We have been sending Tricia Hall’s excellent Christmas Cards for some years now and raised several thousand pounds for the Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice. Now Tricia has produced a new range of cards that can be sent any time of the year:
As part of a ten point plan for a green industrial revolution for the UK to become carbon-neutral a new government initiative was announced at the end of 2020 to plant more trees up and down the country. A cash boost of almost £4 million will see hundreds of thousands of new trees planted in towns and cities and near to rivers to reduce flood risk. This will help meet the government’s commitment to increase planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025.
A budget of £2.5 million will support schemes led by DEFRA, Natural England and the Tree Council to develop five pilot schemes to be delivered by Local Authorities. To encourage innovative, cost-effective ways to plant trees outside of woodland areas over the next two and a half years.
The Environment Agency has been awarded a further £1.4 million to fund 15 projects to plant over 850,000 trees that will aim to protect around 160 km of river, to help reduce the risk of flooding.
On the back of this government initiative BBC One’s Countryfile programme has launched its very own ‘Plant Britain’ project. Over the next two years the nation will be encouraged to plant trees, plants, fruit and vegetables, with prompts to add details of their efforts to an interactive map that can be found on the BBC website:
Ferring Conservation Group thoroughly endorses this initiative and would like to encourage the residents of Ferring to plant trees in their gardens or grass verges, if they own them. This would not only help to redress the problem of many local trees being felled in recent years but also provide good wildlife habitats.
If you are buying a tree then please try to use one of the very good local nurseries or garden centres and focus on buying a native tree, remembering to check it is a suitable height and spread for the intended site. Fruit trees are a good choice too as they provide food for a variety of wildlife; including birds, mammals and insects.
Trees play a remarkable part in cleansing the air by removing excessive CO2, making a significant contribution to fighting climate change. A mature tree will capture around 48 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere and lock it safely away. Trees can also help to absorb sound and as well as provide welcome shade during the summer months they can act as a useful wind break in an exposed garden. As they can soak up a good amount of water this can help to reduce boggy areas in a garden or grass verge. A wide variety of species can be very attractive and can make a welcome addition to the locality. Field Maples, Silver Birch, Hazel, Holly and Rowan trees are a good example of suitable native trees for a garden.
We would love to see more trees being planted in local gardens and open spaces.
For easy reference please follow the guidance below:
HOW TO PLANT A TREE
Tree in a container
Spade and Fork
Stake and Tie
Tree guard or spiral
Mulch (organic matter like chipped bark)
The best time to plant is between October and April taking care to plant your chosen tree in a suitable location taking into consideration the eventual height and spread.
- Dig a hole three times as wide as the pot and the same depth. Loosen the soil around the hole with a fork.
- Thoroughly soak the root ball in a bucket of water before planting.
- Loosen the root ball to encourage roots to grow into the soil.
- Place the root ball in the hole so that the point where the roots meet the trunk is level with the surface of the soil surface.
- A piece of wood can be useful to check the level.
- Refill the hole ensuring there are no air pockets around the roots. Firm the soil around the tree making sure the stem remains upright.
- Use a tree guard or spiral if your garden has wildlife visitors who may want to nibble the bark.
- Water well. Add a 5-8 cm (2-3in) layer of mulch but leave a 10cm (4in) mulch-free collar around the base of stem.
- Top-heavy trees will probably need staking. Put the stake firmly at a 45 degree angle – use a hammer to make sure it’s secure.
- Now attach a tie to your tree to support it in windy weather. Garden centres can show you how to do this when you buy it.
Firstly, the annual clear up of the Warren Pond was held, in partnership with the Parish Council who of course own the pond. Bramble, some ivy and other competing vegetation was cut back which allowed for better views of the pond, as well as generally improving the look of the area. The hired in skip was quickly filled with cuttings and it was generally agreed that a good morning’s work was completed. Recent sightings at the pond include a Little Egret and Heron, which appear to be roosting here.
The next work party concentrated on the Community Orchard at the Glebelands recreation ground, where the grass had been already cut by Arun DC. This was raked up by the volunteers to improve the chances of wild flowers flourishing there, plus there was weeding around the tree themselves and finally some planting of daffodil bulbs in the orchard surrounds. Able assistance was given on the final task by the grandchildren of two recent members who appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves, and it was lovely to see. We hope for a good fruiting year in 2021 with a decent supply of apples, pears, cherries and plums, as long as the person who helped themselves to the entire crop of plums this year doesn’t repeat it.
Finally, an impromptu clear up of the raised shingle beds area on Patterson’s Walk at the bottom of Ocean Drive was carried out by Tricia Hall and Jenny and Tito Grixti. Sadly, this has recently become a bad area for the irresponsible dumping of takeaway food containers and cups from nearby outlets, and much polystyrene was collected, as well as shingle thrown and left around the seating area, plus there was some pruning of the maritime plants to keep things tidy.
We are grateful for the continuing help of all our volunteers, and the Parish Council have also expressed their thanks for all our efforts.
The cards are sold by FCG in aid of the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and are the same views as before at £5 per pack of ten.
They are available from Tricia Hall and can be collected from 22 Clover Lane from Tuesday 10th November to Saturday 14th November between 3 and 4 pm. Please place your money or cheque in an envelope with your name and the amount on the front.
After Saturday 14th November Tricia can be contacted by phone on 01903 504081
This outing was led by Ferring Conservation Group’s bird expert, Clive Hope. Ten members met at Nepcote Green and divided into two groups and proceeded at a leisurely pace up the Gallops and onto the path which runs between Cissbury and Chanctonbury. They later returned along a short section of the Monarch’s Way.
It was a bit late for migrants, but groups of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Common and Herring Gulls were evident and the only raptors were two Kestrels. In a muddy pool at the top, Yellowhammers and a single Chaffinch were bathing and drinking. There were groups of Linnets and Goldfinches, brief views of a Song Thrush and a Chiffchaff and excellent views of a Stonechat. A total of 25 birds were seen and heard.
On the Gallops a surprising number of late-flowering plants were noted including: Common Toadflax, Harebell, Knapweed and Meadow Sweet. There were a few edible mushrooms and some rather beautiful Parasols, Macrolepiota procera.
On a beautiful sunny day, 11 members met in the car park and divided into two socially distancing bubbles. Our aim was to look at various trees and fungi as we went on our circular walk through the woods. Our first stop was to admire the outstanding views across the heath to the South Downs. The dominant tree is the Scots Pine and we examined the leaves which are adapted as paired, waxy, needles to conserve water and allow snow to fall off. Second stop wasan area of Sweet Chestnut coppice. These trees came to Britain with the Romans, providing valuable food and timber and later the trees were coppiced to provide long poles
needed to support hops for the brewing industry.
Hops are now strung on wires but coppiced chestnut poles are still used for fencing.
We also examined a large Larch, a deciduous conifer whose needles sprout in little groups and drop in winter. On its branches were small cones and lots of foliose lichens, a good indicator of a non-polluted environment. The lichens are a symbiotic association between a fungus and an alga. Other trees were mature Oaks, Beech, Holly and masses of young Silver Birches.
Birds were few. We heard Green Woodpecker and Raven and saw and heard Buzzard. We noted two different heathers: Calluna vulgaris or Ling which flowers in the summer and Erica tetralix or Cross-leaved Heath in the damper areas, some of which was still in flower.
Although the proposed fungal trail had not yet been laid out we enjoyed searching for our own fungi which included bracket fungi like Turkey Tail and Birch Polypore, a yellow Stagshorn, a puffball, one of the Boletes (with pores, not gills) the aptly-named King Alfred’s Cakes and a number of unidentified ‘toadstools’.
The fungal trail has now been opened and should be worth a visit. The RSPB shop is open Wednesday to Sunday and you can buy coffee.
Seventeen members in three bubbles assembled at the small parking area at the north end of Patching at 10am and made their way up the footpath onto the Hill. The weather remained dry but grey and cool. We took our time checking the bushes and grassland for any interesting birds, insects and plants and slowly made our way up to the woodland briefly entering the Angmering Park Estate before retracing our steps via the small reservoir on the lower path and so back to the cars.
Few birds were seen on the outward leg, the highlights being Greenfinches, Kestrel, Buzzard, distant Red Kite and, rather strangely, a Little Egret flying over. The hoped for migrants had largely moved on with just a Willow Warbler and Whitethroat glimpsed. Overhead 2 House Martins and 3 or 4 Swallows appeared, a Raven croaked and there were Jackdaws calling.
On the return, we saw a party of 12 to 15 Yellowhammers along the hedgerow bordering the path, together with a single Linnet and an obliging Whitethroat. Other common birds were Goldfinches, Robins, Blue Tits, Wood Pigeons, Herring Gulls, Blackbird, Magpies and Crows.
In spite of the lack of sunshine we found a number of butterflies, many roosting but this gave us a chance to examine their undersides which often show good camouflage: Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Common Blue, Speckled Wood and Small White.
We also admired the enormous mature trees at the entrance to the Angmering Estate, especially the Beeches, Oaks and Ashes and we found a few fungi including Southern Bracket on Beech and Oyster mushrooms on a fallen log.
Afterwards, seven of us went to the Highdown cafe for a snack. It was a very enjoyable outing with a lively and interested group. It is lovely for the Conservation Group to be out and about again.
Despite a gloomy start to the morning, members of Ferring Conservation Group met at the Bluebird Café car park to take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Rife. Tricia Hall, their guide for the morning, set a challenge to find ten listed butterflies along the way, as well as looking for wild flowers, trees and birds. Fortunately the sun showed its face as members split into two socially distanced groups and followed Tricia along the west bank heading north towards Ferring Country Centre. They were soon surprised by the abundance of wild flowers that adorned the bank, including Meadowsweet, Great Willow Herb, Yarrow and Yellow Loosestrife and the familiar Michaelmas Daisies were also evident.
As the Group approached the Lagoons members were dismayed to witness they had all dried out. Some members commented that these are a valuable water source for many wildlife species and would therefore need to be dug out to a greater depth to prevent total evaporation. Although the lagoons failed to present any interesting sightings a male Common Darter Dragon Fly was spotted resting on a stone nearby.
Set against a backdrop of Elders, Sliver Birch, Field Maple, Willow, Mountain Ash and a few Black Poplars, several Gelder Rose bushes were already laden with bright red berries. In the hedgerows wild blackberries were ripening off and it was noticed that Sloes were also plentiful this year. Tricia pointed out four Little Egrets and two Herons perched together on the same large tree; a regular resting place for these related birds.
Along the way members reported the following butterfly sightings; a Green Veined White, a Small White, four Speckled Wood, a Gatekeeper and many Red Admiral.
Welcome refreshments were taken at Ferring Country Centre where members thanked Tricia for a very enjoyable morning and agreed it was good to experience a Group activity once again.
Ferring Conservation Group has had to postpone all forthcoming Group meetings until further notice. Please visit: ferringconservationgroup.co.uk – for the latest news.
The Goring Gap, north and south, is important to our self-identity as Ferring, still a village – bounded by this gap, the East Preston-Kingston Gap, the Angmering-Worthing Gap and the sea. It was a great pity that building along Goring Way in the 1950s filled in a section of the Goring Gap and joined us to the streets of Worthing. But what remains is very important: the Ilex Avenue, the southern gap below it: picturesque farmland running down to the sea; and the northern gap between Ferring Lane and Goring Street, not quite so attractive but valuable agricultural land always under cultivation, and the Rife running through it, a pleasant open space and ‘green gap’.
We now have to defend this northern gap against a developer – Persimmon Homes Ltd , who have applied to Worthing Borough Council for planning permission for 475 houses and flats. It is an ‘outline’ application so that many of the featured displayed in their application are not commitments but ‘illustrations’. When Persimmon unveiled their proposals in October 2020, they received 588 responses and in their application they only referred to one of these as a favourable response..
Nearly 1250 residents have objected – an unprecedented level of hostility to any development in Ferring, Arun or Worthing , We are confident that Worthing Borough Council will refuse this application when it comes to Committee on 10 March.
We believe that:
- The break in the built-up area between Ferring and Goring helps both areas maintain their individuality
- The landscape is attractive in its own right and as part of the foreground to Highdown
- The open space is a ‘green lung’ for Ferring and Goring
- The loss of prime agricultural land is completely unnecessary
- The impossible traffic congestion arising in the main road and both roundabouts and back into Ferring would be intolerable
- This development would add to the strain on other infrastructure: drainage, water supply and sewerage, schools and medical services