Link Magazine

Link is the community magazine for the villages of Oakley, Deane, Malshanger and Wootton St Lawrence. 

The new Link is being delivered free, to every house in the villages of Oakley, Deane, Newfound, Malshanger and Wootton St Lawrence, from August 2020. If you haven’t received your copy, please contact our distribution manager,, with your address.

If you prefer to download the latest issue, it is located here:  Link_Magazine_Aug2020

Please send anything you would like to be considered for September Link to by Monday 10 August.

August 2020 Link:

Cranbourne in Lockdown

We hope you have all kept well over the recent months and have been able to take this opportunity whilst we have been made to slow life down to spend quality time with our families.

At Cranbourne, we have continued to serve our students and their families throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic. Whilst the School Doors were not open to all students our site was open every day with online lessons delivered daily to all students.

As a school we adapted quickly and were able to put in place a “new normal” from the first day of School Closure.

Here are some statistics from the first 2 months of Lockdown and Cranbourne:

  • Staff delivered 2924 hours of online learning, that’s 1462 lessons!
  • Sent Weekly Covid-19 Updates from Mrs Aplin
  • 100% of Year 10 Students accessed Online Learning through Microsoft Teams.
  • Sent 110 Home Learning Packs for students unable to access Online.

(20 March – 22 May 2020)

In addition to the work taken to continue our students learning and support our families we have also been working on innovative ways to help our new Cohort of Year 6 students to feel ready to join us in September.

We have moved our Transition Process online, providing Online Lessons via Teams to all our Year 6 students with additional supplementary tasks particularly those joining the Cranbourne+ Program. Lessons are from across the curriculum and designed to help bridge the gap from Key Stage 2 to 3. From Back Garden Science to learning new languages our new students are getting a taste of Cranbourne and an opportunity to meet their new teachers and classmates. By the 17 July our Year 6 Students will have participated in 22 Online Sessions in 10 different Subjects. Year 6 also have the opportunity to attend an induction session for a half day in their “Tutor Group Bubble”.

Jane Aplin Headteacher of Cranbourne said;

“I’m so proud of my staff for the education and support we have provided for our families throughout this crisis. Every child has had daily live lessons with their teacher; we have been open every day; even throughout holidays for children of keyworkers and families needing help. We have phoned every family if their children were not learning online with us; lent out 50 of our own laptops and 25 i-pads; sent out work through the post, when requested; done individual food drops in emergencies. Now we are back at school teaching practical work to Year 10. With a full set of exams and reports, which our teachers are now completing. The return to school has been super safe for staff and students. I really don’t think we could do more.”

Ramblers Association

The North Hampshire Downs Ramblers group is part of the Ramblers Association. We walk mostly in Hampshire and the surrounding countryside. Our group  enjoys both walks and social activities.

The group normally  walk on Tuesday, Saturday and occasional Thursday walks which are sometimes a bit shorter for those who do not want to walk the longer distances. The walks cover areas in and around Basingstoke as well as sometimes going further afield.  Unfortunately due to the Covid 19 restrictions our walks have been curtailed for a while , but we hope to be back walking again in the not too distant future, so if you are interested it would be best to watch the web site for upcoming walks when we can get going again.

On our Tuesday morning walks, which are typically 6- 7 miles, we continue to attract many walkers.

Our Saturday walks tend to be longer, with fewer walkers, and can sometimes take most of the day. Our walks have included walking around Bramshill Forest, Kintbury , Banbury and we enjoyed paddling through a very flooded road  in the Winchfield area. 

Our Thursday walks have included walks around Basingstoke Canal and Tadley.

As well as the walks, the group also enjoys social activities, this includes an Annual Summer Picnic, Boys lunches, and Ladies walks and lunches, and the group occasionally organise weekends and days away.

The group have an active path patrol group, who report problems to the local council and also do some work on the paths, which can be as varied as checking waymarking and replacing waymarking discs, minor clearing or even repairing stiles and gates. To date this group has replaced 20 plus gates in conjunction with the local council.

If you are interested in finding out more about the North Hampshire Downs group, there is more information on our Website.

If you are new to walking and want to give us a try, or already walk, you would be given a very warm welcome by the Group. We hope to see you soon!

If you are interested in joining the Ramblers we suggest you come along for a couple of walks with the group first to get a taster. Membership details are available from the Ramblers’ national website:  As a member of the Ramblers you can also access walks by other groups, the rambler’s website will give you information on walks within a specific radius of your postcode, so you can walk with other groups if they are more suitable on a particular date


April 2020 Link:



Dear Editor,

I have, after ten years, sadly, decided to resign from the Parish Council.

For the past couple of years I have been Vice Chairman of the Council and Chairman of the Planning Committee, taking a real concern over what gets built in Oakley but, at the age of 80, we felt it was now time to retire.

Marian and I moved to Oakley twelve years ago very much taken with the lovely village atmosphere and joining the council was a way I hoped I might have some influence on retaining that delightful image.

Present development in the village is out of hand, the powers that be, who have the final say, are concerned only with building homes, regardless of either the disruption, the lack of infrastructure, the current roads, mainly designed for a horse and cart with no pavements, lack of bus services, meaning cars are essential, and schools and the surgery bulging at the seams.

Builders make a profit of £66,000 on every house they build so the latest Station Road development of 110 properties being considered could bring the developers a profit of £7,260,000.

Another disturbing factor is that ‘developers’ apply for permission to develop a site but once agreed they sell it on to another company, sometimes several times, who then can instantly change the design. A latest application was planned to include bungalows, which are desperately needed for many elderly residents anxious to downsize, but stay in the village close to their friends. However these were replaced with large town houses making more profit.

It is with much sadness that I call it a day, knowing that, for all my efforts, Oakley is going to change and not necessarily for the better.

The Parish Council is manned by dedicated, unpaid local people, all trying to help the village, sports areas, road traffic issues, play areas, the elderly and many other vital services. Give them your support.

Graeme Hewitt

  • Girlguiding Oakley – Volunteers needed!

Do you have an interest in volunteering?  Would you like to work with young people?  Are you willing to give your time to support young girls to develop new skills, grow in confidence and make new friends outside of school?

Girlguiding in Oakley continues to thrive with our strong team of volunteers, many of whom have dedicated years to the organisation and its young people for which we are very grateful. It is inevitable, however, that people sometimes need to move on from their volunteer roles.

We currently have vacancies for volunteers at Rainbows and Brownies in our Oakley units. Willing volunteers would be fully supported by our Girlguiding Oakley team and our wider Basingstoke West District volunteers.

Think you don’t have time?

Any level of support is welcomed whether you can just give an hour volunteering at a weekly meeting as a unit helper or more time to dedicate to running a unit. Leaders in Girlguiding are equipped with a documented programme, training events and, if desired, a fully supported leadership qualification.

What does Girlguiding offer?

As all of our volunteers will testify, a role with Girlguiding is extremely rewarding helping young girls grow and flourish. We provide opportunities for our members to go away from home with their Girlguiding friends and try new activities such as archery and climbing. In meetings we include activities such as DIY, camping skills, outdoor cooking and STEM activities as well as the traditional games, crafts, baking etc that you might expect. On a weekly basis we learn more and more about our members and many of them embrace opportunities offered by the wider Girlguiding community in Basingstoke. One of our guides last year took part in an international trip to Italy and Croatia and several of our young girls performed in the Basingstoke Gangshow, some performing solos. Our adult volunteers have also learnt much from their roles in Girlguiding and made lifelong friendships.

Act now!

Some villagers will be aware that one of our brownie units had to close last year due to time pressures on our volunteers and at the end of the summer term our fantastic rainbow leaders will sadly be stepping down. The larger our team, the more we can support each other but with waiting lists growing we need your help!

If you would like to express an interest in volunteering, have a chat about what time you could give or find out what volunteering with Girlguiding may involve please contact Lucy Rayden, District Commissioner at


Photos send in during the lockdown period:

From Brian Perryman: 

Deane church reflected in winter rain
Deane House seen across a flooded lawn
View at Deane after record winter rain
Bluebells in St John’s Wood
Springtime in Hill Rd
Barbara Evans – Carpet of blue at Southwood