Phillip Ellis gave us an informative talk on Water, Rivers, Fish and Trees. With over 40 years’ experience in managing the green estate within MOD, Phillip now specialises in Arboriculture and Angling.
Phillip began by emphasising the importance of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) to maintain the integrity of the tree population and how home owners can contribute by taking responsibility for trees on their land. Phillip highlighted the many benefits that trees bring to our environment but stated that the threat to our forests and woodlands has never been greater and our biosecurity practices must be upheld.
Phillip is also a trustee of the Salmon and Trout Association and emphasised the need for healthy water and explained that excessive water abstraction and diffuse pollution are two of the major reasons why three quarters of our rivers, lakes and coastal waters are classed as unhealthy. For instance local watercress growers are allowing phosphates, which are used as a fertilizer, to leak into the River Itchen and this clouds the water and in turn allows algae to thrive. There is a need for the Environment Agency to increase their monitoring, and although things are improving, there is still a long way to go.
After tea Tricia Hall gave us a taste of spring by informing us that some woodland plants, catkins and frogspawn had been spotted locally.
Planning news from Ed Miller concluded the meeting. New applications had been submitted for a 4xbedroom house at Hangleton Equestrian Centre, a 3xbedroom house in Ferring Lane and a licence for corporate events/weddings at Highdown Vineyard.