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.

GRANT APPLICATIONS: Once again the Deakin and Combe Memorial Trust invites applications for assistance with the cost of further education from those who are under 25 years, studying or about to study an agricultural related course in the academic year 2016/17 and whose parent(s) have made a contribution to agriculture in England or Wales. Last year, successful candidates received grants of £500 to £1000 towards items such as training courses, laptops and books; a significant sum for any student at college or university. Grants to successful applicants will be sent out in October 2016. Please call 02476 858574 or email tamsin.richards@nfu.org.uk to request an application form. Hurry, closing date for applications is Friday August 26.

INTERACTIVE MAP: A new interactive digital map has been launched showing where NFU members across England and Wales are producing British dairy ice cream. The map is designed to connect the public with local dairy ice cream producers and help people discover top quality British dairy products as well as the stories behind each producer.

BEAUTIFUL BIRDS: The bird life in the garden has been the best year ever, with so many species and some old favourites making a return. Recently I counted 10 baby goldfinches all gathering around the seed container. The nuthatches have also bred here and it is most unusual as they are constantly very close to my kitchen window. The robin population has increased enormously and I have one favourite who comes and sits on the patio step when I go out to feed. It has ventured into the house and sings its little heart out. A pair of jays have also taken up residence again after being absent for a few years. Unfortunately there are predators around which include a lot of magpies, sparrow hawks, kestrel hawks and buzzards that breed in the wood each year. The other danger is the stray cat that is still lurking around here and after the tiny birds.

LOVING THE COUNTRYSIDE: I have always considered myself very fortunate to have been brought up in the countryside, growing up in Buxted with the wonderful park that was so much a part of my childhood, where I could sit by the riverbank and write my poetry and watch the lovely fallow deer and listen to the church bells at St Margaret’s Church at weekends. Thankfully I have never left the countryside and feel extremely privileged to live her under the beautiful South Downs, where I still have the sights and sounds of the countryside, the arrival of the cuckoo in spring, followed by the swallows and the nesting season. The amorous toads making quite a din at night under my window and the owl hooting on a lovely moonlit night on the balcony. Then comes the wonderful sight of the field of bright yellow rape or a field of sweet corn growing along with the verges of wild flowers. What more could anyone wish for. It irks me when some people move into the country and start complaining at the slightest movement. Farmers are entitled to shoot to control the rabbit population and at the present time with the rabbit disease rife, which is spoiling a lot of crops, they do have to take measures to protect their crops. Surely those that have come to live in the area moved here because they wanted to be part of country life. Before long there will be complaints about cows mooing, sheep bleating or owls hooting etc.

A DOWNLAND YEAR 1939: By the author Tickner Edwardes, August 9, 1939. Anybody who loves the countryside or does not understand it would do well to read the following: There is a new sound, or rather an old sound renewed, in all the village gardens today the dainty, diffident sweetness of the robin’s song. The robins have been silent about the villages for a month or more, albeit few have missed their music in the rush and preoccupation of full summertide. Probably the robins never leave off singing the whole year through; but in the summer heats they seem to grow tired of human company and go off to the woodlands, where you can always see and hear them in July, through there may be scarce another note of singing-bird from one end of the wood to the other. Yet so soon as August is begun the green solitude seems suddenly to pal on them, and back they come to their ancient haunts in the cottage gay-grounds and spinneys round about the villages. There is something curiously winning and fresh in these first days of the robin’s renovated song. The youth of the summer is so obviously gone, with its hard opaque glitter of green leaves, and whole provinces of re-gold corn waiting for the sickle. But the robins’ tender refrain brings back a spirit of almost childlike joy into the slumberous repletion of things. And the music serves to rouse many other birds to remember their lost powers of song. I heard a thrush piping in the orchard today, the first time for many long weeks;’ and at dawn a dozen starlings were whistling and clucking together on the roof-ridge as though it were a morning in May.

Who could ever complain about a robin redbreast or any other lovely birds around the countryside.

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