Lambing time and dogs

Sheep in this field

David, the farmer at Perching Manor Farm, would like to politely ask you that if you are walking with your dog in a field in which there are sheep then your dog should be on a lead. This is especially important at this time of year as there will be lambing and lambs. Notices have been posted on the field gates.

Edburton Tithe Map

This website frequently makes use of clips from the Edburton Tithe Map of 1842 to illustrate posts. Not a lot has changed hereabouts in the last 180 years so the map is still both useful and attractive. If you have ever wondered how such a map came to be, then the West Sussex County Record Office has an interesting recent post by Abigail Hartley, their Searchroom Archivist. She uses Edburton as an example of a tithe map that is still in superb condition. The map shows the ecclesiastical parish of Edburton, the area served by St. Andrew’s, and thus shows all of Fulking, together with Edburton proper.

The map is still available from the Record Office (details via the link above). Local walkers are probably best advised to order the JPEG version and copy it to a tablet or mobile phone for consultation in situ. Unlike a large scale OS map, the tithe map does not mark the status of routes as ‘bridleways’, ‘public footpaths’, etc. If you are relatively new to the area, and plan to use the map for walking, then you may want to use an image editor like Photoshop to copy those indications over from OS Explorer 122.

A tithe map, like the Domesday Book, is ultimately about taxation. To that end the Edburton map uses colour to distinguish between the buildings then used for human habitation (red) and all the others (grey), typically agricultural buildings for animal accommodation or feed storage. That distinction alone tells us quite a lot about mid-C19 activity in the central section of The Street (between the pub and the building now known as Yew Tree Cottage).

Another feature of the tithe map, not shared with any of the various iterations of OS maps, is that it records the names of (all!) the fields. These names are often full of information, thus ‘Fulking Mills’ is located just where two of the local spring streams merge, an ideal location for fulling mills; ‘Coneybeare’ and ‘Upper Coney Burrow’ were probably both once sources of rabbit meat, the latter conveniently placed for the Perching Manor dinner table; ‘The Rookery’ and ‘Hog Pasture’ need no translation; and nor does ‘Boggy Lagg’ if you make the mistake of traversing it in mid-February with the wrong shoes on.

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).

Raw wool on offer

wool
Are there any keen felt makers and spinners who would like some raw fleece, or anybody considering insulating an outbuilding with cheap wool? Wool is also a great weed (and slug!) barrier and helps maintain soil moisture in the garden/allotment.

Our flock needs to be shorn every year for welfare reasons, the global market for wool has been shut since February and remains closed at time of writing. February to May is normally the busiest selling period of the year for the British Wool Marketing Board – as a result there is circa 9 million kgs of last years wool still unsold.

We will soon have over 1300kg of wool needing a home – if you or anyone you know would like some wool please send an email to camillaandroly@gmail.com with an approx. weight you would like and we will let you know when you can come and collect, with your own bags. We would just ask for a donation.

Camilla and Roly

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).