South Downs News, May issue

May 2020 South Downs Newsletter
There’s another plug for the food map that we were impolite about last month. It has improved very slightly: food is now reported to be obtainable in Steyning (from Sussex Produce and Truffles); and nutrition has also come to Small Dole (The Raw Chocolate Company and Truffles, again). There’s a cute picture of an “ecosystem engineer” (a water vole) who is celebrating a small grant for new livestock fencing. There’s a report from Rolls Royce (Chichester) who, thanks to an SDNPA grant worth less than 10% of the cost of one of their vehicles, has been able to move from car production to honey production. And there’s news of “a net zero carbon emissions” housing development near Fernhurst with emissions to be tackled by “photovoltaic panels and wood burning stoves”. Wood burning stoves??

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.