Biodiversity Group: Arthropod of the Month: The Millipede

A total of 62 species of millipede have been found living in Britain although some of these are only found in hothouses having been introduced with imported plants and soil. They have segmented bodies with 2 pairs of legs to each segment, short heads and range in size from 2 – 6cm.  Their eyesight is poor so they sense their way by continually tapping the ground with their antennae.  They have a hard exoskeleton and when threatened roll up into a ball protecting their vulnerable underside.  Some are also able to release substances that taste or smell foul as a defence.  They are secretive animals living in soil and leaf mould and beneath stones, logs and bark.  Their bodies are similar to bulldozers, and with their many short legs they are powerful burrowers.  Females lay their eggs in the soil and in some species she or sometimes the male will guard the eggs until they hatch.  At first the young have no legs but after the first moult they have 6 segments and 3 pairs of legs.  Over the next 1 – 2 years they continue to moult gaining extra segments each time until they are fully grown.  Millipedes feed at night or after rain mostly eating dead and decaying plant matter.  They can live for up to 7 years.

Did You Know?

  • Millipede comes from the Latin ‘milli’ meaning thousand and ‘ped’ meaning foot.
  • Fossil evidence dated 428 million years ago suggests that the millipede is the oldest known land creature.
  • Most millipedes have between 80 and 400 legs with 750 being the most in some rare species.
  • They are very clean creatures and spend a lot of time cleaning and polishing various parts of their bodies. They have a special brush-like group of hairs on the 2nd or 3rd pair of legs which are used to clean their antennae

WI: Walk at Tusmore

Friday 23rd September 2016

The weather was glorious and a group of WI members had a very interesting walk finding the amazing fungi around the base of a tree and passing the 92ft obelisk in the grounds of Tusmore Park.  This was  erected by Wafic Said in celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

Tusmore Walk 2..400h WI Tusmore Walk Fungus 400h

Rector’s Ramblings for October

The year has a natural ebb and flow to it, not only the seasons but also our activities.  With Spring Cleaning and summer holidays past.  Then in the September we start the season on thanksgiving with harvest festivals and harvest suppers.  This flows gently into month of October and the season of thanks giving continues but with a different emphasis.  We move from giving thanks for the world in which we live to giving thanks for the people we have shared the world with. The two major Christian festivals for this are ‘All Saints’ and ‘All Souls’.  At All Saints we give thanks for those whose Christian lives have inspired us and others.  Recently mother Theresa was beatified and made a Saint in the Catholic church for her work.  She is a shining example of a life lived for others, yet there are many many unsung saints who do not reach earthly recognition, but will be seen by our heavenly Father and by those around them.

The church too recognises that every person is important and loved by God and so remembers the souls of those departed this life, but not forgotten at the service of ‘All Souls’.  Everyone  is invited to come and remember and give thanks at this service or if you cannot come to have the person or persons remembered by name for you.  If you need help or transport please let me know and we will do our best to help.  In the service there is an opportunity to light a candle for those we give thanks for and to receive a gift of a small holding cross made from Olive wood to take with you.  The service moves around the villages of the benefice and this year will be at All Saints church, Croughton on 30th October at 6pm.

If you would like your loved one remembered by name please give their name to rev Shemil or myself or write it in the lists in church.

In October we are starting a series of informal gatherings called Cupper and Chat, they meet in peoples’ houses around our five villages of Aynho, Croughton, Evenley Farthinghoe and Hinton-in-the-hedges.  The Gathering lasts about 1 hour depending on how long people want to stay and talk or the tea and coffee lasts.  This time we will be exploring the sayings of Jesus known as ‘the beatitudes’ such as “Blessed are the pure in Heart for they shall see God”.  The sayings are called the Beatitudes because they all start with the work blessed, the Latin for which is ‘Beatus’. We see the root of this word used in the Beatification of Mother Theresa before her canonisation (formal recognition of her sainthood) which took place on 4th September.  In the bible all Christians are referred to as saints because we are all loved and blessed by God.   Sign up sheets for Cuppa and Chat in Church or let rev Shemil or rev Simon know.

If singing is your thing, rather than talking, then come and join the Choir at Aynho or the BFC Benefice Festival Chorus.  Both are looking for new members, young or old, good singers or not so.  Aynho Choir sings each Sunday at Aynho.  The BFC Chorus rehearses for two or three occasions each year and so just comes together for about 10 weeks before the service.  This year we will be singing for the start of Advent at the end of November so will gather for two months on Thursday evenings 7:30-8:30ish. Come along and join us.  For more information please contact

Simon Dommett.

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

The Winter Lunch Club team will be holding a CAKE AND COFFEE morning in AYNHO VILLAGE HALL (back room) on THURSDAY 29th SEPTEMBER 2016 10.30am – 12.30pm to raise funds for

Macmillan Cancer Support (Charity No 261017).

Please come and support us.

Be part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Aynho Long Walk: 22nd September 2016

We didn’t expect to set off in drizzling rain, but the small blue bob on the BBC weather map proved to be right above us. Eleven of us braved the wet and the mud as we took the path over the hill and down to Lower Walton Grounds. We followed the concrete road towards Kings Sutton, but branched off and worked our way back to the farm track along the valley. That too was very wet and muddy. As we reached the back of Charlton we climbed up to the old stone pits. Under the suspicious eye of the bullocks we crossed the fields to the top of the village opposite the school and walked back all the way down to the bottom of the hill before heading up the path to
Rainsborough camp. As we came along the ridge the weather cleared. The sun appeared over Banbury and Edge Hill. By the time we reached the pavilion the sun was shining and we could sit outside for our coffee or tea. Just over five and a half miles.

Photographic Society: September Report

Click here to see the complete photograph – ‘Petrified Tree in Namibia’ by Gail Girvan

At the September Club Night, member Andreas Klatt ARPS gave a presentation on two of his recent travels: to Sri Lanka in 2015 and, earlier this year, to India. Andreas is also the Organiser of the Royal Photographic Society’s Rollright Visual Art Group, so members were anticipating an evening of some very interesting photographs and they were not disappointed.

Starting with Sri Lanka, Andreas took his audience from Negombo to the World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura, the sacred city that has lain untouched in the jungle since it was abandoned in 993, before visiting the rock fortress in the jungle at Sigiriya, the gardens of Polonnaruwa, and the monastic caves at Dambulla. This was followed by a visit further south to World’s End at the edge of Horton Plains National Park before concluding in the bustling energy of Colombo.

The itinerary for Rajasthan, India, embraced the 17th-century hilltop Amber Fort near Jaipur, the fortified city of Nagaur, the 12th-century desert citadel of Jaisalmer (Golden Fort) in the centre of the Thar Desert, down to Jodhpur and Udaipur via the Jain temple complex near Ranakpur, before finishing in the cities of Old and New Delhi.

Throughout his presentation, Andreas showed a fascinating selection of photographs, including temple architecture and carvings, wildlife, native fauna, some stunning sunsets, and many portraits of individuals and street life, for which this part of the world is so well known. Overall, this was a most interesting and absorbing photographic insight into the sub-continent, which was much appreciated by his audience.

 John Branton

Aynho Long Walk: 15th September 2016

Twelve walkers set off in autumn mist but summer temperature this morning. We took the Black Path and continued through Little Lane, across the road and on to station Road and Millers Lane. At the ford we took the footbridge onto the footpath which passes under the motorway, but we were faced with a tricky obstacle as a willow tree had fallen across the pathway. Everyone had to be quite agile to climb over or squeeze under several heavy branches. We all made it however, and were soon passing under the motorway and moving on to Station Road and the Great Western Arms. Once on the towpath we noted the increase in moored long boats, perhaps there after the holiday. Two swans glided along but paid little attention to us. The farmyard at Souldern Wharf was back to its usually muddy state. We tackled Wharf Lane with heads down, and were soon crossing the stone stile round the side of Souldern where the farmers were busy removing the straw bales. We crossed the fields and followed the Port Way track back to the village, by which time the sun was out and the temperature very warm. Anita was back in the Pavilion so refreshments were as welcome as usual.

Sky Ride Local in Northants

There is still plenty of time to get out on your bike and join a Sky Ride Local on the remaining Sundays in September.

I’ve added all the upcoming rides to the community calendar go and have a look, book on and we’ll see you there!

Aynho Long Walk; 8th September 2016

Another perfect walking day with sunshine and a cooling breeze, strong enough to be called a wind perhaps. We welcomed Unni as a new member although an experienced walker. She is preparing for a climb in the foothills of Everest. We took the black path and skittle alley and then Station Road and Millers Lane. The ford is still dry which is not surprising. From the ford we climbed up to Souldern and then worked our way round the back of the village and took the track up to Nancy Bowles wood and Foxhill Farm. No Llamas on view today. The road back into Souldern was unusually busy but all the motorists were very considerate. We took Church Lane past the church and the sewage works into a field full of sheep. The all decided at once that the grass in the next field was much more tasty and hurried across to the gateway. We continued to the Portway path and back to the pavilion. No Anita today, but an assortment of refreshments brought by fellow walkers, and a great job with the washing up from Norman.