Bobservation No. 117: Open Gardens

Henfield Gardens & Arts Logo
Many thanks for the replies from Sue, Ros, Laurence, Tracey, Roger, Richard.  So good of you to take the trouble to reply. Interesting that several friends and acquaintances assure me that they look forward to reading my thoughts but, apparently, not this month as I have not heard from them!  So, for the time being I will drivel on.

Open Gardens in Henfield
I am very proud to say that our garden at 17 Hewitts is one of thirty gardens in Henfield that will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, from 11am till 5pm. Pam has spent a great deal of time creating what, in my opinion, is a very relaxing and interesting area and is intended to be butterfly, bee and bird friendly. This open garden event in Henfield has been operating for some 25 years now and any gardener, or indeed non-gardener, will find an amazingly diverse selection of gardens to enjoy. It is also a great opportunity to explore the fascinating maze of twittens within Henfield.

Bobservation No. 104: No Election, No Mow

image of un=mown lawn
No Mow May
On Monday 1 May ‘No Mow May’ will commence. This wonderful idea created by ‘Plantlife’ seeks to get us all through the month of May without mowing our grass. Of course, unless you are rewilding 100%, it is allowable to create mowed paths which will enable Robins and Blackbirds to source insects. Otherwise it will free the wildflowers so they can grow wild, provide a feast for pollinators and lock away atmospheric carbon below ground. Now this all sounds very easy but most British gardeners have been brought up with a ‘cricket pitch’ mentality, this encourages large swathes of beautifully geometrically mown green lawn to delight the eye; you must resist this archaic attitude and think of saving the planet from climate change. Beware of marriage destroying arguments! And remember there are no weeds only wildflowers growing in the wrong place!

Parish Council Elections
So it turns out that there is such a lack of interest in standing for election to the Parish Council in Fulking that there was no need to hold an election at all! I believe this means that Fulking continues to have a Parish Council of five unelected members and as vacancies occur villagers will be co-opted by invitation from the currently unelected but co-opted members. I think it is a great disappointment that current villagers are missing the chance to exercise their right to choose who they wish to represent them at the base of the whole democratic process. Of course, ideally, what should happen is that the whole Parish council should have to be re-elected individually at the end of each four year term, but alas such is not the case. I hasten to say this is in no way a criticism of the existing Parish Council.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday – Perching Manor Farm

LEAF Open Farm Sunday - Perching Manor Farm

Click image above for the full poster


Come and join us at
Perching Manor Farm,
Edburton Road, Fulking, BN5 9LR
Sunday 12th June 11am to 3pm

Tractor and trailer rides.
Farm machinery display.
Sheepdog display.
Learn about beekeeping and wild birds on the farm.

BBQ and refreshments, bring a picnic rug and enjoy the lovely scenery.
Forest school activities for the children and much more…

Free entry but please register at
Email Angela,

LEAF Open Farm Sunday is managed by LEAF (Linking Enviroment And Farming). Charity no 1045781

Bobservation No. 91: Housing

Rural Housing Support Grants

I understand that the Government is proposing an annual grant of 20% of the rateable value of rural housing for properties with 4 or more bedrooms. This will be the cornerstone of ‘Levelling up’ to ensure that the responsibility of maintaining a large rural property is rewarded. It is not quite clear, as yet, how this will be implemented for billionaires but some sort of compensation for their contribution to society will have to be found to allay public sentiment. Of course, if this comes to fruition it will form a major part of the Conservative manifesto at the next general election. In the event that this will cause a surge in the demand for larger properties, a ‘help to buy’ scheme will be instigated but only for taxpayers in the 40% bracket of Income Tax. (1.4.22)

By the middle/end of April we should have a really good display of bluebells at Furzefield. As it has been in the past 30 years villagers, their families and friends are most welcome to have a walk around. Please take every care to stay on paths and keep children under strict control. Regrettably no dogs. Best if you give us a shout before you come (tel: 271).

Bobservation No. 82: Wilding Dog Show

Wilding in Gardens
I have found wilding in our garden has given a remarkable increase in the range of insects, including bees, and an amazing variety of wild flowers (there are no weeds only wild flowers!). Instead of mowing all the grassed areas in straight lines we have created mown paths through the previously mown parts. The concept is not new but has been given a large boost by the success of wilding at Knepp Castle. Our vegetable plot has benefitted from allowing wild flowers to grow at the margins of vegetable beds by increasing the bee pollination rate. Obviously all this has to be kept proportionate to the space available but it is certainly worth giving it a try.

RSPCA fun dog show at Fulking Fair 2021
The centrepiece of this year’s fair will be the RSPCA fun dog show. Depending on what Covid regulations are in force it is the intention to hold the fair on Sunday 25 July from mid-day till 5pm. The Social Committee has once again proved to be a tremendous asset in preparing, manning and generally helping to make this all possible in a very difficult year, as have the hard core of village helpers. It is at times like this that I am reminded what a fantastic village we live in.

Seedling Sale


Seedling Sale at 10:30am on Sunday 9th May in the village hall garden.

Vegetable and flower plants. Please bring any spare seedlings you have.

We will have a one way system, and observe social distance, of course.

………….and the Book Nook will be open
Come in two at a time
Masks must be worn
Sanitiser available
…………..come in and browse

See you there!!

Bobservation No.79: Churches

St Andrews Church - Edburton
Downland Churches Re-allocation
Churchgoers will have noticed a reduction in the number of attendees at services. I understand that the Government, in its eternal wisdom or possibly lack of it, is proposing that a large number of rural churches are to have their use re-allocated. The detail, so far as the Downland churches are concerned, means that St John the Evangelist, Newtimber will continue as a Church of England place of worship; St Andrews, Edburton will be given over to an Islamic Mosque; Holy Trinity, Poynings will be a Masonic Temple and The Church of the Transfiguration, Pyecombe will be the new Downland humanist meeting point. Regrettably there is no known procedure to alter these re-allocations, which have been governed by the pandemic and a need to raise income for the Benefice of Chichester. It has been suggested that, within the current Covid restrictions, the intended day of re-allocation, Sunday 25 July 2021, be treated as a local day of celebration and food and entertainment be provided at a venue to be decided in Fulking. The RSPCA have offered to hold a dog show there on that date.  1.4.21

Our Lurcher bitch, Lola, passed away on 18 March and I cannot tell you what a big void this has created in our lives. She was a stray from Allsorts Dog Rescue when we were lucky enough to rehome her 11 years ago and since then had become an important member of the family. When she was younger she was a joy to watch gliding across the Downs and playing with other dogs. She was a great hunter. Recently she had aged a lot and we were not overly surprised to see her go. Only dog owners will appreciate how great the loss can be. We will be looking for a replacement for her and would appreciate anyone hearing of a bitch that needs a new home to get in touch on 271. It has been very touching how many locals have offered sympathy and help. Our thanks to all of you.

The really wet winter means that bluebells at Furzefield should be good this year and we would be delighted to have villagers have a wander round, from probably the last week in April. No dogs and children under strict control! Give us a ring on 271 if you are interested so we can comply with whatever Covid 19 restrictions are in place. Generally easy to see how they are coming on from Clappers Lane as you are passing.