CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, Offham, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall. 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee/tea, cake and biscuits in the church hall. All are very welcome.
REMINDER: Ash Wednesday is on March 6. There will be a short service in St Peter’s Church, Offham at noon. This will be followed by a light lunch in the church hall. Cost £8. Contact Chris Glover if you would like to attend on 01273 400981.
AFTERNOON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club will meet on March 11 in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. Debbie Twitchen will be the speaker and talking to members about the Landport Food bank. This will be followed by a lovely afternoon tea with home-made cakes. Lifts are always available by contacting either Judith on 07889 281214 or Caroline on 01273 477151.
DON’T FORGET: If you wish to be on the church electoral roll please get your forms in by March 10 at the very latest. To be signed and returned to Jenny Money, Electoral Roll Officer for St Peter’s Church, Offham with Hamsey. Send to 61 Hawkenbury Way, Lewes BN7 1LT. Email email@example.com tel: 01273 483424 or mobile 07709 939780.
BLACKCAP: Having mentioned it last week, now that the mornings are getting lighter I can look out and see Blackcap clearly in the mornings as I am sitting having my breakfast. The most lovely sight on Monday morning was being able to watch a little group of fallow dear on the scarp. It is nice to be able to watch up on the Downs as the seasons come and go, when it can be covered in frost or snow, bathed in early morning sunshine or, in the autumn, when the trees are changing colour and also when the sun is setting. It is magical.
FARMVENTORS: Which I wrote about recently, where primary schools were taking part in the NFU Farmvention competition. Nine primary schools have won incredible prizes as part of the NFU’s competition, including fully funded farm visits, chef visits and £600 to spend on robotics products for the school. The winners will be showcasing their designs at an exhibition at the House of Commons during British Science Week, where the overall champion will be decided. The competition, which was launched in September, asked children at primary schools to submit entries that solved one of three farming-related issues using science, technology, engineering and maths. Design a tractor of the future; design an environment for a flock of laying hens; design a new snack product from four British ingredients. There were more than a thousand entries. Farmvention aims to put farming front and centre of British education.
CLEAN AIR PLANS: On-Farm Support Crucial for New Clean Air Plans. UK agriculture will face new controls on fertiliser, manure and slurry spreading as part of world-leading government plans to improve air quality. Changes outlined under Defra’s Clean Air Strategy say farmers will need to inject or apply slurry with a trailing shoe or hose by 2025, an incorporate solid manure within 12 hours of spreading on bare land. Controls similar to pig and poultry permits will be extended to intensive dairy and beef farms, also by 2025, and slurry and digestate stores will need to be covered by 2027. Mandatory design standards will also be introduced for new livestock, pig and poultry buildings. The strategy is a key pillar of the government’s 25-year Environment Plan. It will be backed by legislation and comes with a promise of significant support to help farmers change practices. The future agricultural policy will involved financial rewards and incentives to help farmers reduce their ammonia emissions.
DRONE REGULATIONS: New rules have come into force following the disruption caused by drone sightings at Gatwick Airport during the festive period. An exclusive guide for NFU members on NFUonline looks at what additional registration requirements, larger exclusion zones and new fixed penalty powers mean for farmers.
POULTRY KEEPERS: Are being urged to stay alert to avian influenza and to check on biosecurity measures, after suggestions a recent cold snap in continental Europe could push more wild birds into the UK.
MALLARDS: One pair of mallards have now returned to my patio pond to join two moorhens, five guinea fowl and 15 pheasants, all in my garden and eating all of my bird food. All of the birds seem to be so hungry. But, I have noticed a blackbird that appears to be gathering nesting material already.
LATE ARRIVALS: At last all the snowdrops are appearing and masses more daffodils are already coming into bud. ‘Oh to be in England now that spring is nearly here’.