Piddinghoe

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GOODBYE DAYLIGHT: this is a problem time for farmers. Soon the clocks will go back, which we humans manage to cope with but not so the animals. They will be waiting in all the usual places for food at, what is for them, the normal time, and becoming more and more agitated. Of course, the same applies when we go into summertime mode. We wish that we could keep the summertime arrangement all year round, or even better go back to double summertime, as in the last war, when it stayed light for longer. Apparently, part of this is because it is darker in winter in Scotland. Now that Nichola Sturgeon wants to be free from us, perhaps the Scots should be on their own time zone. Before any angry Scots start getting in touch, I am half Scottish.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND THE PUBLIC: If someone is concerned by something on a farm, concern is admirable, but why do they not come to the owner and enquire from them before calling out the RSPCA or similar agency, wasting both their time and ours. We have rescued a number of our animals from various places, so care highly for all of their welfare. I must recall two instances which would be humorous, if not so annoying. Pigs enjoy sunshine and lie about in various poses in the summertime. We were reported for having ‘dead’ pigs lying around when they were merely sunning themselves. A question to us would have not caused wasted time. Even more unbelievable was what happened to a farmer friend of ours. He was reported to be feeding his sheep to crocodiles, yes in Sussex. The truth of this was that, at the same time as doing a routine sheep dipping, he had allowed a circus with a crocodile tank to park at his farm. A passer-by had seen the crocodile, heard the baaing of the sheep and the splash as they went in the dip. Amazingly, they misconstrued the sounds and put the wrong interpretation on the episode. All I say is, ask before acting and get the true facts.

HEDGEHOGS: It is very sad to hear of one of our most endearing wild mammal’s extreme decline. The number of dead hedgehogs seen on our roads is a large contributing factor, but also is loss of habitat. I would willingly give a home to hedgehogs on my farm (surprisingly, I do not have any), but living beside the very traffic laden C7, their urge to get to the other side would probably lead to even more of their demise.

VILLAGE EVENTS: Film nights are continuing to be well attended. Last Friday saw Eddie the Eagle, about our only ski jumper being shown. Talks also receive great attendance. Last month saw the village hall packed to capacity for a talk by local naturalist, photographer, guide and author, Steve Homewood who gave an illustrated talk entitled The Living Shoreline. The audience were entranced by his intriguing personal story and unique relationship with the Natural World. Steve can be contacted on email: steveswalksandtalks@gmail.com

SMILE FOR THE DAY: Why are ghosts such bad liars? Because you can see right through them.

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