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.

MILESTONE: I am sure there will be many others who will join me in wishing our very well known resident artist, Moira Hoddell, a very happy 90th birthday for tomorrow, Saturday. Moira has been a resident of the parish for very many years and her work has been much sought after around the country. She attended the Royal College of Art, did work in Fleet Street for the Daily Mail and then for a number of years had a slot in the Daily Telegraph. She has lived in the parish for over 50 years. Moira’s drawings have also been used, and still feature, on the cover for the church newsletter. In December 2000 when we still had a thriving Neighbourhood Watch and the Lewes and District Crime Prevention Panel she very kindly gave permission for her original drawings of Lewes Castle and the South Downs to be used for cards, that as chairman of the panel, I had suggested to be used in raising funds for crime prevention schemes that helped the public. They sold very well at the same time as her drawings for the church. I have know Moira for many years now and wish her a wonderful birthday with many more to come. I would also like to thank her for using her gift of art to help raise funds for various events, not only within the parish, but also elsewhere.

HELP FOR BATS: I have just read the good news that Lottery cash is to be used to help bats. Bats in the belfry and the congregations of churches they roost in, are to benefit from £3.8 million lottery funding to help them live in peace together. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is supporting a five-year project in 100 churches, bringing together heritage wildlife and church organisations to find ways to resolve conflicts between bats and people in places of worship. Bats and people have shared churches for centuries, but the relationship has not always been a happy one. Bat droppings can restrict activities, damage historic artefacts and cause hygiene issues. In rare cases large bat roosts have caused churches to close. But historic churches can be a sanctuary for bats, which use them for maternity roosts or hibernation. Sir Tony Baldry, Chairman of the Church Buildings Council, says: ‘this grant should help us better manage bats in churches.’

PLANNING APPLICATION: I have just received the following planning application from LD as I am a close neighbour. Proposal as follows: Change of use from three independent dwellings to a single family dwelling, construction of single storey extensions to north east and two storied bay windows to south east. Location – Mount Harry House, Ditchling Road, Offham BN7 3QW. The application is within the South Downs National Park. The applications will be dealt with and determined by Lewes District Council, acting as agent for the SDNPA unless it is called in by the SDNPA. Further details regarding the agency agreement can be found on the SDNPA website. Anyone wishing to make representations about the above application should do so online from the website uk/online-applications/ or by email or in writing to the address details given below, quoting the reference SDNP/17/00236/HOUS by February 27. All written representations received from the public about an application will be open to public inspection, including being made available on the South Downs National Park website. In the event of an appeal being lodged with the Planning Inspectorate against the decision, any representations will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and the applicant.

PARISH COUNCIL: East Chiltington PC met on January 12. The first agenda item was to consider co-option to fill a council vacancy. Discussion on application LW/16/1045 land adjacent to Mount Pleasant, Highbridge Lane BN7 3QY. Demolition of three buildings and a shed and construction of a new dwelling with associated parking and landscaping. There has been some concern about this application because it was formerly known as the blacksmiths or the East Chiltington Forge where many locals would take their horses to be shod. An historical sight.

The clerk has contacted ESCC to request that bollards needed to be installed to prevent vehicles parking on the verge in Honeypot Lane and creating an official lay-by ESCC would not fund the bollards so the PC would have to find the funds, but would need permission to install them on the edge of the highway. A resient has complained about a locked gate on path 37a which was reported to ESCC Rights Of Way. It was a fairly short agenda on January 12 but updates will be provided at the next meeting which is on Thursday March 9.

JOYFUL SOUND: Spring must be on the way as the birds have started singing and I have even spotted some blackbirds gathering what looks like nesting material. Even though we are still in the winter, it is so lovely to hear the bird song, especially the little robins that are singing their little hearts out and popping up all over the garden. I have a large patch of daffodils fully in bloom which always makes me think of Wordsworth and his words. ‘And then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils as they brighten up even the dullest of these late winter days.’ I have had primroses in bloom in a pot all year round too.

SWARM: I wonder if anyone else has had a lot of ladybirds coming in the house during the winter. I have had a mass of really tiny ones that have managed to get in somewhere, but they are the harlequin ones that we don’t want as they are the ones that have killed off a lot of our native ones that we loved when we were children. A few wasps have also appeared during the last two weeks, which must have been hiding somewhere away from the cold.

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