Our April meeting incorporated and commenced with the group AGM where the existing committee members were re-elected unopposed.The meeting then received an update of planning issues from Ed Miller. A proposal to improve Ferring Village Green and build a play area for older children was the subject of discussion between Arun District Council, Ferring Parish Council and residents, including local children, during the past 6 months. The original proposal has been modified after further discussion and now includes a small indicative football pitch with goal posts, a large basket swing and climbing wall including a net, tower, slide and fireman’s pole. There will also be a cable run approximately 30 metres wide by 3.5 metres high. This play area will be on trial for 1 year but it is unclear when the play equipment will be installed. Ed went on to report that the planning application for 1 x 4-bedroom house at Hangleton Equestrian Centre has been refused but the application for a 1 x 3-bedroom house in Ferring Lane had received conditional approval.
News of wildlife in the area concluded our meeting with sightings of Small White, Brimstone, Peacock and Tortoiseshell butterflies. Also many of our summer visitor birds have arrived, including Swallows, Swifts, Sand Martins, Blackcap, Wheatears, Winchats and Whitethroat. An unusual sight was witnessed by 2 of our members when around 400 Brent Geese gave a flying display just above the shoreline oblivious to several children playing at the water’s edge. Many Birds of Prey have been evident recently with 8 Buzzards spotted at the Kingston Gap plus Red Kites and a pair of Kestrels.
We’re sorry to announce that our speaker for this week’s meeting – Paul Millward (the Goring fisherman) – is no longer able to join us for personal reasons again. We are not able to find a replacement speaker at short notice but will be showing an interesting film about the local area instead. We will also be holding a very short AGM, plus hearing April’s Nature Notes and a full update on planning matters from Ed Miller. We hope to see as many members there as possible, even though our advertised speaker will not be present.
We have 2 events planned for the first two weeks in May. They are as follows:
1. Tuesday 5 May (note change of date as this was going to be Sat 2/5) – a Spring Birdsong walk around Goring Gap. Meet at the bottom of Sea Lane, Ferring at the earlier time of 9am (to ensure that we hear as many birds as possible). Meet up with bird expert Clive Hope at the Blockhouse on Pattersons Walk from 8.30am onwards for a bird sea watch before we set off. A guided walk then across the Gap to the Plantation, north up through the trees and back towards Ferring along the Ilex Way, stopping on the way to hopefully hear and see as many Spring birds as possible. At the end of the walk at Little Twitten, we can then finish off with a cup of coffee at a village centre café. This walk is weather dependent (the forecast is currently not good) so check this website from Monday evening to see if walk is going ahead. If cancelled, an E mail will also be sent out to the FCG membership list.
2. Saturday 9 May – the first Beach Clean of 2015. Meet at the east end of the Bluebird Café car park at 11am. Equipment is provided. Wear suitable clothing for the day. Do please help us to keep our beach as clean as possible, and make it one of which to be proud.
We hope to see you at both events. Everybody is welcome.