 3/4! This looks like a fun thing for children, has anybody tried this yet?

Still looking for children's activities during the holidays? There's always the First Contacts Sports summer programme at the Rugby Club.


Environment Agency: Enjoying the hot weather? Weekly rainfall analysis shows just how dry it's been. Thanks to the exceptionally wet weather at the end of 2012, most reservoirs & groundwater stores are around normal for this time of year. See a graphic that shows the rainfall over the last months.

Naturalists urge British public to help wildlife survive the hot weather

What can you do to help keep our bathing waters clean? Guardian provides a useful top 10 list.

Winchester shopping

Anybody here who is interested in Polish food? There is a new Polish delicatessen in town at 64 St. George's Street and they've got lovely breads and cold meats amongst many, many other things! Opening times can be found on the shop's webpage.

That was rather a lot for eight days! :)

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Ticks, again

I've had a few conversations lately and those dreaded ticks have been mentioned again. Part of the problem is the hot weather, nobody wants to wear too much protective clothing when out in the parks, so naturally ticks will find it easier to find some human skin to cling to.

I wanted to point out that it is extremely important to remove them correctly, which means in a way that doesn't stress the ticks. If they get stressed and carry diseases, the chances of getting infected are much higher than when removing them without stress. Stress for them can happen by applying lotions or the like to them, possibly thinking this might stop them breathing.

Please follow the advice given at various trustworthy places, like the Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness UK, the NHS, and the Lyme Disease Action sites.

Also make sure to wash your hands and the body areas where the tick was with soap or an antiseptic afterwards.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Summer, picnic, children playing - unbeatable!

Today we had our first ever Abbotts Barton community picnic and what a wonderful day we had chosen for it! The picnic wasn't overly crowded but I lost count of the number of families who turned up, it was just right! It was also very nice to meet some people who I hadn't met before.

The children did exactly what we wanted them to do, go and play by with each other without much input by the grown-ups. Mostly they were chasing each other with the water guns I had brought along but they also played some football, swingball, and some other games.

The adults were able to relax in the shade of our big trees: since it was just under 30C the shade was essential! It was actually much more bearable out there than inside the house.

And the newest member of the community, 10 day old Alexander, was there as well! :)

Since everybody who was there seems to have enjoyed this event, we will try and organise some more. So far I have earmarked two more dates, 11 August and 8 September, put them in your calendar!

Friday 12 July 2013

On behalf of the Abbotts Barton parkland

The Save The Parks in Abbotts Barton Group have been working hard to get heard by Winchester City Council. As their reasons and even the petition with over 500 signatures are still being mostly ignored, they are asking Winchester residents who would like to keep the parkland as it is to write to the Winchester City Councillors. Please take a moment to read the post on the Save The Parks website:

What can YOU do to save the parks?

Thursday 11 July 2013

News roundup

Here are some of the articles and event announcements that got tweeted or posted on Facebook over the last days:

10/07/13: Winchester nursery is 'outstanding' again
09/07/13: Winchester leisure centre offers free tennis to celebrate Andy Murray's win
07/07/13: Delay to work to ease congestion at Winnall Roundabout

At the Football Club at Hillier Way on Sunday 14 July:
Winchester City Football Club supports Joe Glover trust with fun and games

13 July to 15 September at the Discovery Centre:
Summer Reading Challenge
Revolting, creepy and silly fun for children in Winchester this Summer.

Whatever you do, don't forget on Sunday we'll have our Picnic & Play in the park in Abbotts Barton! :)

Sunday 7 July 2013

First ever Picnic & Play, this Sunday!

Don't forget this Sunday will be the first ever Picnic & Play in the main park! Anybody coming? The weather is supposed to hold!

There will also be a Family Fun Day at Winchester City FC on the same day - why not combine the two?!

"Report" to Winchester City Council

Did you know that you can request online that the bin men come back if they missed emptying your bin? There is a bin collection form to use. (The page is a bit outdated at the top but continue reading and then click on the Next button at the bottom to see the form.)

In addition to that, Winchester City Council has a handy app for reporting pretty much everything from fly-tipping to missed bin collections: it is called Report, more info is available on the WCC website.

News roundup / Council meetings

Today Daily Echo had a new article about our parks; this article points out that there are brownfield sites available that could be used instead of open land that would be lost forever:
500 sign up to save precious green space at Abbots Barton near Winchester

Other news items:

04/07/13: English Project museum could share site with River Park Leisure Centre in Winchester
04/07/13: Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital to host first national centre for Lyme disease
01/07/13: Civic leaders approve parking permits for central Winchester neighbourhood
01/07/13: Winchester accident blackspot set for major safety improvements
28/06/13: Review call for Winchester council house building programme
11/06/13: What Price Safety? Demands for Worthy Road Crossing
04/06/13: Winchester River Park Refurbishment ‘Still An Option’

(This is a collection of items already either tweeted or posted on Facebook.)

For your information, there was some confusion about upcoming WCC meetings, explained on the Save The Parks site, which means that what we thought was going to be a Housing Delivery meeting on Monday 15 July will now be a Cabinet meeting with a very short agenda. For your information, in addition to the Cabinet meeting there will also be a full Council meeting on Wednesday 17 July at 7pm. The agenda will be available 9 July. The next Housing meeting will be on Wednesday 18 September at 10am.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Councillor's Surgery visit

Today, Lynne and I went to the St. Bartholomew Councillor's Surgery (first Thursday of every month, 7:30-8:30pm at Hyde Parish Hall) to find out how things are progressing in Abbotts Barton and surroundings. Here are a few short notes from our conversation with Jim Maynard:

Play areas

At some point the River Park skate park will be extended and will also take over the current MUGA (Multi Usage Games Area, also known as the ball game area). I was concerned that the ball game area would be lost forever but there are plans to move it to the old putting green (which is the green in front of the canoe shed). Ideally a ball game area should be mostly fenced in but it sounds as if the new one would only have fences at the small ends, like the current one, to keep it low tech and affordable. Considering that there is the river (there are concerns about the level of silt in there) and balls tend to go all places, this might not be the ideal area for it. There is currently no time frame for this project (including the skate park renewal) because the funding is not completely secured yet (about £250,000 are needed). As with any building project this will also have to go through the planning permission/application process.

There are no news on the planned play area in the Abbotts Walk development.

River Park Leisure Centre

This was only mentioned in passing with the above item but it struck me as interesting that a new Leisure Centre might be built on a different part of the park while the old one is still running - to keep things going.

Parking restrictions

The Abbotts Barton parking restrictions were supposed to become active in July but the portfolio holder decision notice was only issued by Cllr Victoria Weston last week. The new target date is 1 August which is less than a month away! We were told that Winchester City Council will write at least two weeks in advance to let people know how to get their licenses, however, initially we were told it is four weeks from the letter. Before you start panicking, it isn't clear at this point how long people have to get their permits. We pointed out that the timing could be very unfortunate as the summer holidays are starting at the end of July and many people will have to rush to get their licenses in time before they go away. Our ward councillors are planning to post a leaflet to all households to explain what needs doing as soon as the dates are known.

Council house development

No updates for this at the moment: the next Housing Delivery Committee meeting will be Monday 15 July!

Crossing for Worthy Road

There are no real news for this. As we already know from the papers a count will be done Hampshire County Council at some point, so we will have to make sure there are enough pedestrians crossing the road on that particular day and time!

Pedestrian improvements

The Winchester Town Forum noted in their last meeting notes that they wanted to talk about improvements for pedestrians in the city. I wanted to know whether this includes the Nun's walk opposite of the allotments which is getting worse and worse. However, apparently this will be discussed as part of the mitigation for the housing development in Abbotts Barton.

New lamp posts next to Rugby Club

Somebody I had talked to recently was wondering whether the new lamp posts along the road next to the Rugby Club are actually working. Since it is the time of the year when the sun sets late, it is hard to say unless you are out there when it is dark. Cllr Maynard didn't know either. Has anybody seen them on yet?