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.
TODDLER TUNES: Reminder – Toddlers music session at 10am on Thursday mornings in Offham Church Hall continues to meet al through the school holidays, apart from August 3. Older siblings are very welcome to come too. Contact Judith on 01273 474356 for further information.
DON’T FORGET: It is the church social trip to Chichester Festival Theatre on Thursday, August 3. Meeting at the church hall at 10.30am. There are 30 going to see the musical Fiddler on the Roof with a carvery meal in Worthing on the return journey. There is a large coach with some spare seats, so if anyone would like to join the party on the coach for just an enjoyable day out in Chichester, please contact Judith on 01273 474356.
HAMSEY: The summer seems to be passing all too quickly as Sunday August 6 will be the penultimate Evensong at Hamsey Church. Evensong is at 6pm. The 10.30am Parish communion and Sunday School both remain at St Peter’s Offham.
FAMILY SUNDAY: At the recreation ground, Cooksbridge took place recently. It was organised by Kate McBrown, who is a Hamsey Parish Councillor, and her helpers. The weather was perfect for the occasion and there was a dog show, several stalls which included face painting etc., a raffle, cakes, hot dogs and ice cream were for sale. Approximately £851 was raised to go towards the new play equipment. I was told that Kate had worked her socks off to make the afternoon such a success. Kate told me that it was a very happy time. My grandmother always used to say that ‘Here’s a thought worth pondering, there isn’t any doubt, that the surest way to happiness is spreading it about.’ Well done Kate you certainly did that.
RAINBOW INN: I have been told that the Rainbow Inn has now been sold again.
MIRACLE: I have written lots of times about the family of mallard ducks that arrive here every spring This year there has been an increase as not one female and two drakes arrived, but four drakes and four females suddenly arrived. Having seen so many tiny ducklings being taken by the fox, or all the other predators which lurk in the background waiting to swoop, I have now realised that I must let nature take its course. I watched this year as six tiny ducklings came down to the patio with Mrs Duck waddling in front. All seemed to be well for a few days, until it got down to three, and then just two. By some kind of miracle those two have survived and follow their mother down to the patio daily to see if I have put out any food. They have grown so much that they can now get out of the pond in front of their mother without help. It is so lovely to see them all waddling across the lawn to the top pond. I can only hope that they will survive and become fully grown.
CUCKOOS: The BTO has launched a public appeal for donations to enable it to continue its ground-breaking research into declining cuckoo and nightingale populations. English cuckoo numbers have dropped by 75 percent since 1967 and those of nightingales by 90 percent. It’s feared that the latter could become extinct in the coming decades. Both are summer visitors, returning from Africa each year to breed. The BTO has undertaken long-term satellite tracing projects to monitor their movements outside of the breeding season to see if habitat availability and conditions during migration could be factors in the decline. Although the nightingale numbers remain stable on the continent, the birds range in Britain has contracted by 40 percent in 50 years and it is now absent from many former haunts, suggesting much of the problems are closer to home. Data collected from the BTO national nightingale surveys has been of key importance to representations against the hotly contested plans to build houses on its prime British site, Lodge Hill in Kent. Visit www.bto.org/cuckoo-nightingales to find out more and to donate to the appeal.
BADGERS: UNICEF says TB vaccine is available again for animal use, the Wildlife Trust has restarted its programme to vaccinate badgers.
HONEYBEES: We all want to save our honeybees and the Ritz in London has joined the effort to do just that, with the installation of three colonies on its roof. The five hives are sustainably made from Pinewood and named for the hotel’s signature suites. They each house 60,000 Buckfast Bees from a farm in Surrey. As the hotel is next to Green Park the bees are able to buzz about the flowers and gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St James’ Park, Hyde Park, the Mayfair squares and private gardens within a six mile radius. The hotel’s roof garden contains aromatic herbs and flowers, including lavender, thyme and rosemary, as well as an apple tree. Designated bee-keepers (from internal staff) have been specially trained in conjunction with the London Bee Keeper’s Association. The gentle, highly productive Buckfast bees will earn their keep by producing honey that will be used throughout the hotel’s bars and restaurants. Ritz honey, which will appear in two annual harvests in spring and September, will contain subtle hints of London’s trees, including limes, horse chestnuts, sweet chestnuts, apples, pears, plums, willow, hollies and wild cherries. What a lovely idea. Perhaps some jars will be on sale eventually. It sounds wonderful.
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