Saddlescombe Farm Heritage Open Day

Saddlescombe Farm postbox
Tours of the 17th century Threshing Barn, Tudor Scullery and Donkey Wheel. You can also venture further afield for tours on surrounding Newtimber Hill. Refreshments at the new Wild Flour cafe. Children and dogs welcome. Parking £2 — follow signposts near Devil’s Dyke on the day. Sunday 10th September 2017, 10:30am–3:30pm, free admission.

Saddlescombe Farm nominated for CPRE award

Saddlescombe Farm award

Saddlescombe Farm is run by tenant farmers, Camilla and Rory Puzey who open their doors to the public for lambing weekends and educational visits throughout the year. They also offer a unique Shepherd for the Day experience and Green Gym sessions which encourage people to get fit by doing conservation work. The couple say the shepherding idea came from a friend. The idea quickly developed and now the farm holds a variety of shepherding experiences for individuals, couples and families — there are even corporate team building events which conclude with a Shepherding Challenge.

The South Downs Sahara (update)

Greening the desert
A couple of years ago we noted that, according to a then newish SDNPA website, Fulking was in the midst of a desolate area in which it was almost impossible to buy or eat local produce. Saddlescombe Farm provided a single exception — they were the only local food producers, valiantly raising sheep on sand. A recent check on the site suggests that the situation has changed — slightly. Rushfields now appears on the map, as does a remarkable B&B that somehow manages to coexist in both Poynings and Pyecombe (with the same postcode) — they serve English breakfasts (pigs from Coombes, presumably). Springs also makes an appearance (salmon from the Adur?). Still, it is reassuring to be able to infer from the SDNPA’s map that all of our neighbourhood gastropubs (Fox, Oak, Plough, Shepherd, Tottington) have been resolute in their resistance to the ‘local produce’ fad. Corned beef from Argentina still rules the menu.

The Women’s Land Army — A Sussex Connection

The Women's Land Army

The rescheduled talk by Ian Everest to Henfield History Group at 8:00pm on Tuesday 9th May 2017 in the Free Church Hall, Coopers Way, Henfield. The talk covers the role of women on Sussex farms and their vital contribution to feeding the country during both WWI and WWII. Their efforts only gained official recognition many years after they were disbanded in 1950. The speaker’s mother was one of 80,000 Land Girls during WWII and the talk will include some of her personal memories as a ‘Cinderella of the Soil’.

[GJMG notes: I have attended two different talks by this speaker in recent years. They are among the best local history talks I have heard.]

Saddlescombe Farm Open Day

Dew pond at Saddlescombe Farm
The National Trust writes:

Tours of the 17th century buildings, the surrounding downs and the walled garden. Displays and demonstrations of traditional work including hurdle making, shepherding, carpenters’ workshop and more. Watch out for newly born lambs and the sheep dog Belle. Tea and home-made cakes available.

Sunday 23rd April, 10:30am–4:00pm, adult £5, child £2, family £13.

The Women’s Land Army — A Sussex Connection

The Women's Land Army

CHANGE: Ian Everest has had to postpone his talk to Henfield History Group originally scheduled for 8:00pm on Tuesday 10th January 2017 in the Free Church Hall, Coopers Way, Henfield until May this year. In his place, Professor Douglas Chamberlain, an eminent cardiologist who set up the first paramedic course in England, will give a talk on the History of Resuscitation.