Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

DON’T FORGET: Toddler Tunes on Thursdays (including the school holidays) at 10am in Offham Church Hall. Singing, dancing and fun for all under fives. Further information from Judith 07889 281214.

OART: The Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, Dedicated to the environmental protection of the Sussex River Ouse and Adur. I now have my copy of the summer newsletter which I always enjoy reading. August has been a busy time for the Trust. During August they were planning to install gravel at several sties where they needed volunteers to rake out the stone to create new spawning areas. Just one of the many tasks that they undertake. On Sunday September 2 at Northend Stream it will be gravel cleaning. Sunday September 23 (tbc) it will be habitat enhancements at Tanyard Stream and Sunday October 7 gravel cleaning at Black Sewer. If you would like to help with these important tasks, contact Task Force enquiries taskforce@oart.org.uk. As many will know over the past 14 months OART have undertaken the task of putting together their first Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which was submitted at the end of May for consideration by the next HLF committee meeting in September. If successful the application will deliver much needed improvements to the Broadwater Brook tributary of the Teville Stream and enhance the surrounding landscape between the South Downs and the coast. Whilst OART are delivering this in partnership with the Sompting Estate Trust, it would not have been possible to develop this without the input and assistance of many individuals and organisations. For those of us who only watch and read in the background to support OART in protecting our lively countryside and rivers, we should all keep our fingers crossed for decision day in September.

JIM’S DIARY: Which is always a delight to read started on May 1, which was the start of the Ouse sea trout season, but on that day the Ouse was very low with little flowing in the warm dry weather. Nothing around but a couple of sea lamprey observed in the Andrews Stream at Barcombe Mills and some brook lamprey on new gravels, a rare sight as this steam was polluted with waste from the reservoir. On May 13, an early morning walk along the Ouse, leaving at 4am to beat the heat as he wanted to check for blue green algae in the hot weather. Others were up too including two early morning dog walkers and two ladies taking a 6am dip above the Mills with no clothes on. Jim says he is never surprised at what he comes across on his patrols. He’s seen all sorts over 50 years of walking the river. He stopped to talk to a sea trout angler, but no sign of any fish. Monday May 21, time for a clear up around the village where he picks up bags of dog mess thrown down in all sorts of places by inconsiderate dog owners. A sackful sent to the dustbin along with some dead birds hit by the ever increasingly speeding traffic. Thursday May 31, wearing another hat Jim attends the AGM at Isfield Parish Council where he was elected vice chairman for another year. He has now served 38 years on the PCC and his remit covers all things environmental; litter, footpaths and tree warden duties. Sunday June 3, whilst walking along the Ouse and Uck it was good to see small hatches of mayfly and quite a few dragonflies and damselflies with some fish basing in the weed and water-lilies. Wednesday June 6, he saw his first sea trout at Hamsey but was worried about the water quality. He also mentioned about the wonderful display of wild flowers on the verges and grass banks, orchids in particular. Saturday June 9, an early morning walk along the Ouse and just about White Bridge he spotted where a boat had pulled up on the bank, and it made him angry to find five wine bottles and some other rubbish all thrown about which he cleared up and took back to his own bin. The course season opened on June 16 and there were a few about giving it a try. Tuesday June 26, he waked below the Mills to see any signs of sea trout with furunculosis and found none in the flow over the Mills. It was miserable but had pleasure in watching a pair of owls hunting near the old boat house at Wellingham. Saturday July 7 he took a quick look at the river. People are swimming. When you explain to them about the water quality and viruses, they answer ‘so what?’

What a wonderful job Jim does. It is amazing how much ground he covers, not just keeping an eye on the rivers but also picking up other people’s rubbish, keeping his village tidy, keeping an eye on trees and if that was not enough is also vice chairman of Isfield Parish Council.