Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.15am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

AMAZING: During the heatwave I was quite worried as I had not seen any of the swallows that come here very year to nest. Usually I see them flying around late evening, but not a sign of any. Imagine my surprise when, following the first rain after weeks of stifling heat, I stood outside to enjoy the lovely feeling of raindrops falling on my head when all of a sudden the swallows were whizzing around and I had to move very quickly as they were all around, probably catching insects as they swooped and soared upwards. I was so pleased to see them as it won’t be long before they fly off again. The hot weather has also seen a large increase in butterflies and I have seen at least half a dozen humming bird hawk moths. Unfortunately when we had the weekend storm the wind and heavy rain did a lot of damage to several of my buddleias which ware looking a bit sorry for themselves, with leaves and blossoms blown all over the place. A pity as it is the butterflies that love the buddleia.

STILL HERE: Although there are now only four left, the mallard ducks don’t seem to want to leave here. Each morning when they see the light go on, they appear on the pond by the kitchen. I think they know it is a safe place as they stay all day and leave as it gets dusk. They can fly now but I do still put food out for them during the day when there are no predators about. I shall really miss them when they do leave, as it is quite fun to watch their antics when they are diving for food.

TRAINING COURSE: More than 1,600 young farmers across England and Wales are more aware of farm safety, thanks to a training course that has been delivered by Young Farmer’s Club (YFC) and the National Federation (NFYFC) is aiming for even higher numbers in the new membership year. It is the most popular NFYC course that clubs have chosen to run during this membership year and evaluation forms have revealed that 97 percent of those members who have taken the course say it has improved their awareness of farm safety.

LYNX RISKS: One year on from the initial licence application by the Lynx UK Trust to reintroduce lynx to the British countryside, the National, Sheep Association (NSA) is re-emphasising the risks of granting the licence. NA has been countering the debate brought by Lynx UK since its licence application, and during the many months before that, pointing out that the debate must be heard from both sides.

CARROT CRISIS: British carrot growers forecast that the heatwave will lead to the lowest yields for decades and the highest levels of imports. The chairman of the British Carrot Growers Association, said the carrot crisis is likely to continue for anything up to 11 months.

BRITISH FARMER AND GROWER: In my latest edition there are a couple of interesting articles relating to Rural Crime. The first one headed Crimestoppers, It’s Time to Stamp out Rural Crime. Last month British Farmer and Grower reported that crimes like poaching and hare coursing were up 8 percent and trespassing, which cal lead to theft and damage is up 6 percent since 2013. But confronting people that have entered private lands can be dangerous as one farmer knows only too well. In his neighbouring county, a gamekeeper had identified some hare coursers who’d been caught by the police and they wanted him that they would go back and get him. A couple of days later he found his dog had been nailed to the floor. This is why the NFU wanted to set up a system giving information, 100 percent anonymously, to help raise the crime reporting rate, which the police hope will increase the chances of arrests being made. It has joined forces with the charity Crimestoppers to establish the Rural Crime Reporting Line for farmers and rural communities that are increasingly affected by rural crime. The NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said, ‘The NFU has teamed up with Crimestoppers to provide a service for farmers and the public to give information anonymously about these crimes.’ With relevant information being passed to the police, this service could help to provide key leads in the pursuit of these criminals. Call the Rural Crime Reporting Line on 0800 783 0137 to speak with an adviser. British Farmer and Grower joined Crimestoppers to gain an insight into how the service works. Even those close to the perpetrators of the crime will never be revealed, unlike some situations that involve the police. Should someone trespass on your land, you can stay hidden, make notes of details and descriptions, then report the incident without putting yourself in danger. Here are some call examples. Call A: The first was to report a drug dealer in the community who recently asked the caller to sell drugs for him. Some of the callers friends also sell drugs for him, and the dealer was well known in the community. The caller was able to provide the dealers name, the description of a car, an address and a description of the dealer. Call B: A second caller reported a work colleague who was drinking alcohol through the day then driving home and picking up their children on the way. Their working environment was made up of a small staff so the caller was able to provide details such as name, make of car and registration, but they were incredibly concerned about the anonymity of the call, which Crimestoppers was keen to assure them of.