Come along and meet The Messenger at their AGM on 7th November 2019, at 7pm in Brighting Village Hall, there will be drinks afterwards.
Those people who give us so much information and pleasure every month when The Messenger drops through our letterboxes.
Click on the link below to see the Battle Ramblers Walks Programme for October to December 2019.
Battle Ramblers-noticeboard Oct-Dec 2019
Dallington residents who were affected by the recent extended power cut (from approximately 8.30 pm on Friday 2nd August to 11.30am on Saturday 3rd August) may be eligible for compensation.
Some residents have apparently already received a cheque for £75 but others may need to apply. Details at
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Posted on behalf of Diana Day, Churchwarden)
On Friday 23rd August more repairs to the church roof are to begin. The contractor has set aside all day for this work, so, for your own safety, please do not enter the churchyard. I hope to put up reminder notices on Thursday on or near the gates.
Message from the Tree Council and Defra forwarded via our tree warden, Doug Edworthy.
“Dear Tree Wardens,
We’ve been asked by colleagues at Defra for your help with an urgent tree health matter concerning recent outbreaks of Oak Processionary Moth.
If you know anyone who has recently planted larger oaks (as defined in the press notice below) imported from the continent, Defra is requesting that they check these trees for OPM, and report any findings to Tree Alert. At this time of year, you are most likely to notice the hairy-looking caterpillar or web-like nests – please do not touch either as they could potentially be harmful to your health. Please find further guidance from Defra below, and for more information on the moth and its identification, visit Observatree or Forest Research. Thank you for your help in this important matter. Warm regards, The Tree Council Team”
Copy of Press Notice:
“Horticulture industry urged to check for Oak Processionary Moth
Landscapers, nurseries, landowners and woodland managers are being urged to take action after the Plant Health Service intercepted a number of cases of Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars (OPM) on trees imported from the Netherlands.
Anyone who has planted larger oaks (defined below) imported from the continent should urgently check their trees for OPM and report any findings to TreeAlert. It is vital that these trees are checked now to minimise the spread of this damaging tree pest and protect the health of our oak trees.
OPM is an established pest in parts of London and surrounding areas, but the rest of the country is designated as a Protected Zone. Swift action is being taken by the Plant Health Service to eradicate recent findings of OPM in Hampshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, including surveillance, tracing work and destruction of both the caterpillars and infested trees. The Plant Health Service have also announced an urgent review of import controls on oaks.
OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases, making them less able to withstand weather conditions such as drought and floods. The cases highlight the need for continued vigilance from industry and government to protect the UK’s trees.
Dr Anna Brown, Head of Tree Health & Contingency Planning, Forestry Commission, said: “Those of us involved in importing or trading plants must maintain our vigilance against exotic pests and diseases such as OPM. There is a lot we can do such as buying British, only buying stock from reputable, responsible suppliers and inspecting imported plants.
“Inspect, inspect and inspect again – we can’t check imported plants too often for signs of trouble. Don’t presume that because your supplier found no evidence of a pest or disease that you won’t either. You might spot something that they have missed.”
The Forestry Commission, councils and land managers tackle the pest with an annual control programme of tree treatment. Increased measures to protect the country from the spread of OPM were introduced in 2018. Restrictions on the import of most species of oak into England have also been introduced as part of these regulations to protect native trees.
Professor Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer, said: “Since 2012 we have invested more than £37 million in tree health research, including a dedicated programme of research and development on oak.
“We will continue to work with local authorities and land managers to tackle OPM with a control programme of treatment and surveillance. In 2018, we introduced tighter restrictions on the importation of oak trees to England but are now looking at options to strengthen these even further.
“The Plant Health Service has received reports of an exceptional expansion of the OPM population in parts of Europe, due the hot weather experienced last year.”
If you suspect OPM, you should not attempt to destroy or move infected material yourself as the nests and caterpillars can pose some risks to human health. For more on how to identify OPM, visit https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/opm.
Further information:Larger oaks are defined here as those with a girth >8cm at 1.2m above the root collar.
To report sightings of pests and diseases, use the TreeAlert online portal: https://treealert.forestresearch.gov.uk/
The Plant Health Service is made up of Defra, Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Forestry Commission.
For more on OPM, visit: https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/oak-processionary-moth-thaumetopoea-processionea/
For guidance on importing trees and plants to England and Wales from the EU visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-trees-and-plants-to-england-and-wales-from-the-eu
To find out more about plant health Protected Zones visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/resources/plant-health-protected-zones/
To find out how the government will work with others to protect England’s tree population from pest and disease threats, see the Tree Health Resilience Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tree-health-resilience-strategy-2018.
The Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) is part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and implements and enforces plant health policy in England, and in Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government. For more information on plant health controls, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-health-controls
Click on the link below for some very useful information from South East Water for priority customers.
East Sussex County Council has begun its public conversation on the ESCC Core Offer. The Core Offer is an assessment of the services that ESCC think are most needed by residents, businesses and communities and that they should be expected to provide in a difficult financial climate, it will inform and direct their budget planning over the coming three years. You can read more about the Core Offer here.
ESCC have launched a survey seeking views of those that live and work in the county, particularly whether they agree with the approach, whether the priorities and services in the Core Offer are right, and if there are ways they can work differently with partners and communities to do more to support each other.
We would encourage you all to complete the survey, which you can access here: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/governance-and-community-services/a-core-offer-for-east-sussex/
There are reports of deer poaching in Dallington Forest. Rifle shots have been heard and residents have found offal from deer butchering.
This has been reported to Sussex Police.
Please report any such incidents to Sussex Police at
You can also let the Parish Clerk know and she will report this for you
Click on the link below to see the alterations to bus services during the Heathfield High Street road closure.
Heathfield road works phase 1-2
(posted on behalf of our Tree Warden, Doug Edworthy)
The Dallington Forest ‘PoW’ Tree
Just inside Dallington Forest, and close to a public bridleway, there is a culturally-important tree that is not well known in the area – perhaps because it is difficult to find without guidance. We have Tree Warden-led walks into the Forest that take in this tree – so come along on the next walk!
As part of the Dallington Forest Project I’m attempting to gather all relevant information together to document it for the benefit of current and future generations before it is lost to the ravages of time and decay.
Known locally as the ‘PoW Tree’ this is a veteran pollarded Beech tree, probably around 250 years old, that is rapidly approaching an untimely end. Much of the interior of the trunk’s base has been hollowed-out by fungi, and the opinion of an experienced arborist is that the trunk will fail catastrophically within the next few years.
The tree gets its name from graffiti carved on its trunk some 3 m off the ground. The inscription (presumably by a prisoner of war from Cologne, Germany) reads: –
There was a German Prisoner of War Working Camp GPWW 145 situated at Normanhurst Court, Battle, less than 10 miles away, continuing to hold prisoners until 1948.
I understand that the Normanhurst PoW camp supplied labour to the Gypsum Mines at Mountfield and, at the time, much of Dallington Forest was under the management of the Mine. It is not inconceivable that parties of PoWs would have been employed as foresters and, perhaps during a lunch break, one of them climbed the tree to leave his indelible mark for posterity.
Who was ‘TB’? Or was the graffiti artist’s name actually ‘T.B.KÖLN’? Perhaps records could solve the riddle of his identity.
Sadly, I understand that most of the records of the PoW camps’ occupants were destroyed after the war. Was this related to the slow repatriation of Axis forces to German and elsewhere compared to the relatively speedy repatriation of PoWs back to the UK? Is there a darker political secret waiting to be unearthed? It would be interesting to find out.
Before this tree falls and is lost – it could be in a gale this autumn – we have a limited opportunity to document and record this culturally-important tree for posterity.
For example; wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a bark rubbing done of the inscription that could be framed and displayed together with information about the tree and the inscriber in the Brightling and Dallington Village Halls?
And we need urgently a good photographic record to show not just the details of the inscription but the tree in its surroundings and context.
Help from amateur (or professional) archivist and historians would be very welcome to research such records as exist of the Normanhurst Court PoW camp, its occupants and the Gypsum Mine and its management so that we can add more of the human dimension to the history of this tree.
If you would like to help please contact Doug Edworthy, Brightling & Dallington Tree Warden at email@example.com
Tree Warden, Brightling & Dallington Parishes
Dallington Forest Project
If you would like to print out this information to share it more widely, you can download it as a PDF flyer here Dallington PoW Tree