As most of you know, we were finally able to reopen the hall towards the end of July after prolonged closure due to Covid. Our regular weekly activities – art club and the library café – have resumed and it’s been a joy to see old friends meeting up for the first time in over a year. The monthly Villagers group normally takes place on a Thursday afternoon, but this month hosted an entertaining evening talk open to all, about Vivien Drake, a former Dallington resident with theatrical connections. Another well attended talk took place in August on the wartime history of Dallington Forest and other woodlands, and as you can see we have a full programme lined up for September.
Events in September (Please note no Art Club or Library Café on Bank Holiday Monday 30th August)
New weekly beginners course, starts 10th September More details
QUIZ NIGHT 7pm start
Entry £5 to include refreshments (bring your own wine)
Please note that we are retaining some precautions to keep the hall ‘covid safe’, including provision of hand sanitiser, extra ventilation and limiting numbers for each event.
In order to encourage more people to come forward with new ideas, the Management Committee have agreed to use some grant money to enable us to waive hall hire fees until the end of the year for groups or one-off events that are of potential interest and benefit to the community as a whole. Please get in touch with the booking secretary Karen Gillingham on 01435 831563 if you are interested in booking the hall.
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.
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).
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?
Native bluebellHyacinthoides 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.
Spanish bluebellHyacinthoides 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 bluebellHyacinthoides 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.
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.
We have four new planning applications for Dallington. These will be on the agenda at the Dallington Parish Council Planning Meeting on 20.10.20 – agenda to follow shortly. Deadline for responses is 03.11.20
Click on the highlighted links below to see full details on the RDC planning website, where you can support, object or just leave a general comment.
RR/2020/1661/P – Fullers Barn, Brightling Road – extension to dwelling.
RR/2020/1665/L – Fullers Barn, Brightling Road – variation of conditions 2 and 4 imposed on RR/2020/114/L to substitute larch cladding instead of chestnut, reposition rooflight and use standard low emissivity glass.
RR/2020/1617/L – Padgham, Padgham Lane – removal of existing single-storey rear extension, raising of outbuilding ridge height and refurbishment of outbuilding (LISTED BUILDING CONSENT FOR APPLICATION BELOW)
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
On 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.
Dallington Parish Council are holding an Extraordinary Council meeting on 24.06.20 at 7.00pm at DALLINGTON RECREATION GROUND. This meeting is to sign-off the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019-20.
Strict social distancing and hygiene rules will apply.
Click on the link below to see the agenda.
Now more than ever we must look after each other and at the same time make sure we are keeping ourselves and our families safe.
HELP AND CONTACT IS AVAILABLE
I have a list of Dallington people who are willing and able to do a bit of shopping, collect medication, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact me – Irene (Parish Clerk) 01424 838414/email – email@example.com if you need anything.
Phone your neighbours and friends, chat over the garden fence (keeping a safe distance away from each other, (2m is the recommended safe distance).
If you’ve never tried it before, use the link below to see how you can “video talk” to your family and friends – it’s a BBC website and safe. Click on this link to see how you can video talk to your family and friends
There will be a fair number of Dallington people who do not look at this website and do not have an internet connection. If you know of any, can you please make sure they get this information.
Dallington Parish Council are arranging a leaflet drop for every household.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
1. Do not open your door to anyone saying they are from the “health services” and have come to test you for coronavirus.
2. Immediately delete any email you have concerns about. Your bank, HMRC etc., will not be contacting you about coronavirus.
3. Keep all your devices software updated and use decent virus software.
Sometimes I despair how evil some people can be during such a crisis, but then I look at all the offers of help and how communities are looking after each other and feel a lot better.
We can go out to get essential supplies and medication. I’ve been doing (with some help from Jim Gray – Dallington Councillor) some investigation into local shops/opening hours/priorities for keyworkers, the elderly and disabled. 1. Sainsburys – Heathfield (applies to all Sainsburys shops)
Monday to Saturday 0730-800 priority for NHS workers (will need ID).
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – 0800-0900 priority for the elderly, keyworkers and disabled. 2. Co-op – Heathfield and Battle
Monday to Friday 0800-0900 priority for keyworkers, the elderly and disabled. 3. Waitrose – Heathfield
Monday to Saturday 0700-1000 first opening hour priority for keyworkers, the elderly and disabled. They are also giving NHS workers priority at check-outs. 4. Netherfield Stores and Post Office – will deliver and are always very helpful. 5. Rushlake Green Village Store – 01435 830381, email – firstname.lastname@example.org
They will deliver, minimum spend £25.00, no delivery charge, payment by cash on delivery. They will also bring items outside the shop for you to collect. 6. The Old Orchard Village Shop – 07969 778985, will deliver, no minimum spend, no delivery charge. Will also bring items out to the car park for you to collect. 7. Zero, Heathfield (unpackaged/bulk/refillable food products and household products). See their Facebook page for more details. Phone 07391 490098. You can collect at the shop. Click on this link to go to the Zero Shop home page 8. Eggs to Apples – phone 01580 860566 – click here to go to the Eggs and Apples home page.
I’ve been trying to find sensible information from Jempsons in Battle – I know they are doing priority orders as the other supermarkets, but cannot find any definite information at the moment. If anyone in your household is self-isolating due to experiencing coronavirus systems – please advise the delivery driver as they will need to take extra precautions. You are also advised to limit contact with delivery drivers, get them to leave bags outside your door, don’t use an electronic signature device and wash your hands immediately after putting shopping away.
Dallington Parish Council advise that you contact any of the organisations above before actually going there and find out from them what their current policy is – it is possible that this could change rapidly.
THE ADVENTURES OF ALFIE
He’s got a big grin on his face at the moment – he was due for grooming today, but very sensibly his groomer has shut up shop for the duration. He’s going to look like a miniature Yeti in a few weeks! Freddie and I will have to wrangle him into the shower or get in with him
HOW ARE YOU ALL FEELING?
It’s a very strange and anxious time for us all. Things are so quiet, I look out of my windows and there are no lights on in the Swan, we’ve lived opposite the Swan for over thirty years and it’s so strange to see it darkened. Things are so quiet at night – very nice in a way – but different. Wonderful night sky and no planes to be seen. A great website for aircraft nerds is – Click here for the flightradar23 website
It seems much quieter than normal.
I’ve been an insomniac all my life, just think Miss Haversham in a red, fluffy dressing gown! I’ve been wandering around the house at 3am (this is quite usual for me), making myself cups of tea, playing with my iPad (thinking seriously about playing Skyrim again). So what am I doing – knitting socks (I’m an expert), reading (a compulsive one), so thankful for my Kindle and I’ve just re-read all the Polity series by Neal Asher – any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans out there? Maybe I’ll get my embroidery out again (stealth boast again, I’m an expert).
Let me know what you are all doing, hobbies, reading – this could be a great conversation during this emergency. I can publish them and redact all your contact details.
Look after yourselves and stay safe.
Irene (Parish Clerk)
The Street will be closed from 9.00am to 3.00pm on 20.03.20, from Prinkle Hill to Padgham Lane for ESCC Highways to carry out work on a jammed drainage grid.
Traffic will be diverted via Prinkle Hill, B3095 Earlsdown, Rookery Lane, Colliers Green, Padgham Lane and vice versa.
Sunday 1st 11am Service of The Word
8th 6.30pm Evensong
15th 11am Holy Communion
22nd 6.30pm Lessons and Carols
24th 11.30pm Christmas Holy Communion
29th. 11am. Service of The Word
After the carol service there will be coffee and mulled wine and mince pies. The repaired heating in the church is working very effectively. One rather imagines that for years we have been heating the space under the foundations and now the heat is being directed inside. The disruption in the vestry made it a very good time to clean and paint, and a working party, led by John Day, has made a remarkable difference. A new carpet has been laid and now our Treasurer, Douglas Sewell, is negotiating with our insurers as to the division of fiscal responsibility, or, who pays for what?
The Christmas tree will be brought into the church and decorated on Saturday December 14th. This will be after the school Nativity Service and in time for the children’s Carol Service before they break up.
Everyone is welcome to help on tree-decorating morning. It is always a very jolly time, just arrive between 10.30 and 11ish.
By the time this article is published in the magazines the W.I. here in Dallington will have held the Annual Meeting at which it will be wound up. There will be one last Christmas lunch on December 19th, in the Old School Village Hall at 12 for 12.30.