Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey news

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey news

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

INFORMATION: Following the publication of the letter from France in my column last week, I have had several calls asking me about the picture in the Times newspaper 1938. It was dated Wednesday April 27, 1938 and the beautiful picture taking up half of the back page is headed Blackcap a Famous Downland Landmark, showing the scarp almost free of scrub and Alan Strickland with his father and an uncle walking towards Mount Harry. The report under the picture headed, Safe From the Builder, says; among the Sussex Downs described at the inquiry on Downland preservation held in Lewes yesterday as the ‘fairest and most famous Downs, from the boundaries of Eastbourne to those of Brighton, was Blackcap which is shown above. It is included in the 26,799 acres of Downland now preserved in perpetuity in its natural condition. The picture was taken by a staff photographer from the slopes of Mount Harry. The copy that I have is the original which Derek’s father had saved, but it is now very delicate and I have to be very careful when I remove it from its sleeve. I did loan it to a friend many years ago so that he could get a copy for himself from the Times, which he succeeded in doing. I am not sure how far their archives go back, but it is always worth a try. Sorry but my copy is far too delicate to loan out now.

EC PARISH COUNCIL: When East Chiltington PC met on July 7, agenda item one was to consider cooption to fill a council vacancy. Also to consider the condition of Novington Lane verges and to discuss the responses from ESCC and suggestions of bollards from Lewes MP Maria Caulfield.

HAMSEY PARISH COUNCIL: When Hamsey PC met on Thursday July 14, one of the agenda items was to consider the annual maintenance requirements for Malthouse Way Play Park and to note that devolution of the playground is now complete. A volunteer is still needed to deliver the community Newsletter to a few properties on the edge of the parish.

VILLAGE HALL TRUSTEES: Youth shelter £9,000 of the £12,000 grant from Tesco for the new shelter is now in the PC account. The shelter is nearing completion. There has been vandalism at the recreation ground when the old shelter was destroyed. This continued when someone allowed, or encouraged, their large dog to spoil the new concrete base and the newly laid brick base has been kicked out on two occasions. There is an ongoing problem with dog mess in the grounds, even in the gateway to the grounds right under the no fouling notice. One elderly resident was sworn at when asking a dog walker to clean up behind their dog and bags of mess have been left below the bin when the bin had been filled with litter. A local football club with youngsters form Cooksbridge uses the ground for training and the dog mess is a problem. Jenni Toomey, the hall manager, asked whether the time has come to ban dogs from the grounds when this is a rural area with plenty of open countryside around.

SHEEP WORRYING: There have been various reports recently which point to the problem that sheep worrying is on the increase and in one of my South East Farmer reports it asks what action farmers can take. It goes on to recap the law on sheep worrying. The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 (the Act) is the principal piece of legislation. There does not necessarily have to be a physical attack. In fact the Act provides a wide definition and includes attacking, chasing in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause injury or suffering, or being at large in an area containing sheep. It is a criminal offence for a dog to worry sheep on agricultural land. S 1 of the Act states that ‘where the owner of the dog and if it is in the charge of a person other than its owner, that person also, shall be guilty of an offence under the Act. The Act also contains powers for the police to seize and detain any dog where there is reasonable cause to believe that a dog has been worrying livestock, together with powers to issue a warrant to search property to identify a dog suspected of sheep worrying. Offenders will be penalized on summary conviction with a fine being no more than £1,000.

The Animals Act 1971 enables a sheep keeper or farmer to take civil action against the owner where a dog causes damage by killing or injuring livestock and the liability on the owner of the dog is absolute. There is much more to the report which I hope that dog owners may be aware of. Although we have had NFU signs up near the bridleway warning dog walkers, especially near and after lambing time, that there is livestock, usually in fields either side of the bridleway, some take no notice whatsoever and just let their dogs off the lead. On one occasion I saw one person take the leaflets that were given to me from the SDNP and were put in a container by the bridleway gate and scattered them all over the ground before letting their dog off the lead. No wonder farmers get frustrated and angry when they see such behaviour.

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