Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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.

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Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey newsCooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey news
Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey news

CHURCH NEWS: Work is due to begin this month on Hamsey Church roof. This means that unless there are any unexpected problems it should be ready for Evensong on May 7. The Rector says that it is good news for all who have worked so hard.

MONDAY CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on March 13 in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. The speaker from Help The Aged will discuss how to deal with scams. A delicious tea will follow with home-made cakes. Lifts available by ringing Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

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TODDLER TUNES: Music sessions for under 5’s every Thursday at 10am in the church hall. More information from Judith on 01273 474356.

PARISH COUNCIL: East Chiltington PC met on March 2. First item on the agenda was apologies for absence and to note the resignation of Cllr Fleming and to consider the vacancy. P&E committee: Cllr Harrison and Cllr Farmelo to consider membership of the P&E committee and elect a new chairman of the PEC. During March ESCC will be clearing ditches in Honeypot Lane, Chiltington Lane, Novington Lane and Chapel Lane. The next PC meeting is on Thursday May 11.

PLANNING: LW/16/1045 Land adjacent to Mount Pleasant, Highbridge Lane. Demolition of three buildings and a shed and construction of a new dwelling with associated parking and landscaping. Withdrawn. SDNP/16/04886/CNDC Novington Sand Pit, Plumpton. Variation of Condition 2 of LW/386/CM to allow extraction of sand and restoration of the site to be completed no later than October 2026. Approved. LW/17/0011 North Barnes Farm. Construction of grain store. Permitted development approval. To consider any response to the Conservation Area appraisal. To consider any action regarding telegraph poles in Wickham Lane.

TECT: Cllr Farmelo to note an application from a resident wanting to become a trustee with TECT. To select a parish councillor to fill the TECT vacancy left by the resignation of Cllr Fleming.

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OART FIELD OFFICER: Jim Smith’s Diary in the OART Winter Newsletter started in October 2016, before the pollution caused such devastation with the loss of so many fish and most likely many of the wonderful sights of nature that Jim sees on his journeys along the river banks. On Wednesday October 5 it was a bright sunny day but with a cool strong west wind when he started out. Around the church at Isfield, blackbirds were having a go at the holly berries and he saw a tawny owl in the black poplar. Beyond the church he disturbed a large black mink from under the mill race footbridge. He had spotted its prints in the mud some days earlier. Jim says that mink were imported for fur-farming in the area in the 1960s but many escaped. On October 9 he walked along the Ouse up to Vuggles and Slugs Eye Island, and saw seven late swallows and house martins, no doubt on their way back to Africa. There was also the odd late dragonfly and the usual buzzard high above the water at the falls. On October 12 Jim put his other hat on to help with litter clearance in the village. Twenty-seven bags of dog mess were cleared which had been thrown into the ditch at the recreation ground, even worse the bus shelter at the station had been used as a toilet. October 23, in a crack in an old gatepost Jim spotted harlequin ladybirds, another invader that arrived from Eastern Asia via Europe in 2004 in large numbers. November 6 a pair of little egrets on the Brooks and showers of sleet. November 7 was village clean-up before Christmas and six black bags and loads of bottles were taken to the recycling. On November 13 Jim watched herring gulls taking small dace. They are noisy gulls and will eat almost anything. Monday November 14. As Jim walks along the Ouse he sees a pair of early siskins, they love seeds, especially from alders and birch trees, but will also take insects. On November 19 storm Angus was on its way, but the worst of it is going to the north of us. Sunday November 20 was very rough weather and boats were in trouble in the Channel. November 21, River’s Uck and Ouse very coloured and sea trout at the weir. Then disaster strikes. On November 24, walking along the main Bevern, Jim saw sea trout at Camps and a pair at Cockshut, later to die in the pollution disaster at Plumpton Mill Stream. With yet another hat on, November 28 saw Jim chairing the parish council with around 50 people in the village hall. November 29 and 30 and Jim says that this event can only be described as an environmental grade one disaster with a pollution incident wiping out all the hard work of the OART Task Force and before that SOCS in improving the stream. On December 3 Jim walks around Barcombe Mills, then onto the Bevern and Balneath where the stream was running clear, but what damage has the pollution done? Walk to Holmans Bridge upstream to Bevern Bridge then on to Romans Winterbourne, Highbride and Novington Lane. On Monday December 5 pumps were running below Beam Bridge in an effort to pump out the slug of pollution. Sunday December 11 a walk along the Ouse and quite a lot of linnets on the Culpepper Nature Reserve. A buzzard flew over and put up a few siskins feeding in the riverside alders. December 13, observed a large raptor at a fair distance putting up the pigeons. December 19 saw two pairs of sea trout on shales at the bottom of the Uck and also a pair behind the factories. January 2, heavy frost and temperatures down to 4 degrees so put out extra bird food and water which is most important in these weather conditions. Afterwards a walk along the river bank where he spotted for siskins and an egret. Go to the mills and see large amounts of dog mess thrown about. It is a disgrace. The river flow is well up from all the overnight rain.

I feel that following the dreadful disaster, those who strive so hard to protect and do such good work to protect our rivers and all the wonderful wildlife etc, such as Jim and all the OART volunteers, deserve a medal.

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