CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at 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.
ADVANCE NOTICE: The Monday Afternoon Club meet again on February 13, when there will be a chance to banish all those inches gained over Christmas as Patsy will be speaking on Get Fit and Healthy. Meet at 2pm in Offham Church Hall, followed by tea and delicious homemade cakes, which may have to be sacrificed if you wish to keep all those extra pounds at bay.
DRONE DISTURBANCE: My South East Farmer and the NFU British Farmer and Grower magazines are always full of very interesting information and I recently read an alarming report about the first incident of sheep worrying caused by a drone in Alton, Hampshire. An NFU member thought his neighbour’s sheep were initially being attacked by a dog, but discovered they were being disturbed by a flying drone. This morning I received the February copy of the Farmer and Grower where taking a quick look, I noticed a report about drones but have not had time to read it properly. Farmers will need to be vigilant as it is coming up for lambing time and sheep very easily get stressed. It is bad enough during the summer when hot air balloons suddenly hover overhead and scare them, without having the added worry of drones to deal with.
FOOD WASTE: In The South East Farer it reported on turkey waste in the United States. Apparently each year at Thanksgiving, consumers buy more than 700 million pounds of turkey, according to the Nation Turkey Federation. The US Dept of Agriculture projects that 35 percent of the meat purchased does not get eaten, ending up in landfills, along with sweet potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie and other holiday fare. Perhaps Mr Trump will need to take a leaf out of the UKs book to solve yet another problem. Having read the above I then read a lovely report headed Donated Cheese, which says that Dairy Crest donated 40 kilograms of cheese for the Chelsea Pensioners to enjoy over Christmas and celebrate the role of cheese in feeding the armed forces. The centuries old tradition began in 1692 when the Royal Hospital asked a local cheesemonger to provide the pensioners with cheese as a Christmas treat.
BIG FARMLAND BIRD COUNT: The countdown is on for 2017’s Big Farmland Bird Count, which takes place from February 4 to 15. Organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), this year the annual event hopes to smash last year’s count, aiming for more than 5000 farmers to head out onto their farm to record the birds they see. Highlighting the great efforts that British farmers are taking to help farmland bird species such as the skylark and yellowhammer alongside producing food, the count is supported by organisations including NFU, LEAF and FWAG Association. The NFU countryside adviser says, ‘The Big Count shows the beneficial results of farmers taking positive steps to help bird populations on their farms, as part of agri-environment schemes or through implementing Campaign for the Farmed Environment Advice.’ Nearly 1000 farmers participated in the 2016 count. This included famers from every English county and responses from Wales, Scotland and Ireland as 130 different bird species were identified, including seven recorded for the first time in the events history such as snow bunting and 25 from the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern. This compares to more than 500 farmers who participated in 2014’s inaugural count, when 116 bird species were recorded including 11 Red List species. NFU members can take part in the count by monitoring a particular area of their farm for about 30 minutes and recording different bird species and numbers observed. To help farmers identify the birds they see on-farm, the GWCT is organising 18 expert-led farmland bird ID days across the UK which has been between January 9 to February 3, to help farmers prepare for the count. For more information visit gwct.org.uk/farming/big-farmland-bird-count.
NEW BOOK: I have just had a lovely little book given to me for my birthday which is delightful, A DK Pocket Nature book entitled Wildlife of Britain which covers such as British animals, plants, trees, wild flowers, birds, butterflies etc. It is so thick, which will take a lot of reading. Lovely photographs of all things to be found in the countryside with a most interesting section on fungi and lichen which would suit those who go out mushrooming in the autumn and avoid picking the wrong species. To the person who so kindly gave me the book. Thank you so much.
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