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).
Younger readers may recall Pan’s People. This issue leads with a page and a half on PANN (People and Nature Network). There’s a report, of course (reports are what the SDNPA does), and a plan to extend “green infrastructure” into the seedy urban areas — aka “coastal communities” — that straggle along the Hampshire and Sussex coast. A cute picture of a baby sand lizard advertises a family event in Petersfield. There are a couple of surveys and a couple of reports of institutional beneficiaries of John Major’s cunning plan to transfer resources from the poor to the not-so-poor (the National Lottery). The cultural material includes an interesting biographical item on the writer Eleanor Farjeon; an advert for a set of rather competent-looking wildlife art postcards by children (if you want a set, you’ll just have to drive to the South Downs Centre in Midhurst); notice of a September exhibition by Gordon Rushmer in Petworth; and news of a downloadable audio version of Sara Clifford’s Cherry Soup. Fewer virtual events but altogether too much material about Petersfield.
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??
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).
This document will soon be plopping onto your doormat. If you live in the conservation area (current or proposed), please review it carefully. Mistakes have already been spotted. Send any that you notice to Trevor so that he can collate them for the Parish Council’s response.
The history of the issue is described here but you will need to respond to the new SDNPA document, not the old MSDC one.