Flood money

Operation Watershed money left
The Operation Watershed scheme is not restricted to official entities like Parish Councils: it is also available to private enterprises like farms. There is still money available and Lionel Barnard, the WSCC member responsible for such things, is soliciting applications:

We want to remind people that funding is there. Now is the time to be doing the work in readiness for the coming winter, so if you know there is a flooding issue in your community or neighbourhood, tell us. Autumn is the best time of year to carry out ditch clearances, because it falls outside nesting season for birds. If you need help with clearing your ditch, especially if it is a water course that runs through your property, now is the time to make contact. Your local community officer can advise you how to get help from the Operation Watershed fund.

[Excerpted from the Horsham edition of the West Sussex County Times, August 7th, p66.]

Beginning Nature Photography

David Plummer Beginning Nature Photography
Tutor: David Plummer
Venue: Woods Mill
Date: Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th September
Time: 10:00–16:00 both days

A two day course for beginners with digital SLR cameras only. Day 1: Camera basics, manual control, manual metering, aperture priority and depth of field control. Day 2: advanced metering, composition, making a good shot better, fieldwork and supports, focussing and where it goes wrong, putting it all together.

** Booking and course information **

How to Engage in the Planning Process for the Benefit of Wildlife

How to Engage in the Planning Process for the Benefit of Wildlife
[If you are planning to convert your fields into a new market town, or trying to stop someone else from doing so, then this brief tutorial may be just what you need.]

Laura Brook and Jess Price look at how to engage with planning processes and its impact on wildlife with reference to biodiversity legislation and how to respond to planning applications on biodiversity grounds: (i) an introduction to the planning system in England and key biodiversity legislation & guidance; (ii) the process involved in responding to a planning application on biodiversity grounds; and (iii) some examples of planning applications. A basic run through of the planning system in England and key biodiversity legislation and guidance. An outline of the process involved in responding to a planning application on biodiversity grounds. The course will be run from an ecological stand point and will not cover other planning issues.

Woods Mill, Saturday 4th October, 10:00am–12:30pm. Book here.

Peacocks in Poynings

Pair of peacocks for sale in Poynings
Do you detest your immediate neighbours? A cheap solution is available just down the road:

Blue peacock and hen (not blue). Have bred, unfortunately crows took chicks. Have to sell due to neighbours complaining. About 4/5 years old. Need knowledgable home as need to be kept in for a while. They are free roaming here so hopefully we can catch them. More information: 01273 857045.

Wildlife walk

Woods Mill summer morning
An afternoon walk on 16th July to celebrate National Countryside Week at Woods Mill Nature Reserve. See the newly restored pond, woodland and meadows. The walk will be led by Steve Tillman, Reserves Manager and Rachel Knott, Volunteer Assistant Reserves Officer, whose training is funded by The Prince’s Countryside Fund. The walk is free but booking is essential (places are limited). Call Georgie on 01273 497507 to book and to discover the start time, assembly point, etc.

SDNPA wins the lottery

SDNPA wins the lottery
The Heathlands Reunited project will be led by the South Downs National Park Authority, working in partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Defence Estates (Home Counties), Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Natural England, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lynchmere Society and West Sussex County Council. More information here.