Whilst walking on Ferring beach today, I met a man turning over piles of seaweed in search of a rare jellyfish! He had found 2. Apparently, he had read that 1000’s had been stranded on Dorset’s Jurassic beaches in the wake of Storm Desmond.These are flotillas of Velella velella or ‘By-the-wind Sailors’ a tiny jellyfish which has a transparent sail attached to an oval base. It is really a colony of jellyfish which has a blue body with the tentacles hanging below.
Internet picture of Dorset jellyfish
I did a search myself and eventually found 3. They had lost their blue, jelly bodies but I took them home and photographed the transparent sails and bases.
Ferring specimens of By-the-wind Sailors
Being transparent and only about 5-6cm long, the jellyfish are not easy to spot but it is worth having a look and you never know what you might find!
There have been many stories all around the world lately about mass strandings of jellyfish. Last year it was Barrel Jellyfish on our beaches. The phenomenon may be linked to over-fishing where there are not enough fish to eat the jellyfish eggs and larvae and therefore too many adults develop. Another example of man’s interference with nature?
On Saturday, the 5th December, at 11am, representatives from many Ferring organisations met on the Village green for a traditional Tree Dressing. Each group was assigned one of the trees around the periphery of the Green and we hung our decorations on the lower branches.It was very windy but within half an hour there were hundreds of fluttering, brightly-coloured churches, masks, flowers etc..The FCG provided butterflies, trees and birds.
The event was meticulously planned by Norma Cummings, one of our long-standing members. She designed the decorations and, over several months, invited each organisation to her house to cut out their appropriate shapes. All the designs
Carol Bettiss adds FCG designs to our tree
were given ribbons for hanging and Norma distributed boxes of decorations to each group as we arrived on the Green. We applaud Norma for all her hard work which she says she thoroughly enjoyed. Afterwards, the Parish Council kindly gave us hot drinks and nibbles in the Village Hall.
Later in the day, Ferring’s Christmas Lights were switched on and FCG manned a stall in the Village Green to sell Christmas cards, calendars and painted pebbles in aid of the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, our chosen charity.
Please see below our formal response to the Arun DC consultation on the much loved Tamarisk trees on Pattersons Walk, which has been sent to Martyn Burkinshaw at Arun. If you feel strongly as we do that these trees should be preserved, then please send your own response to him in writing at the Parks Department, Bognor Regis Town Hall, Clarence Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1LD by 1st Jan – please include your name and address for weighting purposes. If you are unable to send a letter as above, then you can e mail via firstname.lastname@example.org, but still include your name and address please. The reasons for this consultation are in the recent Parish Flyer.
As the Chairman of Ferring Conservation Group, I am writing a formal response to the consultation on the Pattersons Walk Tamarisk trees in Ferring.
Having been present at our meeting last Friday (Nov 27), you will be very much aware of the strong feelings of our membership that the trees must be maintained in their present form as we feel that they form an integral and important part of the Ferring beach scene which have been there for many years. They act as an effective wind break and a very valuable habitat for wildlife, especially birds who use them for rest, roosting and as a source of food. We accept that there has to be some regular maintenance to stop them growing out of control and blocking the footpath or the raised concrete blockhouse area. We feel that this should be light cutting and would prefer this to be by hand rather than by large machinery, although we accept that the financial constraints of the local authority may mean that the latter is the preferred option.
We would stongly urge that the maintenance is decided by the opinions of the majority of Ferring residents rather than by the odd one or two who presumably back on to the area and may feel that they have a vested interest. We would also urge that these residents are dissuaded from taking the matter into their own hands and cutting back the trees themselves as has happened recently. This might be by writing to the few people involved and reminding them that these public space trees are there for the benefit of all, and not for them to do as they see fit without any prior permission from Arun DC.