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.
TELEPHONE BOX: Hamsey Parish Council have adopted the telephone box in Cooksbridge for £1. The clerk has sent off the agreement and cheque. Hartley Quinn Wilson from Cooksbridge have very kindly agreed to fix shelving for a book swap and a community notice board.
UPDATE: On improvements to parish council website/communication. The new website is now live. There are still some sections waiting for input. Cllr D’Arienzo was thanked for all her hard work.
CCTV: Council have asked for the cost of CCTV cameras to be considered at the March PC meeting, which will be held on Thursday March 9.
REMINDER: The Monday Afternoon Club is on Monday in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. Get Fit and Healthy with Patsy. Lifts available by ringing Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.
SNOWDROPS: It is always a joy to see the first snowdrops popping up around the garden and I already have a few clumps, but sadly the ones that we planted on the other side of the patio pond have all be dug up by a badger which left an awful mess. Thankfully the don’t seem to dig up the daffodils, some of which are already in bloom.
SKATERS WALTZ: For the past few months I have had a lovely little pair of grey wagtails coming to the patio pond. During the very icy weather the pond was frozen hard, but it did not deter these sweet little birds which stuck close together as they made their way around the pond. Not quite up to Torvill and Dean’s standard, but they could possibly cope with a Waltz on Strictly. A couple of time-waster, which I thoroughly enjoyed watching. They are still here and I was in for another surprise a couple of days ago. I still have what we call the stray cat around. My son, who had told me on no account to feed it and encourage it, was the one who during the cold weather felt sorry for it and bought back a packet of cat food as he felt it would stop it going for the little birds. Although I think it has another home close by, it comes here twice a day, breakfast and lunch. Having put some cat food in a bowl on the patio it did not turn up for lunch so I was amazed to see the two wagtails by the bowl eating the cat food, they were then joined by a pair of goldfinches, a robin, chaffinch and a blackbird, all eating the dry biscuit. I have to put plenty of fresh water out now for the birds. Poor cat has had his nose pushed out of joint.
NEW SOFTWARE: this year’s big farmland bird count will have new software to make it easier for farmers to record and access long term data. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) n Hampshire organises the count and is using NotaZone software, developed by Bristol based Agrantec. For the first time farmers, gamekeepers and others taking part in the survey will have access to their own personal long term data on the birds they have counted on their land. It also means that in future years they will be able to monitor trends, giving them a better understanding of what conservation measures they need to implement to help their farmland. NotaZone was originally developed as a record keeping and information management tool for farmers and food processors and has been specially adapted for the count.
COUNTRYSIDE AWARDS: CPRE Countryside Awards. Do you run a business or project that enriches our countryside and supports rural communities? Enter the Countryside Awards. Rural Enterprise Award and New Sussex Landscapes Award. Open to projects completed between December 2010 and January 2017. Go the the CPRE Sussex website bit.ly/SussexCountryside for an online application or phone 01825 890975 for a pack. Closing date March 31.
PARISH HISTORY: A bit more Offham history came up recently with the death of The Earl of Snowdon. Not many people know that there was a connection to Coombe Place in Offham as his mother the late Countess of Rosse, at one time lived at Coombe Place where the young Tony Armstrong Jones used to visit from time to time. My late husband told me how he met him at a party there. I am not sue how old they would both have been, but Derek told me that Tony asked him what he thought he should do as a profession to make some money and apparently Derek told him he would do well to marry a Princess. Thereby hangs a tale. It was a standing joke in the family for many years. Somewhere in the Courthouse visitors book are some signatures from that era.
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