Rother District Council have asked that we display this request for your council to consult on potential changes to the housing allocations policy. A hard copy is also on the Parish noticeboard by the church steps. There is a deadline of 9th September for any comments.
Following our earlier Post the TV broadcast went out later than intended – Monday evening 12th August – but it was seen by quite a lot of people as we know from various contacts. Also, the radio interview conducted on BBC Radio Sussex went out as planned and again, seemed to come over well. Huw Merriman will be issuing a press release shortly which we will advise you about. This weekend’s Spectator will carry an article written by Charles Moore and we have in our possession an article which appeared in the small magazine Town & County which gives a lot of background and balance to Jack Fuller’s life. If you want more details, contact us and we will email you a copy. firstname.lastname@example.org is the dedicated email address of the pyramid fund.
Jane and Geoffrey Beard
On Monday 19th August, starting at 6:00 pm in the Village Hall, there will be a special meeting of Brightling Parish Council, to consider planning application planning application RR/2019/1682/P (“Outline: To demolish Edlins Farm House and adjacent barn. Build a house on the existing foundations of the present residential part of the barn.”)
This will be the only item on the agenda. Please note the earlier than usual start time. Like all parish council meetings, this is open to the public, who are given an opportunity to speak.
We have to have a special meeting if we are to consider this planning application, because the next regular meeting is not until the end of September, which will be too late to comment.
tomorrow evening, 9th August BBC south east news from 6. 30 p.m. (probably nearer 6.45) an interview with Huw Merriman supporting our venture, and Geoffrey and Jane being interviewed. Concentrate, because it will probably be only 2 minutes, so no time to top up that glass.
Our proposals to correct the naming of roads in Brightling were submitted to the Rother street naming officer (yes there is such a person) in June and are under consideration.
Among other things, this (if it goes through) will split the road currently known to Rother as Hollingrove Road into Hollingrove Hill and Hollingrove Lane. A recent study found that a house on a “Lane” is worth £33,000 more than a house on a “Road”, so that change alone has created at least half a million pounds of additional value (please do not write to point out the obvious logical flaw; clearly the whole calculation is rubbish!)
These changes – if they go through – are unlikely to change anyone’s address. Addresses are a matter for the Post Office and the basic entity being identified by an address is an individual property – a point of delivery for letters. Rother, on the other hand, are naming roads as a whole, not individual properties, for the purposes of maps, notices of road closure and so on. In fact, for most properties in Brightling the official Post Office address does not include the road name at all; they tend to be of the form “Dunroamin, Brightling, Robertsbridge TN32 5XX” – which is fine for the Post Office but not much help in actually finding the place unless you have one of those new-fangled satnav things, and not always even then. The two exceptions are the road from Rectory Hill down to Darwell Hole, which is known to the Post Office as Battle Road Brightling and to Rother as Cackle Street; and the B2096, which is known to the Post Office as Battle Road, Dallington (even the parts that are in Brightling) and to Rother as Battle Road. Please note we have not proposed any changes to the naming of either of these roads, there being no obvious way to resolve the anomalies.
An important message from our Tree Warden
The small pastures of the High Weald AONB were once an integral part of its forest landscape providing habitat for the flowers and grasses that gave the area its unique character. These grassland habitats are also the main and, in some cases, the only food sources for many species of small mammal and insect.
Some of these plant and animal species’ names start ‘Common…’ but now the prefix seems odd because so many of them have become rare and endangered.
Most open pastureland in the AONB has been ‘improved’ for hay crops and grazing animals over the years by re-seeding, fertilisers and herbicides rendering it hostile to wild flowers and making our roadside verges the last vestiges of the High Weald grassland habitat.
If we aren’t to lose the plant and animal species that depend on natural grassland for their very existence, and the beauty of the High Weald’s wild flowers, we need to manage these increasingly rare resources more sympathetically than we have been doing so far.
In essence, except where roadside vegetation needs to be controlled for driver safety and pedestrian access, good management can be summed up in the phrase “Cut once (late-July through to September), clear cuttings”. This encapsulates the need to wait until wild flowers have set seed – but not delay which would allow a thatch of dead vegetation to build up – and to remove the cuttings to keep the fertility of the soil low.
Good management can save you money – a single cut is less expensive than multiple cuts (and releases less CO2 into the environment)!
There is an excellent (free) booklet available from Plantlife called The Good Verge Guide that gives a great deal of sensible, interesting and valuable information and guidance. All landowners with a roadside boundary owe it to the beautiful landscape in which we all live to look through it and think about the best way to manage our parishes’ roadside verges. Let’s keep the ‘ONB’ in AONB!
Doug Edworthy, our tree warden, writes:
What’s all the fuss about Ash Dieback? A few trees will lose their leaves and die, so what. Why should I worry?
Well, if you own land where Ash trees grow, and none of them pose a danger to public highways, rights of way or to buildings then you’re right – you have little need to worry. In fact when they die (and almost all of them certainly will over the next year or so) those standing, and eventually fallen, dead trees will be a valuable habitat and food source for the birds, small mammals, fungi and very importantly our increasingly rare saproxylic insects like Stag Beetles that depend on old, dead wood.
However, if any of your Ash trees are close to a road, public footpath, bridleway or building then the situation is very different. To avoid risks posed by falling trees or branches they will need to be pruned or felled and the resulting timber and brash managed appropriately – all at the landowner’s cost.
The advice I’ve been given by professional arborists is that very soon many Ash trees will become too brittle for an arborist to climb to reduce in size or fell the tree. Instead, other access methods will be needed such as the hire of mobile powered access platforms or ‘cherry pickers’ and operators.
For example: –
- [A] This year; Ash tree still safe to climb: Arborist at around £200-350/day and, if next to a road, the cost and inconvenience of organising traffic management with East Sussex Highways.
- [B] Next year; Ash tree unsafe to climb: Arborist at around £200-350/day, powered access platform at £250/week and £200 transportation costs, IPAF-certificated operator at £300/day and, if next to a road, the cost and inconvenience of organising traffic management with East Sussex Highways.
So what’s my best course of action?
- 1) Where a tree might pose a risk as it dies, this year get professional advice from an arboricultural expert who has Professional Indemnity Insurance and who is prepared to give their opinion, in writing, about the risks involved.
- 2) This year or early next year, for trees already posing an unacceptable risk, employ a reputable arborist to reduce or fell the tree and manage the brash. If it’s left in an appropriate place the timber from the felled trunk and large boughs provides a valuable habitat for saproxylics.
If you’d like further information please contact our Parish Tree Champion, Doug Edworthy. 07711 090925 or email@example.com
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.
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 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 “
Everyone has their “inner pirate” and it can be very good for one’s psychological health to let it out now and then. What better opportunity could there be than Hastings Pirate Day, on Sunday 14th July to dust off your pirate gear and join fellow-Brighlingers in Hastings where there will be a number of pirate-related activities and events, and an attempt on the world record for something or other.
Just to get you really in the mood, here is a pirate-related joke: what does a pirate say on his 80th birthday ?
Answer: “Arrrrr Matey”
The next meeting of Brightling Parish Council will be at 7:30 pm on Monday 15th July in Brightling Village Hall. Like all our meetings, this is open to the public, who can listen and also ask questions and raise topics for discussion.
At this meeting there will be a talk and discussion on the pyramid project (see separate item) so I do hope to see as many members of the public as possible.