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.


Delayed by a week from 4th to 11th October 2020 owing to incessant rain over the 3rd/4th weekend, we were in luck with the weather for the October litter-pick. The title picture, taken in the Bradford Road shows the trunks of ash and wych elm trees with hawthorn leaves and berries.

Socially-distanced gathering awaiting the off with Brian, John, Madeleine, Derrick, Rod, Lorraine and Gordon; Mike is out of picture. Who shouted "You won't take me alive copper" to the passing MoD policeman?
Less socially-distanced now with the arrival of Dave and the kit at the entrance to the Wessex Water reservoir in Boxfields Road. When we 'take back control' after Brexit, the Malaysian-owned Wessex Water will, of course, revert to British ownership.
Any litter present is difficult to see in the replete (with wild plants) Bradford Road verge but what a wealth of flora we have here. The large patch of greenery in the foreground is one of the 'up to twenty-four' species of mint.
Here, in the Bradford Road verge, is a patch of fresh-looking comfrey. As with many plants, comfrey has medicinal uses which include poultices for bruises, sprains or even broken bones.
Still in the Bradford Road verge, here we have an unusual patch of nettles with dark, or black, stems. Nettles have a wide variety of culinary (tea, soup, wine) and medicinal (arthritis, circulation, diabetes) uses.
Back to litter picking in the Bradford Road. That's Rich ahead but there's not a great deal here as Brian and John have already passed this way.
Unidentified (it's difficult) fungus on tree stump on the Bradford Road verge opposite the entrance to Skynet Drive. Easier to identify is the tree itself from the location of the stump - this was an unusual weeping ash (see photos in Localities/Rudloe).
Maple, with beech beyond, at the entrance to Rudloe Estate. There was a 'wild' hedgerow here until a few weeks ago in front of the bare fence now visible. 'We' have guessed that the GreenSquare organisation was responsible.
Ash and blackberry in the Skynet Drive (Airbus, which operates the Skynet satellites has a base here) verge with miscanthus beyond.
Cotoneaster in the Skynet Drive verge with miscanthus and Bradford Road trees beyond. The 'track' in the field here has been a favourite location for the lobbing, from the road, of beer and cider cans. Much diminished now with the closure of local shops.
Maple in the Skynet Drive verge
Triple-trunked ash with moss and iron fence in the Skynet Drive verge
Autumn colours in the Skynet Drive verge
The track in the miscanthus field that runs parallel to Skynet Drive; Salisbury Plain, in the region of Imber, in the distance
Passing litter-picker in Skynet Drive
Oak sapling in the Skynet Drive verge with ash beyond
One of two bags collected thus far; the Skynet Drive verge (note the double kerb!), miscanthus and Park Lane trees beyond
Another unidentified fungi, possibly a blewit, in the Skynet Drive/Park Lane verge
The 'strategic gap' twixt Corsham and Rudloe (ref all local plans) is now packed with houses completely out-of-character with a small Cotswold town. Mr Gibbons was, apparently, short-changed here (only £5m for 30 acres); sow-thistle in the foreground.
Litter-hunting in the miscanthus on the Rudloe-Hudswell right of way (CORM72)
More litter-hunting in the miscanthus (gets to quite a height!)
A new footpath, made by Redcliffe, for residents of Park Place to access Rudloe Community Centre (when it reopens). You cruise up the path in third gear, select reverse into the little lay-by, then first gear for the Bradford Road crossing.
In third gear on the Rudloe Community Centre Highway, we find a litter-hunter searching the Bradford Road hedgerow
The Bradford Road around the entrance to Rudloe Estate. No wealth of verge flora here as Wiltshire Council has stripped them of the plethora of plants which we found in the verge beyond the bend. Global warming, carbon storage - forget it.
The result of Wiltshire Council's cutting back and verge destruction in the Bradford Road - trimmings (ash here) stuffed on top of the remaining wild plants in the hedgerow. What grew here? Do they know/care?
Beech at the entrance to Rudloe Estate and half a litter-picker; the controller's Land Rover waits at the roundabout
Fred Scuttle, Dave and Rich with a bootfull of filled black bags - black bags matter. Photo courtesy of Martin King.
October's haul - looks like thirteen bags. Wiltshire Council will collect on Monday morning.

We thought that the November litter pick, like October's, would have to be postponed as Saturday (Halloween) brought a downpour in the morning and more rain in the evening. Further rain was forecast for Sunday (1st November) but we, luckily, decided to 'play it by ear' and were rewarded with a fine (no rain) morning. The title pictures show, in the first, miscanthus and the Bradford Road hedge and, in the second, a maple in Park Lane.

Sorting out the kit, we have Brian, Derrick, Gordon and Dave (with his trusty Range Rover which disgorges kit and eats full bags); Madeleine strokes a local hound while Rich and Mike are out-of-picture. Yours truly makes eight.
Mikes sets off down Westwells Road, skipping the mulberry bush (at left) and old man's beard (at right)
A patch of euphorbia in the Bradford Road verge behind Springfield Close (see last month's photos for more Bradford Road flora)
Brian in the Bradford Road verge approaching Bellway's Dickens Gate development where there are surreptitious 'goings on' in the evenings
Brian in the Bradford Road approaching (and passing) Rudloe Estate
Maple in the mainly beech woodland annexed by the school (through the auspices of GreenSquare) some years ago
More maple leaves on one of the few remaining trees bordering the Bradford Road verge to the west of Rudloe Estate
The fruits, cans and packets of the field ... beneath this bountiful apple tree in the Bradford Road verge, Rich discovered unopened cans of Peroni and Strongbow and a large, unopened bag of crisps. We have given up wondering.
Rich collecting at the Toghill Crescent bus stop; Bradford Road beech woodland beyond
Brian in the Bradford Road verge 'below' Rudloe Estate
Brian and Rich in well-spaced Indian file in the Bradford Road verge
An autumnal scene with 'clean' Bradford Road verges as we approach the parish of Box
And the field edges are cleared too; miscanthus at left, Bradford Road hedgerow at right, beech woodland beyond
Storm clouds but sun-kissed miscanthus adjacent to Skynet Drive
Storm clouds over Salisbury Plain but the sun still shines on the miscanthus; the usual large, plastic bottles of Scrumpy Jack down here
... and in the Skynet Drive verge, we find oak (the 'turning' foreground and middleground leaves), elm (the green leaves at right), old man's beard and a fairly substantial ash tree
At the southern end of Skynet Drive, we find the edge of the miscanthus with bramble and old man's beard in the hedge and field maple beyond
Brian and Rich clearing Skynet Drive while yours truly concentrated on the field margin
Brian has encountered a right old pile of stuff in Park Lane
Brian and Rich in Indian file again in Park Lane
Strange fruit is again making an appearance - this, in Park Lane, is one of four bags of dog crap flung into the hedgerow. Hard to credit that a million years of human evolution has come to this. Human race, disgrace.
Dave has given blood for the cause (of clearing brambles with his billhook at Rudloe Fiveways)
Rich returning to base to add to the pile ...
... of ten bags, which will be collected by idverde (Wiltshire Council's French contractor) tomorrow

The Feast of St Nicholas, 6th December 2020, brought the December litter pick to the highways and byways of Rudloe (and a little beyond). Lockdown ended on 2nd December so we just had to follow the Tier 2 rules for our initial gathering. The title picture shows the chimney at the Bradford Road side of Pickwick Quarry.

Once again, a baker's dozen (Dave, Jan, Lorraine, Meg, John P, Gordon, Rod, Madeleine, Derrick, Rob, Brian, Mike and yours truly) 'gathered' (see above) for the December litter pick. And in this 'Time of Covid' a Private Eye cartoon from this week's edition is apposite ...

Brian and yours truly (along with Rob for part of the way) formed the Bradford Road/CORM121 (right of way)/Bath Road 'team' and between us we must have picked up around a dozen discarded masks. The cartoon reminds me of the situation a few years ago when Sainsbury's, and other supermarkets, introduced the more substantial,10p, plastic bags in an effort to reduce the 'throwaway bag' mentality. But (some) people continued to discard the 10p bags - see the 29th January 2016 article here: 29th January 2016 article (page down about half-a-dozen times).

Rob 'neath the horse chestnut tree in the Bradford Road and risking life and limb (Rob, not the horse chestnut) given that many drivers (usually younger ones) make no attempt to moderate their speed
The 'Contrary' Younger Bear (ref the 1970 movie Little Big Man) seen from the alternate (ref the Rule of 6) meeting point in the wooded area behind the top Springfield Close terrace
The remnants of an accident (requiring the attendance of an ambulance) by the entrance to the new Dickens Gate development in the Bradford Road. An accident already after just a few months of use - this does not bode well.

The initial planning application (13/05724/OUT) for the Dickens Gate development stated: "In summary, the accident record along the local highway network over the three year period does not indicate any particular highway safety issue within the area considered. It is unlikely that the prevalence of accidents on the local highway network in the vicinity of the site will be materially affected by the proposed development." Famous last words. 

The roadworks now underway at the Bradford Road/Rudloe Estate/Skynet Drive junction for the installation of a Toucan crossing (and associated works). Toucan? This name came, curiously, from its width enabling easy two-way crossing!

The installation of a Toucan crossing at the Bradford Road/Skynet Drive/Rudloe Estate junction, now in November/December 2020, is odd for two reasons. The first is the timing - why now? The second is why here? There has been a need for decades, by the residents of Rudloe Estate, for a crossing at this point. A number of accidents, some serious, have occurred here. It appears that the coming of the crossing has been hastened by the construction of the Dickens Gate development, but with just 88 homes compared with Rudloe Estate's 250, this may be seen as yet another example of Wiltshire Council's negative attitude towards Rudloe Estate.


In view of the long-overdue requirement for this crossing, it may seem strange to ask the question, why here? But now, with the approaching development of 168 homes at the ex-RAF Rudloe No. 2 Site in Westwells Road, there will be a requirement for pedestrians from this new estate to access the school and bus stops in the Bradford Road and Leafy Lane. Where will this crossing be installed? In order to avoid two crossings (e.g. Westwells Road, Park Lane), it seems that the only option is somewhere in the vicinity of the mini-roundabouts at Rudloe Fiveways.

Back to the subject of litter - here's one of the discarded facemasks by the roadworks
And here's a discarded shovel within the roadworks
A modern montage: a greenfield development (Redcliffe's Park Place), a discarded Starbucks coffee cup and a bag of dog crap
Memorial to David Morgan, killed at this spot on the Bradford Road in an August 2007 motorbike accident
The hazels in the hedgerow in the Bradford Road 'below' Rudloe Estate still have their leaves on 6th December
One of (the largest) the last meadows in the Bradford Road 'below' Rudloe Estate - soon to be the subject of speculative housing development
Brian venturing into foreign territory down the Bradford Road
Did you know that there was a WWII pillbox (with the warning sign) hidden here in the Bradford Road
Spot the dummy (no, not Brian) - this is the entrance to right of way CORM121
In CORM121 - stated many times before but a million years of human evolution has come to this
Emerging from CORM121 onto the A4; the Copenacre development lies beyond
A montage of leaves on a discarded board in the A4 verge
Brian in the A4 verge below Halfway Firs and opposite the Copenacre development
Murphy's Law - it has just started raining and we have a long treck back to base
Shut, and broken, in the A4 verge below Halfway Firs
McDonalds cup and plastic dinosaur in the A4 verge at Halfway Firs, Brian across the road
Brian in the A4 verge below Rudloe Firs; no luck here this year (we found two tenners here last year)
These sheep wandered across to see what we were up to (I suppose they thought we might have brought lunch)
The sheep in context; Rudloe Firs at left, landmark field maple beyond
Woodruff in the A4 verge opposite Rudloe Firs
Beech hedge at the brow of Box Hill
This month's haul - 19 black bags along with some larger items which will be collected by Wiltshire Council tomorrow (Monday)
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© Paul Turner