Bobservation 40: Winter/Spring

Bluebell green background - April 2015It seems to have been a long wet dull winter and the ground is soggier than usual, making walking with the dog difficult because of the muddy conditions. The skies seem to have been unceasingly grey and sunshine has been at a premium.  However at times like this the beginning of Spring is all the more welcome. At Furzefield we have primrose, snowdrop, celundine, daisy and crocus in flower, daffodils in bud and hazel catkins hanging from the trees. The winter avalanche of leaves and acorns has passed and the unwelcome amount of rain seems to have encouraged the bluebells whose leaf is well advanced and should lead on to an exceptional year of flowers mid to end of April. I do invite you to come and enjoy the carpet of blue when it arrives.

It is at times like these that, hopefully, a warm and sunny summer will follow. How fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful  environment!  Fulking is indeed a gem and is one of the finest jewels in the crown of the South Downs National Park and deserves all our efforts to preserve it that way.

Plans for the Fair on Sunday 29 July and the Call my Bluff on Friday 27 July are well under way. If you are interested in the latter give me a shout (271). Now is the time to have a look in your wine rack for the Tombola and let Louise & Jay (773) have those bottles someone brought as a gift but you are NEVER going to drink!

Wreath DIY at Saddlescombe

Christmas Wreaths National Trust 2015
Create your own Christmas wreath with materials collected from the downs. Take a festive walk and collect your holly and ivy. Return to historic Saddlescombe farm to make your very own Christmas decorations in front of log burning stoves. Mulled apple juice, mince pies and roast chestnuts will be included.

Three sessions available: 18th–20th December 2016, from 10:00am–12:00 noon. Booking essential.

Tree and Hedge Guidance

Tree and hedge guidanc
The West Sussex County Times recently had a somewhat helpful article on this topic. The WSCT article links, in turn, to a section of the WSCC website which is rather less useful since its focus is on what WSCC is meant to do rather than what is expected of private landowners. Luckily, Dorset County Council has produced a model flyer on the topic which is worth downloading (the illustration above comes from that flyer).

Mycology on Wolstonbury Hill

Friday 13th October 2017 from 9:30 to 15:00. The order of the day: 9:30am meet at Saddlescombe; 10:00am go out hunting for fungi in Wolstonbury woods and across open downland; 12:00 noon lunch, with glorious views across Sussex; 2:00pm return to Saddlescombe Farm for a cup of tea and cake in the new heated barn; 2:15pm go through our finds with expert mycologist, Martin Allison and look at some of the more interesting species under the microscope; 3:00pm finish. Booking essential.

Fungal Foray

The Devil's Dyke fungi hunt - part 1
Join mycologist Martin Allinson for a day of recording as many species of fungi as possible across Newtimber Hill on Friday 6th October from 9:30am to 3:00pm. Wear suitable clothing and bring lunch. Tea and cake will be served upon return to Saddlescombe. Supervised children are welcome. Booking essential. Click the image for more information.