Latest News of Local Interest

Mapping the woods [update 2]

Secret of the High Woods
Our two earlier posts on the LiDAR-based archaeological research into what lurks within the wooded areas of the South Downs were in July 2013 and March 2014. The SDNPA is now calling for volunteers to (i) poke around in the woods [field surveys], (ii) poke around in dusty boxes in Chichester [archive research], or (iii) interrogate elderly locals [oral history]. More information here and at the WSCT.

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise.

Mountain Bikes on the Downs

View of Fulking from escarpment with MTB handlebars in foregroundWe’ve all seen them. Youngsters on fearsomely expensive mountain bikes skilfully descending precipitous trails on the Downs around Fulking…

Well if you look closely, you may find that some of those youngsters aren’t that young, the bikes aren’t that expensive and the trails may not be a fearsome as you imagine.

Fulking has some great MTB trails for riders of all standards to enjoy - many that only the locals know about. So to encourage more of us out, we’ve put some of the lesser known and shorter circular routes on the website. More will be added in future. Take a look and if you’re already into mountain biking, please contribute your own favourite routes by emailing

Current Calendar PDF

Current Calendar PDF
Pigeon Post now features a calendar for the relevant month on page one. But items are added to the calendar constantly so, by the middle of the month, there may well be events listed that never made it to the copy of PP that you blue-tacked to your fridge door. We have thus added a button to the the right sidebar, immediately under the Filofax calendar icon, that will allow you to download an up-to-the-minute printable PDF of the current month’s calendar whenever you wish.

Meals for mink

A meal for a mink
The SDNPA’s annual review for 2013-14 has just been published. The first achievement listed in the press release is the provision of 450 water voles to the River Meon. Other highlights include resurfacing just under a mile of the South Downs Way, replacing 46 signposts and repairing or replacing 24 gates. The full report is here [PDF].


Wise guys buy astra fireworks
Fulking Parish Council asks residents to alert their neighbours in advance if they plan to set off fireworks. This is essential if your neighbours have pets, poultry or livestock on the adjacent land and applies at any time of the year (e.g., birthdays, weddings, parties, New Year, etc.), not just the traditional November round of fireworks

A27: ten mile diversion

A27 Falmer interchange
The Kent and Sussex Courier reports:

Sections of the carriageway will be resurfaced between Falmer and the Southerham roundabout using carriageway closures. It is due to be completed, weather permitting, by Monday November 17 and mean closures of the road between 8:00pm and 6:00am. A fully signed diversion route will be in place via the A23, A259 and A26. The diversion will add approximately 10 miles to journeys. The A27 will be closed between the Falmer interchange and the Southerham roundabout as follows:

  • Monday October 20 to Sunday November 2: eastbound carriageway
  • Monday November 3 to Monday November 17: westbound carriageway

Not in our front yard

Housing allocation sites MSDC HDC
The Midhurst and Petworth Observer has an interesting report from a Chichester local plan hearing:

Ian Ellis, director of Southern Planning Practice, [said]

The [South Downs] National Park will do the least it possibly can to meet its objectively-assessed housing need, whatever that is going to turn out to be. It will expect a proportion of its objectively-assessed housing need is met by other authorities. My experience is when they go forward with the local plan, they will be .. saying ‘can you accommodate X per cent because we don’t want to accommodate it here and we don’t have to’.

In response, the SDNPA’s strategic planning lead Lucy Howard said the plan was yet to finalise its decisions: “The authority does need to consider the purpose and duty of a national park,” she said, highlighting its ‘landscape sensitiviy’ .. the SDNPA was in the ‘early stages’ of working on its strategic housing market assessment. “We do realise that if necessary we will be approaching neighbouring local planning authorities, but we’re simply not at that stage yet”.

Woodland Work Days

Tottington Woodlanders at work
The Tottington Woodlanders need you:

Come along and have a go at coppicing.

You do not need any special tools as they are all provided, along with the training, however please wear suitable clothing and footwear for working outdoors. The most important thing is to bring a mug for the cuppa around the fire – the hot water, tea or coffee will be provided.

We always pair up newcomers or novices with volunteers who are experienced and training continues until everyone is comfortable that you can work safely unaccompanied. Some people previously have been worried that they may cut the wood to the wrong size or do something wrong. We are grateful for the assistance and it is unlikely that you could do any lasting damage.

The work starts at 9.30am on a Sunday morning and normally finishes around 1:00pm, but there is no requirement to be there at the start and still be there at the end.

Starting on 26th October, the dates include all Sundays until the end of March 2015 with the single exception of 28th December.