We are holding our annual clear up of the surrounds of Warren Pond in South Ferring on the morning of Saturday 9 November starting at 10am. This will be the November work party, and is held in partnership with Ferring Parish Council who own the pond.
If you can help with this, we’d love to see you there, and please wear suitable clothing and bring your own loppers, secateurs and shears if possible. The work should last no more than about an hour, and won’t be too arduous hopefully.
The pond is at the junction of Florida Road and The Warren. If the weather is inclement on the day, please check this website to ensure that it is still going ahead.
We heard on 30 September that leaflets were being delivered to a few roads in Ferring announcing that Persimmon Homes, the developers, are preparing a planning application for an estate of 465 houses on the farmland west of Goring Street, north of the railway between the railway and the Rife. This is right on the border with Ferring, but all within Worthing Borough Council’s boundaries. There was a tear-off slip on the leaflet for recipients to write their comments and post them off. The leaflet advertised a ‘consultation event’ in Worthing on 7 October.
Many of our members, and members of Goring & Ilex Conservation Group and Goring Residents Association went along and had their say. Many others have sent their objections by e mail to email@example.com And on 8 October 50 of us met at Goring Station for a group photograph to illustrate the story for the Worthing Herald. is ver
It is important that we in Ferring, as well as our friends in Goring continue to show our strong objection to this proposal. It is not yet a planning application. The development would be contrary to Worthing’s Draft Local Plan and it seems very unlikely that the Council would approve such an application when it is made. But after such a refusal Persimmon could always appeal and we cannot be sure what a Planning Inspector might allow.
It would be good to see such an outcry against this proposal that Persimmon decide to drop it.
You can see the details of the scheme on www.chatsmorefarm.co.uk
The above group which carries out excellent practical conservation work around the Worthing area are looking for more volunteers to help them. Their regular work parties start at 10am and end by 3.30pm on the designated day, but they welcome any help at all for however long.
The next work party is on Sunday 17 March at Cissbury Ring, where they will be working with the National Trust warden to maintain the chalk downland flora.
For further details and also to confirm venue and meeting place of each work party, please contact Jay on 01903 762064.
Members of Ferring Conservation Group have recently been carrying out more practical work in the village in order to improve our local environment and particularly to make it a more welcoming place for our wildlife.
In the first of our regular monthly small work parties, a number of members met at the Glebelands Recreation Ground in the centre of the village to carry out some practical work around the Community Orchard. The main task was to cut back the invasive brambles that had grown up in the small copse of trees that back on to the fruit trees themselves and had threatened to overwhelm them. This was completed quickly and efficiently, and without too many scratches from the enormous thorns! The trees will be very grateful for the removal of some of the competition.
The Group has also arranged the installation of a large Tawny Owl nest box and a slightly smaller bat box in the copses at the Little Twitten Recreation Ground, just off Sea Lane.
The Owl box had been in place at the Warren Pond in the village, but it hadn’t been successful and it was felt better to move it to a location where Tawny Owls have been heard on a regular basis. It was quite a technical task to mount it in a suitable tree, and the services of an excellent local tree surgery company, Mr Tree (based in Worthing), were required to complete the job safely. Proper climbing equipment was deployed the tree surgeon, Shane Jones, and he was able to abseil back down to ground level when he had finished.
The bat box had been donated by two of our committee members, Lindsey and Chris Green, and this was fixed to a suitable large Sycamore tree in another part of the Recreation Ground.
Time will tell, but we hope that the local Tawny Owls and bats approve of what we’ve done for them, especially as their natural nesting sites are reducing in number and suitability. We’ll be keeping an eye on the boxes, which are in addition to the significant number of smaller nest boxes that we’ve already put up around the village (thanks are due to committee member Graham Tuppen for refurbishing many of the boxes this Winter) , and we’ll be reporting on any developments.
The next of the monthly work parties will take place from 10am on Tuesday 6 March, meeting on the Village Green. The task will be to cut back some of the bushes and generally tidy up the area that we look after. Please bring secateurs and loppers if you have them, and wear suitable clothing.
Starting in February, we will now be organising monthly work parties for anybody interested to help out at the various locations around the village where carry out practical activities to maintain and improve the local natural environment.
These will always be held on the first Tuesday of the month between 10am and midday. Details of the exact location to be covered and the meeting point will be advertised here as well as at the members meeting at the end of the previous month. We will still be carrying out our various clean ups including beach cleans and other fiixed activities such as the annual clear up of Warren Pond with Ferring Parish Council as separate matters.
We hope to see some of you there, even if you can’t stay for the whole session. If bad weather is forecast, please check this website in case of cancellation.
Members of the Group this week teamed up with volunteers organised by West Sussex County Council to improve the 3 footpaths leading from the village to the Ferring Rife – these are at the far ends of Brook Lane, Clover Lane and Ferringham Way. The paths had been overgrown by vegetation and the surfaces were extremely muddy in places despite some work having been completed by the Group early in 2016. This was the latest in a series of practical projects around the village.
Around 20 volunteers from both organisations cut back brambles, nettles and overhanging branches among other things, using hand and power tools, and between them laid a total of 5 large builder’s bags of the MOT hard-core material to give the paths a firm and more stable surface. The material was supplied by local builders merchants, Benton Weatherstone, who were very helpful in the arrangements, and it was paid for by Ferring Parish Council, with whom the Group works very closely to enhance the village.
At the end of a hard morning’s work (but which included a welcome coffee break organised by the WSCC volunteer co-ordinator), all three paths’ borders had been cut back and the surfaces were left in a good state due to the addition of the hard-core, which will allow residents and visitors to reach the river in comfort even after adverse weather. Thank you to all those who helped out on the day.
On the previous weekend, nearly 30 FCG members carried out the last Beach Clean of the year on Ferring beach. The whole stretch between the bottom of Sea Lane and the Bluebird Cafe and beyond was thoroughly cleaned, with potentially damaging litter being removed. Results of the clean were forwarded to the Marine Conservation Society as this was part of their Big Beachwatch weekend and will help form a picture of the problem nationally.
One of the most rewarding parts of the clean was finding under a breakwater a lost smartphone, wallet, credit cards and cash. After members of the team made a number of enquiries locally to trace the owner, we were able to find her on the beach when she saw the litter pickers in their high vis-jackets, and the phone and other items were safely re-united with a very grateful lady.
The Group’s annual Summer Social takes place at Ferring Village Hall on Sat 26 August, starting at 6.30pm.
As usual, this will include a hot buffet style meal and a dessert, as well as a your first drink. The menu this year will be as follows:
Choice of Chicken breast in cream and mushroom sauce, or Beef bourgignon, or Goats cheese and mediterranean veg tarts, plus selection of seasonal salads (apple coleslaw, tomato and mozzarella, green mixed salad) and French bread and butter
Followed by choice of gateaux selection and cream, fresh fruit salad and cream, or Banoffee pie and cream.
There will also be a good quality prize raffle, a variety of interesting prize quizzes for your entertainment, and of course good company and conversation.
Tickets priced at £10 per person will be available at our next members’ meeting on Friday 28 July also at Ferring Village Hall, starting at 7.30pm, and also from our treasurer, Gloria Moffatt on 502139. Tickets are limited, so please get in quick!
Our hedgehogs are really struggling. Have a look at a new short article in the Nature Notes section of this website, written by committee member, Graham Tuppen, to see what you might be able to do in your garden to help them. A number have been seen recently around the village in gardens, so there is some hope for them if we all do our bit.
Latest planning applications
Ferring Conservation Group objected to two recent applications for flats in Ferring. The Beehive Lane flats were, in the end, allowed (with some reduction in scale). FG/198/16, for the demolition of the existing house and building eight 2-bedroom flats at 1 Sea Drive, was finally approved on 24 August.
Such a development here, on the corner with Sea Lane, just a few yards up from the seafront, is completely out of place – having a disastrous effect on the immediate neighbours and adding to traffic hazards for drivers and walkers. It could be the thin edge of a long wedge in Sea Lane.
We keep a close eye on all applications for new houses or businesses. and send details and guidance on objections e mail circulars to members. If you are a member (or would like to join – £1 a year) and would like to receive these circulars, please e mail EdMiller43@msn.com..
David Bettiss – Chairman, FCG
In the latest of their busy schedule of activities, Ferring Conservation Group recently organised a well attended evening Bat Walk around the village, which was hosted by Laurie Jackson from the Sussex Bat Group.
Before heading out on the walk, Laurie entertained members with a highly informative talk about bats, highlighting the fact that West Sussex is one of the best counties in the country for them, with virtually all the native bats using our area. She answered a wide variety of questions from those present, but the most popular part of her talk was her demonstration of 2 bats from the Sussex Bat Hospital in Hurstpierpoint. These were a Common Pipistrelle (our smallest UK bat alongside the Soprano Pipistrelle – weighing between 4 and 8g) and also a Serotine (one of our largest bats weighing between 25 and 30g). It was great to have such a rare close up view of these tiny creatures.Serotine Bat (Photo by Laurie Jackson)
The group the headed out to the Ferring Rife at sunset and armed with bat detectors to help with tracking, we were able to detect a number of Common Pipistrelles probably feeding near the water, and then at least one Soprano Pipistrelle was seen nearby. The walk continued back into the village via the St Andrew’s Churchyard, Little Twitten recreation ground and finishing in the Ilex Avenue. A small number of bats were detected by some members, but generally bat numbers do seem to be down this year, suggesting that they are under threat for various reasons, including habitat loss. We had hoped to see or detect a Daubenton’s bat over the Rife, as this is a species that trawls prey from the water with comparatively large hairy feet, but sadly none were heard during our visit.Daubenton’s Bat (Photo by Laurie Jackson)
On the following morning, over 30 members and visitors met up on Ferring Beach for their final Beach Clean of the year. This one was part of the national Big Beachwatch Weekend in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society, where a proportion of the rubbish collected is itemised and fed back to the Society to give a national picture of the problem of marine litter.
The members were resplendent in their new Ferring Conservation Group branded high vis vests, which together with some additional beach cleaning equipment, was purchased by the Group after a successful application to the West Sussex County Council Community Initiative Fund. The vests were supplied by local Rustington and Littlehampton company, Ricara.
It was very gratifying to see a good number of youngsters taking part in what would have been their first ever beach clean, and showing that they and their parents do care about our local environment.