PIOCC Conservation Group

What We Offer

'the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.' (Gen 3)

 

WHO ARE WE?
PIOCC (pronounced PIE-OCK) is the abbreviated form of 'Parish Initiative – Old Churchyard Conservation' – the name we were given when the Group started back in 1993. We are a group of residents, churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike, who manage the land surrounding St Mary's, the parish church of Old Basing. This is a beautiful Grade 1 listed building surrounded by approximately 2 acres of churchyard and it is in these grounds that our Group can be found.

WHY WERE WE FORMED?
About 1.2 acres of this churchyard to the south of the church (known as the 'Old Churchyard') had received little or no attention for some 30 years and had become a wasteland with very little birdsong or plants other than rampant nettles, brambles, dense trees and scrub – much of it over head height. With the assistance of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust an outline plan was drawn up to transform this area to make it worthy of the church, regenerate the local flora and fauna and provide a new amenity for the residents of and visitors to the parish.

WHAT DO WE DO?
Working to an agreed plan, we manage the Old Churchyard as a wildlife conservation area and (since 1996) the more formal parts of the land by mowing the grass and keeping them in good order. We carry out surveys of flora and fauna on site and encourage visitors to record their observations on the notice board in the church lobby. Our project has been recognised by organisers of the Basingstoke in Bloom competition.

WHEN DO WE WORK?
Usually on the first Saturday of the month between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm (with a coffee break) and on the fourth Thursday of the month between 2.00 and 4.00 pm. We meet in the church lobby. These dates appear in the monthly article in the ' Basinga' – Old Basing and Lychpit Parish Magazine and on the Basinga Extra website.

WHAT ELSE DO WE DO?
In accordance with our objective to engage with the local community, we hold three open meetings each year in September, February and March/April with speakers. The topics chosen will, we hope, be of interest to those who enjoy the many aspects of the natural world. We also hold occasional events – usually outside – led by visiting local naturalists. Again, details will appear in the Basinga, the Basinga Extra diary dates page and posters on the church notice boards.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP?
Just turn up at one of our working parties in your gardening clothes (plus gloves) or ring 01256 476863 for further information. No particular skills needed.