Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.


Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.


Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!


Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.


Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.


Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.


STOP littering our streets ... John found this sign in the beech woodland on the Bradford Road during our 4th July 2021 litter pick. There was quite a good turnout in spite of the weather - see photo below of the 10 o'clock, pre-pick gathering at the junction of Leafy Lane and Boxfields Road.

The pre-pick gathering saw some newcomers to the pick including John and tribe (partner Ellie is out of picture). Also present: John P, Rod, Lorraine, Madeleine, Meg, Rob, Ken (new), Derrick, Dave, Mike (out of pic) and yours truly.
John P probes the Bradford Road verge which, at this point, remains uncut allowing wild plants to blossom
A landscape version of the title photo
Yarrow in the Bradford Road verge close to Rudloe Estate entrance
John looking for £10 notes in the Bradford Road verge
This bike has been lying in the Bradford Road verge for months. It looks to be a pretty good one - the only issue is that it has lost its rear tyre.

Mandatory McDonalds McCrap McPackaging is, as the reader will be aware, the most common litter item. Below we see a few items discarded in the Bradford Road verge. The most recent McDonalds TV ad switches from scene to scene to scene with people laughing, just laughing. But laughing at what? I guess the fact that they discard their detritus at will and rely on mugs like us to pick it up. It seems they are so indifferent to their actions that they even leave their receipts with name and address showing. Here, a Mr/Mrs/Ms Pearce of Eider Avenue, Lyneham has ordered a McCrappy through Just Eat, perhaps scoffed it on the way to work (here at Rudloe?) and chucked the remnants from the car window.

John patrolling Skynet Drive passing substantial patches of hedge bedstraw; this plant has a very odd colloquial name - false baby's breath
Single-leaved ash in the grounds of ex-RAF Rudloe No 2 Site in Westwells Road.
A rather modest haul today (perhaps there's more to come). This will be collected by idverde (French of course) tomorrow.

1st August 2021 and the litter is hard to find in the verdant verges but rather a verdant verge than one severed to within a centimetre of its life. From a study in sciencedirect.com (the study may be found in the .pdf file below) we find such things as: It is thus surprising that verges are often excluded from studies assessing the value of urban greenspace, especially as they can support considerable biodiversity AND Roadside vegetation is particularly beneficial for enhancing air quality due to its proximity to traffic AND the importance of maximising road verges contribution to mitigating flood risk AND SO ONOnly last month we found a previously unseen orchid in the Bradford Road verge. The title picture and other pictures in this article illustrate the flourishing Bradford Road verge.

sciencedirect article.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [317.7 KB]
The troops gather ready for the off. A low turnout this month thanks to holidays but pictured we see: Derrick, Rod, Madeleine, Meg and Gordon. Mike has already departed so with yours truly, that makes seven.
A sign of the times at Rudloe Fiveways
Halfway Firs beyond the ragwort in the, as yet, undeveloped 'gold mine' (see articles elsewhere) field below Rudloe Estate
The bottom end of Long Close Avenue beyond the 'gold mine' field
Can you tell what it is yet?
Can you tell what it is yet?
Can you tell what it is yet?
Can you tell what it is yet?
Can you tell what it is yet?
Can you tell what it is yet?
Can you tell what it is yet?

On Friday (30th July) we passed the McDonald's (formerly Sainsbury's, formerly Chequers) roundabout in Chippenham twice (outward and inward). On both occasions, there was a tailback from the McDonald's drive-thru counter onto the roundabout and up the A350. On the outward leg, an articulated lorry having been queueing in the McDonald's lane, realised what was going on and, attempting to pull out, was straddling both lanes. Hardly surprising then that the morons responsible for this then chuck their detritus out of their vehicle windows when passing Rudloe (and anywhere/everywhere else).

Rod, having 'done' Park Lane and Skynet Drive heads for Rudloe Estate on the new toucan crossing (using common sense by NOT pressing the crossing button unlike a lady who crossed earlier and, on an empty road, pressed the button - baaaaah).
Field scabious (and yarrow) twixt the new toucan crossing and Skynet Drive
Apart from McDonald's detritus, another very common litter item is this RIZLA menthol chill infusion wrapper. There were scores of these infusing the Bradford Road verges (both sides).
A 'Stella' can in the Bradford Road verge

Around the turn of the century, the United Nations undertook a worldwide water quality survey encompassing 122 nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. The country that had the worst water quality in the world was a First World country, Belgium. On BBC World Service, the interviewing journalist expressed surprise to the UN representative that a First World country was at the bottom of the pile. The problem was, apparently, industrial pollution and agricultural run-off. And on my cycling exploits around the Mons area of Belgium over many years, an abiding memory was and still is the smell of stagnant water.


Anyway, to the point ... Some years after this survey, there was a Stella Artois ad on British TV which included the line "made with the finest Belgian water" along with an image of a running stream.

And another common item is the empty pill sachet. This one contained Tramadol Hydrochloride, a prescription medicine, which apparently may (may!) be used to give a 'high'.
And talking of drugs, here we have the Dickens Gate development
Madeleine and Derrick returning to base, along Leafy Lane, with their hauls
This months haul, a modest seven bags (seven pickers - seven bags) to be collected by French company idverde (taking back control) on Monday

A miracle! The sun came out for the Rudloe monthly litter pick on Sunday, 5th September 2021. Following a thoroughly miserable August (we have had the heating on for the first time on some days in June, July and August), we now have a 'window' of sunny weather until Wednesday. The title picture shows the usual McDonald's detritus on the A4 pavement between Copenacre and Rudloe Firs.

A good turn out, from the left: Meg, Howard, John P, Rob, Rod, Derrick, Lorraine, John H, Madeleine and Gordon with Mike out of picture at right. Dave is yet to arrive with the equipment and there's the photographer so that makes thirteen.
Rod and Meg taking sides in the Bradford Road. Signs indicate the national speed limit (60 mph) but the straighter sections of the B3109 here are used as a racetrack - we have seen drivers doing up to 90 mph along these stretches.
John P and Rob taking sides in the Bradford Road twixt Rudloe Fiveways and Rudloe Estate
Cheese and elderberries in the Bradford Road
Conference at the entrance to 'The Barn' (where the Paynes of Park Farm , Colerne tried to obtain planning permission for four further houses)
Purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) in the Bradford Road verge; never before seen here; each month brings verge surprises
Litter-picking is like shopping at Sainsbury's - you meet people you haven't seen for years. Here, Rob is chatting with Stefan Barbaruk whose family fled Ukraine after WWII and settled in Corsham, initially at the Westwells hostel site.
Bradford Road field (future gold mine) with the Copenacre development beyond; old man's beard in the foreground
The human race is a disgrace. A million or so years of evolution have come to this. How could anyone believe that this is acceptable behaviour?
Scores of wasps on the ivy flowers by the A4 below Copenacre; Stafford's Pickwick Lodge Farm beyond
The firs of Halfway Firs, opposite Copenacre
Ground elder (and willow) at the brow of Box Hill (behind Ashwood Road houses)
The horse chestnut (mainly) avenue at the brow of Box Hill
A relatively modest haul for thirteen 'pickers'. French contractor (Take Back Control) idverde will pick this up on Monday.
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© Paul Turner