Sussex Woodlands Photography Competition

Action in rural Sussex – Photography Competition 2021

Dallington is home not only to beautiful woodlands but also many talented photographers so we should have a good local showing in this year’s AirS photography competition.

The theme is  Sussex’s Wonderful Woodlands and how people enjoy and get to know the woods. Whether your focus is on beautiful wildlife or on people, AirS say, “our judges will be looking for imaginative, beautiful images that capture the vibrant woodlands within Sussex and the community spirit that weaves throughout these areas. We want to see you out there getting involved with nature and the woods!”

Entry is free, and the competition will be open until Sunday 28th November 2021. There will be three age categories to enter: under 10s, 11-17 and 18+, and some great prizes.

For full details, see the website at https://www.ruralsussex.org.uk/photography-competition/

Woodlands at War Talk Friday 6th August 7pm

“Woodlands at War: The impact and legacy of WW1 and WW2 on Britain’s Woodlands” talk  by Clive Mayhew 

Talk at Dallington Village Hall, Friday 6th August, 7 pm start. No entrance fee, but donations to cover the cost of refreshments would be welcome.

Description: The substantial contribution made by British woodlands over two world wars has been somewhat overlooked in subsequent histories. This talk looks at those pre-war woodlands,describes the extent of their contribution during these conflicts, and assesses its post war legacy. Continue reading “Woodlands at War Talk Friday 6th August 7pm”

Plant a hedge for your community!

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy, Dallington Tree Warden)

 As part of the Tree Council’s year-long Close the Gap programme, their Community Hedge Fund is now open for applications. They will be awarding grants of up to £2,500 for volunteer Tree Wardens and community groups to plant new hedgerows, hedgerow trees and to gap up existing hedgerows in rural and urban areas across England this winter.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 8 August 2021. Your planting will need to take place between November and January. You can find out more about the fund and apply on The Tree Council website 

New Dallington Tree Group

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy)

Dallington Tree Group – Volunteers Please!

In our rural parish of Dallington we have some lovely examples of ancient and veteran trees dotted around our hedgerows, fields, and woods. These living ‘carbon lock-ups’ and special habitats for plants and animals are so very important to the environment and to us. But in Dallington we don’t actually know how many we have, what condition they are in, or whether they are facing risks from disease or potential damage.

I’m proposing to establish a Dallington Tree Group with three straightforward objectives: –

1) Get to know what trees we have by doing a survey of the parish,
2) Use the data collected to create a register of the parish’s tree stock, and
3) Formulate proposals to Dallington Parish Council for a parish tree management plan.


The survey phase will take the longest to do, and will need the assistance of volunteers to
walk footpaths, etc., to collect data on trees and, where access is possible, to take measurements. I’ll train any willing volunteers in the measurement and assessment techniques required so don’t worry if you haven’t done a tree survey before – and it will be fun!

If you can join our group, whether as an active walker of rights of way, someone with existing knowledge of special trees in the parish, or someone with IT database or admin skills, please get in touch with me, Doug Edworthy, via the email address treewarden@dallington.org.uk or my mobile number 07711 090 925.

Tree Warden (Champion), Brightling & Dallington Parish Councils treewarden@dallington.org.uk   07711 090925

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

Dallington Forest Walk #1

Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy (Tree Champion, Dallington and Brighton): We may not be able to restart group walks for a while due to COVID-19, so I’ve started putting together self-guided walks in the forest for people to use at their leisure. This is the first of (hopefully) many so I would really value your feedback on content, presentation and whether you found it helpful in guiding your walk.

Dallington Forest Walk No. 1 Ancient Forest Ghyll, Hollow Ways and the PoW Tree

Map of walkOn this walk you will experience one of Dallington Forest’s ancient woodland ghylls full of majestic veteran Beech trees, prehistoric rippled sandstone beds and the Prisoner of War tree, and also hollow ways formed by the feet of many millennia of travellers.

In Spring the ancient woodland ghyll is full of the sight and scent of stunningly beautiful bluebells and ransoms (wild garlic).  The starting and finishing point is the end of the metalled surface of Bakers Lane, Dallington. This is also the junction of three footpaths and a bridleway. Unfortunately, there is no car park here or in Dallington Forest and the nearest public parking is the lay-by on the B2096 at Wood Corner.

Download the full walk with map and descriptions:   Dallington Forest Walk 1

Length: 3.2 km (2 mi) [includes 1.5 km round-trip from/to car-parking]
Level of difficulty for people in normal health:

      • Under 50 yrs = Easy; you’ll hardly notice it
      • 50 – 60 yrs = Good exercise; it’ll raise your heart rate
      • 60 – 70 yrs = Taxing; you’ll know you’ve done it
      • Over 70 yrs = Quite challenging

Thinking of planting trees or hedgerows?

[Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy]

Map showing Dallington Forest Project Area
Map showing Dallington Forest Project Area

Have you been thinking about planting some woodland or hedges on your land?

Our beautiful AONB in the High Weald is characterised by interlinked pockets of ancient woodland and small irregular-shaped fields and it is important to maintain and enhance this as much as possible. So, of course, it has to be ‘the right trees in the right places’.

Your Brightling and Dallington Tree Champion is seeking landowners with suitable land in Brightling and Dallington parishes that falls within the Dallington Forest Project area (see map above – larger version at end of this post) for planting-up of small woodlands or hedges. Dallington parishioner Jamie Simpson has a source of funding for the supply of native trees together with the necessary protection from rabbits and deer. The cost to landowners would be for planting labour and follow up aftercare necessary for successful establishment.

Suitable planting projects would be:

    • Creating new woodlands (with the proviso that important grassland or heathland habitat is not damaged or destroyed)
    • Creating new woodland to link existing pockets of ancient woodland
    • Filling gaps in neglected or poor condition hedges to restore them
    • Replacing some of the enormous number of hedges that were removed in the 20th century’s drive for bigger agricultural fields

Planted trees/hedges must be able to be appreciated by the public, so must be within sight of a road, right of way or on public land. Grants need to be applied-for during the summer so that the funding is available for an autumn/winter planting project.

If you are interested in this project please contact me as soon as possible.

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

Map showing Dallington Forest P
Map showing Dallington Forest Project Area

 

Rare Black poplar trees looking for a planting place

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy):

Rare Black poplar trees looking for a planting place

Photograph of black poplar leaves
Image credit; © Copyright Robin Stott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Our tree Warden, Doug Edworthy, has had a great response from people willing to have one of the rare (and free) Black poplar plants growing on their land.

Due to the generosity of Wakehurst Place (the Kew Gardens outstation where clones of the remaining Black poplar strains are being cultivated) we have six plants more than we have planting places!

These Populus nigra betulifolia can live for up to 200 years and grow to 30 m (100 feet) high. They are the food plant for the caterpillars of many moths, including the hornet, wood leopard, poplar hawk and figure of eight. The catkins provide an early source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, and the seeds are eaten by birds.

Doug is looking for land that is boggy or wet, close to a watercourse or on a floodplain owned by someone who would value having one of our rarest trees on their land.  If possible, a planting position within sight of a road or public right-of-way would be preferred so they are visible to the public.

They must all be planted by the beginning of March before bud-burst so please get in touch with me urgently if you are interested. Contact details at the end of this message.

To protect the trees from deer and rabbits, and ensure their best start in life, Doug will provide netting, stakes, rabbit guards, tree-ties, mulch and other planting accessories which he has purchased himself, so he would be grateful if the landowner could reimburse these costs at £20.44 per tree.

Also, any help to dig holes and erect fencing would be gratefully received as a total of 29 trees need planting before March.

Email treewarden@dallington.org.uk
Mobile 07711 090 925
Tel 01435 830195

Urgent message from Tree Council/Defra regarding oak trees

Message from the Tree Council and Defra forwarded via our tree warden, Doug Edworthy.

Tree Council logo“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