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.


The usual suspects gathered for the monthly Rudloe litter-pick on Sunday, 3rd April 2022 and were delighted to find that Spring is Sprung. The title pictures, all taken at the brow of Box Hill show: celandines lining the path adjacent to Rudloe Firs (with 'Rudloe Cottage' in the distance) and in turn, celandines, three-cornered garlic and cuckoo flower (two of) in the wide verge twixt the A4 and the Ashwood Road estate.

The great and the good gather at the junction of Leafy Lane and Boxfields Road. From the left, we have John H, Derrick, Rod, John P, Madeleine and Meg. Hidden behind the Land Rover are Dave and Lorraine. Mike has already departed. Then there's me.
There's Mike ... heading off down Westwells Road
Emerging horse chestnut leaves in the Bradford Road verge, John P and the view-blocking, Corsham Science Park abomination beyond
John P admiring the daffs in the Bradford Road verge
John P - Action Man
The remaining Miscanthus has been partially harvested. This could be the last harvest before development.
Emerging hawthorn leaves on the south side of the Bradford Road hedgerow
John P and Lorraine in the Bradford Road
Bike frame in the Bradford Road hedgerow
New maple leaves in the Bradford Road hedgerow
The Redcliffe Park Place estate framed by Halfway Firs firs
Rudloe Estate from the A4. Subsidies must have returned for oilseed rape as there's a lot of it about; Stafford's field here.
Danish scurvy grass - a coastal plant that has made it inland due to salting and gritting of the roads. This is in the A4 verge, above Copenacre.
Back to our raison d'etre - just two examples of McDonald's and Costa litter in the A4 verge twixt Copenacre and Rudloe Firs
Many trees unconnected with the slope shaft planning application have been felled at Rudloe Firs. These are, or were, adjacent to the YTL water infrastructure - YTL is, of course, a Malaysian company (taking back control).
One of three patches of three-cornered garlic, not yet in flower, at Rudloe Firs
This new bench at the brow of Box Hill is dedicated to Ian Smith. This is this month's mystery - who was Ian Smith? In my 47 years at Rudloe, I have not come across this gentleman; HM's reign here is somewhat longer and she's never heard of him.
This month's haul - 11 bags which will be collected by French-owned (taking back control) company idverde tomorrow

Mayday, Sunday 1st May 2022 brought the first day of rain for weeks but the intrepid Rudloe litterpickers sallied forth. The title picture shows Gordon on the A4 footpath adjacent to Rudloe Firs.


Group members were called, by email, as follows:


Mayday, mayday - it's the 1st May on Sunday when the workers of Rudloe will unite for a litter pick at 10 o'clock betwixt the junction of Leafy Lane and Boxfields Road. Organisation and coordination will, as usual, be by shop steward Dave Wright (dave.wright533@tiscali.co.uk).
Who will bring lily of the valley to the gathering? The giving of this flower was/is a tradition on 1st May in French-speaking southern Belgium (and in France itself - see below). Traditions in Europe associated with 1st May are (see the last entry for Rudloe):
Bulgarians celebrate Irminden (or Yeremiya, Eremiya, Irima, Zamski den). The holiday is associated with snakes and lizards and rituals are made in order to protect people from them.
In the Czech Republic, May Day is traditionally considered a holiday of love and May as a month of love.
May Day or 'Spring Day' (Kevadpüha) is a national holiday in Estonia celebrating the arrival of spring.
In Finland, Walpurgis night (30 April/1 May) is one of the four biggest holidays along with Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Midsummer. Walpurgis witnesses the biggest carnival-style festival held in Finland's cities and towns.
On 1 May 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on 1 May.
May Day was not established as a public holiday until Nazi Germany declared 1 May a 'national workers' day' in 1933. As Labour Day, many political parties and unions host activities related to work and employment. In rural regions of Germany, Walpurgisnacht celebrations of pagan origin are traditionally held on the night before May Day. In the Rhineland, 1 May is also celebrated by the delivery of a maypole, a tree covered in streamers to the house of a girl the night before.
In Greece, Maios, the month of May, took its name from the goddess Maia, a Greek and Roman goddess of fertility. The day of Maios celebrates the final victory of the summer against winter as the victory of life against death.
May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast of Beltane and in latter times as Mary's day.
In Italy it is called Calendimaggio or cantar maggio, a seasonal feast held to celebrate the arrival of spring.
It is customary for labour activists and left-wing political parties to organize parades in cities and towns across Poland on this day.
In Portugal, the flowers of the broom (shrub) are known as Maias, which are placed on doors or gates and every doorway of houses, windows, granaries, currently also cars, which the populace collect on the evening of 30 April when the Portuguese brooms are blooming, to defend those places from bad spirits, witches and the evil eye.
On May Day, Romanians celebrate the arminden, the beginning of summer, symbolically tied with the protection of crops and farm animals.
In Serbia, Prvomajski uranak is a folk tradition and feast on 1st May when people go into the country or even leave the day before and spend the night around a camp fire.
In Spain, May Day is celebrated throughout the country as Los Mayos. In Galicia for example, festivities centre around a decorated tree or sculpture. People sing popular songs (also called maios,) making mention of social and political events during the past year.
In Sweden, the more traditional festivities have moved to the day before - Walpurgis Night and is celebrated with bonfires and a good bit of drinking. The first of May is instead celebrated as International Workers Day.
In Rudloe, we celebrate the day in feasting and happy conversation, sitting at our golden tables drinking nectar from golden cups, entertained by a minstrel on the lyre and eating sweet-smelling ambrosia. We inhale the aroma of burnt offerings lit in our honour by the people of Box hundreds of feet below in the valley.
Rod, Lorraine and John P make their way along Leafy Lane to the meeting point at the Boxfields Road junction
A fairly limited gathering on this rainy bank holiday Sunday, from the left: Lorraine, John P, Jen, Dave2, Dave1, Rod and Gordon. Mike has already departed so with yours truly, that makes nine.
Not lily of the valley but bluebells in the Leafy Lane verge
Horse chestnut (mainly) avenue at the brow of Box Hill
At the brow of Box Hill lie a couple of dogwood shrubs. These, along with others at the other end of this pathway, were planted by Wiltshire Council some years ago. That same WC then misidentified them as Japanese knotweed and poisoned them. Idiots!
Gordon wends his way along the A4 at the brow of Box Hill
Garlic mustard in the A4 verge and along the dry stone wall opposite. This is a medicinal and culinary herb which, inter alia, may be used in salads. Those along the dry stone wall will be weed-killed by Wiltshire Council in the coming weeks. Idiots!
Gordon on the A4 pavement; the Copenacre development lies beyond. And with that, the camera broke and despite much effort, refused to function. The following gallery (obviously) shows pictures taken before this mishap.
This UK Global Heath Insurance card belonging to a Lewis Paget may have been discarded into the A4 verge along with McDonald's detritus
This month's haul (picture taken after returning home for my smartphone) - nine litterpickers, nine bags. The lawnmower underneath had been flymo-tipped.

5th June 2022 brought the 'quietest' litter pick since I don't know when. The Platinum Jubilee celebrations no doubt took precedence over a mundane litter pick so only six stalwarts turned out. The title picture shows the attenuation or SUDS pond for the Dickens Gate development and some of the 'wild' flowers happened upon in the search for litter.

The 'stalwarts': Madeleine, Derrick, Gordon and John; Trish is yet to arrive and with yours truly, that's the six
Loads of material for nettle soup in the Bradford Road verge (litter is hard to find)
Oxeye daisies at the entrance to the old barn in the Bradford Road
Nettles and brambles in the Bradford Road verge behind Springfield Close
Ground elder in the Bradford Road verge in front of the boundary wall of the old barn
Trish in the Bradford Road opposite the entrance to Dickens Gate
Skynet Drive trees form the backdrop to the Dickens Gate attenuation (SUDS) pond
'Wild' flowers in the Bradford Road verge close to Dickens Gate
More wild flowers in the Bradford Road verge
Spot the litter-picker
And yet more wild flowers in the Bradford Road verge
Again, spot the litter-picker
An ash in Skynet Drive from where the sound of a trumpet could be heard...
View of Park Place from Skynet Drive - the foreground field, now down to Miscanthus, will fall prey to developers (100 homes) in the near future
The 'Park Place' side of the Bradford Road verge with hawthorn the main hedgerow species
The obligatory McDonald's detritus in the ditch behind the Bradford Road hedgerow
Oat grass (probably) in the Bradford Road verge
Convolvulus arvensis in the Bradford Road verge
Garlic mustard (can be used in salads) on the dry stone wall in the Bradford Road
The flourishing Bradford Road verge with hemlock (Socrates!) in the foreground and what looks like black mustard (yellow flowers) beyond
The beech at the entrance to Rudloe Estate
Beech woodland (with garlic mustard) at the Bradford Road bend close to Rudloe Estate
Today's modest haul (seven bags) which will be collected by Wiltshire Council's French contractor on Monday morning
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© Paul Turner