South Downs News, December issue


The SDNPA has discovered that celebrities can be used to plant trees. They have managed to plant one tree so far but, if another 7,999 celebrities step forward, they will be able to meet their quota for this winter. At least 8,500 celebrities will also be needed next year. No word on any fees payable. Chief Executive Trevor Beattie reports that the government has committed £257m for cycling and walking in 2021-22, perhaps because government policy has ensured that, for most of the population, cycling and walking will be the only transport options they can afford in that year. You can also read about the Community Infrastructure Levy, a fund set up by the SDNPA to accept and administer bungs paid by developers. The Park’s Volunteer Development Officer reports that voluntary activity has largely ceased due to the immense health risks that the Park poses to volunteers. However, despite the danger, one such volunteer did manage to write an informative little column on ivy. There’s also a page on nitrates in the aquifers that features quotes from David Ellin (Paythorne, Perching) and Roly Puzey (Saddlescombe). No mention of glyphosate, however. Despite the government’s ongoing armageddon against small business, the Park has split £40,000 between 27 petitioners “following a rigorous and impartial selection process”. The accompanying photo shows two ladies in a food shop, neither of whom is wearing a mask. Perhaps their Maundy money needs to be retracted. There’s an interesting column on Tide Mills, home to the Black Kite, the European Bee-Eater and the Short Eared Owl. And there is a page of poems by some of those temporarily released from detention. Finally, two pages of suggested walks that you can only do if you happen to live near the route (the SDNPA frowns on the use of the automobile).

Jen Green linocuts now at Etsy

Jen Green linocuts
My linocuts are now available from Etsy. This year has been hard for artists, with almost all exhibitions cancelled, but I am hoping that art available online will prove popular in the run-up to Christmas. My range encompasses wildlife, seascapes, and South Downs landscapes including Fulking and Poynings. If you order through Etsy and live locally, I can hand deliver and refund you the postage or else, possibly, supply a mount for the print.

Jen Green (552) also at instagram

South Downs News, April issue

April 2020 South Downs Newsletter
SDNPA Chief Executive Trevor Beattie claims that “there are already signs that the lock-down has reinvigorated many people’s love of nature”, presumably analogous to the way in which going on the wagon reinvigorates a love of alcohol. He will surely be lobbying for regular lock-downs in future years. There’s a link (to a link (to a link ..)) to “a detailed map [that] has been created for people to find food, drink and other support services close to where they live” which turns out to be every bit as dire as earlier food-related cartographic efforts by the SDNPA (The South Downs Sahara in 2015, and The South Downs Sahara (update) in 2017). Food is unobtainable in Steyning, apparently.

On the positive side, page 10 features a photo of David Ellin and Annie Brown, though they are not quoted or identified, and page 12 advertises a 3-part Facebook video instruction series by an ‘animal behaviourist’ on walking the dog (the animal, not the Rufus Thomas song).

Bobservation No. 58: Wildlife Gardening


Gardening for Wildlife

The global decline in wildlife should encourage us to try to redress this trend in our gardens. Accordingly we should break away from ‘tidy’ gardening and now do whatever we can to encourage wildlife . Our garden flower beds should be almost entirely stocked with shrubs and flowers that are bird, bee and butterfly friendly, and the number of bees of various types will improve a great deal and butterfly numbers will increase. Vegetable areas should incorporate wild flowers extensively to encourage bees. Wildlife can be helped by leaving unkempt areas wherever possible, for instance small piles of fallen wood, and we can introduce an insect ‘hotel’ perhaps based on unwanted pallets. All garden waste should be composted and bonfires should be unnecessary. Our efforts should include lawn mowing as little as possible and by trying to let clover, daisies, buttercups etc. increase on either side of  paths. Carbon footprints can be reduced by allowing saplings to flourish into mature trees.

The point I am making is that it is not terribly difficult to join the ecological revolution in an attempt, however small, to protect the world we are passing on to our children and grandchildren.

Fulking Fair

Just another reminder that Fulking Fair and Allsorts Fun Dog Show will be on Sunday 28 July. Please make every effort to encourage friends and family to come along. We have some great stalls, many in the Street, music, food, drink and games for everyone. The Social Committee have put a lot of hard work into making this a really enjoyable event and need your support. It would help if villagers could avoid driving in the Street from 12 till 5pm if at all possible.

A Year of Wildlife Photography

David Plummer

Tuesday 23rd October at 7:30pm in Small Dole Village Hall

David Plummer is one of the UK’s best known wild-life photographers. He lives in Small Dole and those who live locally get the benefit of his open garden/exhibition events, his talks, his courses at Woods Mill, and his competition judging. If you don’t live locally, then you can hope to catch him on the television or, better, buy a copy of his recent book.

Woods Mill Walks

Woods Mill summer morning

Summer Butterflies and Dragonflies
Wednesday, 20th June 2018 2:00pm–4:00pm
Midsummer at Woods Mill
Thursday, 21st June 2018 6:30pm–8:30pm
Summer Bird Walk
Wednesday, 27th June 2018 3:00pm–4:30pm
Weekend Wildlife Walk
Saturday, 30th June 2018 10:00am–11:30am
Weekend Wildlife Walk
Saturday, 30th June 2018 2:00pm–3:30pm

Meet at the noticeboard by the bridge. Free events. No booking required, just turn up. If you need more information, you can contact James Duncan.