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.

MONDAY AFTERNOON CLUB: Is open to all retired members of the community. Meetings at 2pm in Offham Church Hall. Lifts are always available by calling Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline on 01273 477151. On September 11 Trish Penney will be speaking about Newhaven Lifeboats. Meetings always finish with tea and delicious home-made cakes.

RAVES: I hope that not too many people have had sleepless nights recently as there have been a couple of raves in our area. The last one was on a Saturday about a fortnight ago and I have had reports from residents in East Chiltington. The first one could be heard all night along here on the B2116, and went on into Sunday morning. In the 1990s we had regular raves where we were kept awake all night and could hear hundreds of people walking along the B2116 to get to the old quarry further along on the Downs. We had Southern Television out to film the noisy events. Hopefully the recent ones have been nipped in the bud before they become regular events again.

OART: I have just received the summer edition of my favourite newsletter, the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust which is always full of interesting information. The first report is headed Rivers On The Brink, Nature Needs You. The Rivers Trust and the Angling Trust are backing a major new campaign spearheaded by WWF-UK to press government for better protection for our precious rivers from over abstraction and sewage pollution. The Nature Needs You campaign asked people to take action to help safeguard our rivers. It goes on to say that, fewer than one in five rivers meet Good Ecological Status standards required by the European Union’s Water Famework Directive and nearly 25 percent are at risk of over-abstraction. As a result, half of all freshwater wildlife, including many fish species, are in decline and 13 percent are threatened with extinction. On the campaign website there is a simple form that allows users to send a message directly to their MP. They ask him or her to put pressure on the new Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to deliver on the government’s long-overdue promise to reform the outdated water abstraction regime and to exert stricter controls over sewer overflows. OART are supporting this campaign and are asking all their members to consider sending a message. As the UK negotiates leaving the EU, the government has the opportunity to secure a long-term plan for protecting the environment and maintain current protections by transferring the Water Framework Directive into law in England and Wales and build upon it through strong water legislation. On the WWF website there is also an interactive river map through which people can find out the state of their local river or stream.

The OART volunteers have been very busy since the start of the year and have been fortunate to receive support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to develop the Enhancing Places, Inspiring Communities project on the Teville Stream with a view to submission of a full application in November this year. They are also pleased to report that the fish pass installed on the Ouse at East Mascalls road bridge, near Lindfield, is working well and providing fish passage to a further 1.4km of river.

Last year OART were fortunate to be offered the opportunity to work with Lewes District Council on flood management projects within the LDC area of operation. This suite of projects spans three years and much of it is in collaboration with the Sussex Flow Initiative project. Year one (2016) saw a lot of work done to develop project ideas with OART further developing the Anchor project to create a 60 acre flood plain connection just up-steam of Barcombe Mills. They also investigated a wide range of options around Isfield which have shown positive outcomes and continue to be discussed. They also supported the National Trust in their YouSe project to connect the river back to the floodplain through their property at Sheffield Park, complementing the work at Spring Meadow which was undertaken in 2012. The final part of their work in 2016 was to undertake a comprehensive survey of the Bevern and Plumpton Mill streams and identify opportunities to improve flood resilience across the two sub-catchments. They have just received confirmation that year two funding is available and are delighted that LDC have agreed to continue to support the efforts of OART within their area. They hope that other local authorities will see the benefits of working with local organisations to deliver flood resilience in certain areas. So the next 12 months will see the delivery of the Anchor project (subject to local agreements), the delivery of the National Trust Project, surveying of the Longford Steam and Glynde Reach and further investigation of the Isfield options.

EXAM RESULTS: I have just received a phone call from y very excited granddaughter who has received her exam results and tells me she will be off to Birmingham University on September 16. Where have all the years gone?

JIM’S DIARY: More OART news next week with Jim’s Diary.

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