Why Heathfield goes Cuckoo!

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Sadly, cuckoos seem to be in a serious decline and their role as harbingers of spring has been hugely diminished.

Back in the olden days when most folk were unaware of the migratory nature of much of Britain’s birdlife, many people in East Sussex truly believed that all the cuckoos were collected at the end of June by an old lady (Dame Heffle).

The birds were kept by her in cages until the following April when one of the birds would be released in the middle of that month at Heathfield’s Cuckoo Fair thus symbolically heralding the arrival of spring.

The tale is still remembered in the Heffle Cuckoo Fair which this year is being held in and around Cade Street on Saturday, April 26.