Blog

Rother Tree Hour Talk

Doug Edworthy, our Dallington Tree Warden, will be holding a virtual webinar on 4th May, 3-4pm.
The subject for this webinar is ancient and veteran trees and will include a presentation about the ancient and veteran trees in Dallington Forest.
It is open to anyone with an interest in trees, just click on the link below to register.

Click on this link to register

 

Agenda for virtual DPC Planning Meeting on 20.04.21

Click on the link below to see the agenda for the virtual Dallington Parish Council planning meeting on 20.04.21 – to start at 7.30pm.

Click on this link to see the agenda for the virtual DPC planning meeting on 20.04.21

If you wish to join the meeting, please email me on – clerk@dallington.org.uk – and I will send you the link.
Irene – Parish Clerk

SUSSEX POLICE AND CRIME PANEL ARE LOOKING FOR TWO INDEPENDENT MEMBERS

If you are interested in more details/applying, please contact directly using the link below.

Dear Clerk,

Please may you share the below email with your councillors.

Many thanks,

Emily

From: Ninesh Edwards
Sent: 14 April 2021 09:41
To: Trevor Leggo

Dear Trevor,

Sussex Police and Crime Panel is looking for two Independent Members, to each serve a maximum five-year term. Applicants should live in Sussex. The Panel has the statutory task of holding Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner to account. We’ve had a significant level of interest from parish councillors when the position has been advertised in the past.

More details can be found here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/jobs/job-search-details/?nPostingId=74632&nPostingTargetId=85825&id=PA8FK026203F3VBQBV7QW798C&LG=UK&mask=baconfig

I would be grateful for any help you could provide in publicising the opportunity within your parish council networks, as you have done to good effect previously!

The ad was first published on Monday, with a closing date of 14 May.

Thanks for any help, and best wishes,

Ninesh

Ninesh Edwards pronouns he/him

Senior Advisor, Democratic Services
West Sussex County Council, Room 102 (Cabinet Office), 1st Floor, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ

 

Watch Out for the Bluebells!

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy)

The Bluebells are beginning to push their leaves above ground in preparation for the magnificent display they put on for us each year. But after seeing the recent damage to plants in Dallington Forest from off-road motor bikes I felt I should pen a short article about these beautiful flowers of ancient woodland.

photo of bluebells in Dallington SSSI
Bluebells in Dallington SSSI. Credit: Doug Edworthy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebells face two existential threats: competition with the more vigorous Spanish bluebell which has been escaping from gardens and hybridizing with our native species for 300 years, and the effects of change or disturbance (which is why they are an indicator of ancient, undisturbed woodland).

Hybridisation

There is a real danger of losing the genetic integrity of one of our best-loved native wildflowers, not to mention the spectacular colour and scent, because our native bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) readily cross-breeds with both its Spanish cousin Hyacinthoides hispanica, often planted in gardens, and with the resulting fertile hybrid Hyacinthoides hispanica x non-scripta. But, do you know the difference between the species?

Photograph of native bluebell
Image Credit: Doug Edworthy

Native bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta

This bulbous perennial, native to north-western Europe, seems to prefer slightly acidic soils and partial shade. Early in the growing season, they can be a dominant species in coppiced woods on light soils, but they are also found on hedge-banks and sea-cliffs.

The native bluebell’s deep violet-blue flowers have a strong sweet scent, the pollen is yellow and the flower stems droop or nod distinctively to one side.

White-flowered native bluebells are exceedingly rare. If you are tempted to take one home, please note: it’s against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy native bluebells.

Photo of Spanish bluebell
Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Spanish bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica

This species, native to Portugal and western Spain, was first introduced in British gardens as an ornamental plant in the 1680s. It was favoured over the native because it can grow on almost any soil and has bolder blooms.  It is a larger, more upright plant than the native bluebell. Its flowers range in colour from pale to mid blue, or white or pink, and has characteristically deep blue pollen but no scent. The Spanish bluebell was first recorded in the wild in the UK in 1909. This species is often confused with the hybrid and has therefore probably been over-recorded by botanists in the past.

Hybrid bluebell Hyacinthoides hispania x non-scripta

The Spanish bluebell readily cross-breeds with the native bluebell to form the fully fertile hybrid. The hybrid was first recorded in the wild in the UK in 1963 and is also extremely common in gardens. Hybrid plants can demonstrate characteristics of both the native and Spanish bluebells.

What can we do about the non-native bluebells?  Well, plant only native bluebells in your garden and be on the lookout for Spanish or Hybrid bluebells in the wild. If you find some, let me know and/or Sussex Wildlife Trust. Please don’t uproot them unless they are on your land, and then only if you are absolutely sure they aren’t native.

Disturbance

The other threat comes directly from the impact of us walking where bluebells grow and, unintentionally or not, damaging them. It’s against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy native bluebells.

During their active phase, which runs from February through until the leaves have died back in Summer, they are extremely susceptible to damage from our boots. Treading on the soft, succulent leaves damages them so they can no longer photosynthesis and they die back. This reduces their ability to put food back into their bulbs, reducing the plants’ ability to produce flowers and seeds.

Also, soil compaction damages the bulbs so they won’t appear next year. You can see the effect of this along many woodland paths where not keeping to paths during the bluebell season has widened the paths as the bluebells recede.

Bluebell colonies take a long time to establish – around 5-7 years from seed to flower, and can take years to recover after footfall damage so please keep to paths and resist the temptation to step into the blue for a selfie or a photo opportunity. Your feet could be doing more damage than you realise.

Enjoy the sight and scent of these wonderful flowers and take care where you tread so they will still be carpeting our woodlands for future generations to marvel at.

Wanted: Tree Champions in Brightling and Dallington parishes!

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy, Tree Warden/Champion,  Dallington & Brightling)

For a number of years, the two parishes have shared one Tree Champion. But there is no limit on the number a parish can have. This was brought home to me recently during a zoom webinar on the new Rother Tree Champion scheme during which I discovered some areas have a half a dozen or more. There are so many things that need to be done in our parishes and I really need some help doing them.

If this interests you, here’s what The Tree Council, the organization that set up the National Tree Warden scheme, says about the role (https://treecouncil.org.uk/take-action/tree-wardens/):

What Tree Wardens do

Tree Wardens plant, protect and promote their local trees. No training or experience in tree management is needed – just a love of trees and a few hours to spare. Tree Wardens are organised into local groups. Each group is managed by a co-ordinator and is autonomous, meeting regularly to decide what they would like to focus on.

Some of the projects Tree Warden groups have done include:

    • Arranging local tree planting days
    • Pruning, watering and giving vital aftercare to local trees after planting
      Rejuvenating local woodlands in need of management
      Raising funds and identifying suitable land for local tree planting projects
      Going into schools to talk to young people about the value of trees.

To that list I would add:

    • Surveying the tree stock of the parishes so that informed decisions can be made about planning and other activities that impact our trees, and
    • Conducting guided walks for our parishioners.

Please get in touch if you think you could help (contact details below). You don’t have to be a tree expert (I’m not) – just enthusiastic!

Doug Edworthy, Tree Champion, Brightling & Dallington Parish Councils
Email: treewarden@dallington.org.uk   Mobile: 07711 090925

Agendas for DRG and DPC virtual meetings on 16.03.21

Please click on the links below to see the agendas for the virtual meetings for Dallington Recreation Ground (DRG) and Dallington Parish Council on 16.03.21.
The DRG meeting will start at 7pm and the DPC meeting will follow on at approximately 7.20/7.25pm.  There will be a few minutes break between meetings.
If you wish to attend either/both of the meetings, please contact me at – clerk@dallington.org.uk – and I will send you the joining link.

Click here to see the agenda for the DRG virtual meeting on 16.03.21

Click here to see the agenda for the DPC virtual meeting on 16.03.21