Mycology on Wolstonbury Hill

Inedibilia
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.

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.

Two new local history posts

Arthur Stanley Cooke / Edburton font
Lead fonts are extremely rare — there were just thirty left in England in 1909. The churches at Edburton and Pyecombe each have one, probably created in the Norman era by the same craftsman. Lewis André and Lawrence Weaver will tell you what is known about them.

Arthur Stanley Cooke also enthuses about the font at St. Andrew’s in the course of his erudite report of a circular walk that he took in the very early years of the twentieth century, starting at the Dyke Station and taking in Poynings, Fulking and Edburton. Fulking did not detain him long but his enthusiasm for Edburton is obvious.