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WYENOT NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 140 - 28th March 2007
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This Week - [Tripping in Chase Woods - Mayor's Charity Ball - Newspaper Photos - Jailbreak - Market Assault]
[Stop the Traffic - Blues - Stolen Car - Gorsley Pre-school Get Fleeced at the White Lion]
[New Chamber President - Letters - More Mare's Ball - Ross Rotary Annual Lecture]

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Tripping on the carnivorous flora in Chase Woods

Last week I received a phone call from a Mrs. Baker of Tudorville, who related her unusual experience in the woods at the end of Penyard Lane of the day before. 'A strange plant poisoned my dog!' She exclaimed, having first ascertained that she was in fact talking to Wyenot News. 'I'm sure I saw it turn its leaves before ejecting a clear liquid onto his fur, almost as if it were spitting. The dog yelped and he seemed dazed but I was able to pick him up. The effect did wear off after a time and he recovered. He seemed very tired afterwards, not wanting to walk so I took him home. I called the vet to be on the safe side and was told to bring him in later if he showed no further signs of recovery. He slept soundly all night and is back to his usual yappy self now but I wanted to warn other local dog walkers who visit the woods.'

Continued . . .


Ref: DSC_9448

The story struck me as unusual so I decided to go to the woods myself and investigate. Following Mrs Baker's explicit directions, I only had to walk a short distance along the woodland path before spotting what appeared to be a large specimen of Dionaea muscipula growing wild - right next to the usual daffodils. Dionaea muscipula is more commonly known as the 'Venus Flytrap' and is usually only found in nitrogen-poor, warm conditions. It is in fact a native of North and South Carolina in the United States.

The Venus Flytrap is one of the world's few carnivorous plants. It lives mainly on flies and spiders but larger specimens, discovered to be affected by genetic modification of American tobacco plantations have been known to anaesthetize and then slowly devour the odd cat or small dog. On discovering the plants, I took the photograph above then immediately rushed home to inform local botanist, Dr. Greg Stephens.

Dr. Stephens informed me that the Government had actually been aware of this problem for some time. They did not want to alarm the public but had in fact, already secretly appointed a 'Minister for Carnivorous Plants'. Their concerns being that, like the wild boar population which is increasing rapidly in Chase Woods, with the warmer weather currently being experienced globally, meat eating flora could become prolific in local woodland.

It is unknown how the species first found its way from the USA to Chase Woods. One theory is that it was introduced deliberately by a local hippy cult. The plant is not lethal to humans but it can give a nip if a finger is inserted into the jaw shaped leaves, which can feel strangely pleasant but is non-adictive. The plant's venom contains high levels of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), known for its mind blowing hallucinogenic properties. Despite being a meat eater, the plant pollinates in the usual way. Bees are safe as long as they do not land on the leaves. The plant's white flowers encourage pollination by giving off a sweet scent and are extremely predictable, beginning to appear precisely at the same time every year; just after sunrise at the beginning of April.



The Mayors Charity Ball 2007

The Chase Hotel was the venue for the Mayors Annual Charity Ball which took place on Saturday 24th March, with all of the proceeds from the event being donated to The League of Friends of Ross Community Hospital. Ross Town Mayor, Councillor Phil Cutter and his wife Christine welcomed several guests to the ball which included mayors and councillors from other towns, Ross Town Councillors and other local people.

After a pre dinner drink guests adjourned to the banquet hall and enjoyed a delicious three course meal. The Mayor then made a short speech thanking all of those who had contributed to his chosen charity, including:
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Fountain, Mr. Mervyn James, The Mayor of Monmouth, Dr. Leeman, Mr. and Mrs. A. Porter, Mrs. Virginia Taylor, Mr. T. G. Williams, Morris Bricknell, Mr. And Mrs. Pinnell, Mr. And Mrs. Chester, Elizabeth Childs, Ross Civic Society, Councillor John Edwards, Mr. And Mrs. Thomas, The Mayor of Tenbury Wells, Mr. Tony Lowther, Mr. R. Wolf, Mr. And Mrs. Malcolm Harbour MEP, Councillor Stuart Thomas, Mr. And Mrs. Les Wild, Mr. And Mrs. Alder, Major CA deC Jones, Masonic Lodge, Newent Town Council and the Ross Branch of The Royal British Legion.

There was a variety of prizes to be won in the draw and the sale of draw tickets raised £290. Other donations raised a further £738.50.

A jazz band kept people entertained for the rest of the evening. We left the ball quite late in the evening, leaving the Mayor in his element, playing the drums with the band.

More photos of the Mayor's Ball can be seen on page 3 of this week's Wyenot News and all photographs can be viewed in the gallery.


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Newspaper Photos

Three weeks ago I made the decision to stop supplying photographs and editorial to all newspapers on a regular basis. I do still support the local press wholeheartedly and do not mind supplying the odd picture every now and again but it will be just occasionally rather than regularly.

The reason for this decision is that I felt I was losing my local identity to the printed press and being a newspaper photographer was not what I envisaged when I started Wyenot.

Wyenot News has a huge readership both nationally and internationally with between 2,500 and 6,000 pages of the web site as a whole being read daily at present, but in order to make the publication work for the local community, I need to increase the local readership. If everything I cover appears somewhere in the local printed press, mostly unaccredited, this will never happen.

I hope that you will understand this decision, which I have not taken lightly, and that you will continue to enjoy reading Wyenot News; and of course, the local printed press.

Nothing has changed with regard to my dedication to coverage of local events. Please continue to send me your news and details of your events and I will cover as many as I can possibly manage here, both photographically and editorially.



Jailbreak

Silvia Williams and Pauline Jenkins (pictured below) of Milkwood Care Limited organized a 'Jailbreak 2007' party at the Prince of Wales on Saturday evening to raise money for the Air Ambulance, Macmillan and Pet Rescue. Milkwood Care Ltd. are always happy to help local charities whenever possible. Silvia and Pauline would like to thank all who supported the event.


Organizers, Silvia Williams and Pauline Jenkins. Ref: DSC_5520

The Prosser family and friends enjoying the fund-raising evening. Ref: DSC_5527

Man assaulted at Ross Market

A man was assaulted near the Market House in Ross-on-Wye. The incident took place between 11.30pm on Friday, 23rd March and 12.41am the next morning. The victim had been awaiting a taxi when he noticed a young woman being harassed by a group of around five young men. He walked over to the group to assist the woman and handed his mobile phone to another unidentified young woman in order that she could call the police.

Having rescued the young woman from the disturbance, the victim became aware of another group of males having arrived, who then began assaulting him. The victim was left lying on the floor and the whole group then left the area, including the girl he had handed his phone to.

Police would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or has information about the identities of any of those involved. The young woman who took possession of the phone is described as being white, aged 17/18 and quite well built, with blonde hair. She was wearing a skirt. The male who was described as initially harassing the young woman was described as being white, around 5ft 8ins tall and of muscular build. He was said to have unusual shaped cuts into his hairstyle and a distinctive scar on the left of his face, close to his mouth. The remainder of the group were said to be aged in their middle to late teens.

Any witnesses to the incident are asked to contact PC Terry Williams at Ross-on-Wye Police Station on 08457 444888 quoting ref: 44-s-240307.

Police would also like to speak to the young woman who took the mobile phone in order that it can be returned to its rightful owner.



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The Cantilupe Café.
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