GARDEN GIANTS: 2016 is the Year of the English Garden and gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful’ and sitting in the shade. I was reminded of this Kipling verse as I watched my husband readying our small patch for summer so once again we can sit and watch the village go by. Joanna Wilkins, a historian-archaeologist working for Sussex Archaeological Society will present the story of notables throughout history who have influenced England’s gardens and their design. Special focus will be on the revolutionary landscape designer “Capability” Brown whose 300th anniversary falls this year. So whether you are a gardening enthusiast, history buff or just enjoy a good talk by an expert join The Alfriston & Cuckmere Historical Society talk on Thursday at 7.30pm, Alfriston War Memorial Hall. Non Members welcome £5. Members free.

CLERGY HOUSE: Join one of gardener Pete’s wonderful garden tours on May 17 at 11.30am to 12.30pm, the tour is free but normal admission charges do apply unless you are a NT member in which case you can get in free. The Clergy House are also offering a balance of W’s. Wine, Walking and Wildlife. They are inviting you to join a walk from the Clergy House to High and Over via Rathfinny’s beautiful trail. Thursday, 9.30am to 1pm, £5. For more information call 01323 423197.

TWINNING: Thirty eight French friends including the mayors of Veules Les Roses will arrive on Friday for a long weekend of friendship, fun, delicious food and country gardens. If you would like to get involved in Twinning visit the village website for more information.

LABYRINTH OR MAZE: Have you ever thought what it would be like to meet yourself coming back from a place you were heading towards? The Labyrinth behind St Andrews is now growing nicely and from June 11 you will be able to explore this ancient puzzle for yourself and experience the mysteries it may reveal. Labyrinths and Mazes are sometimes thought to be identical however there is a fundamental difference, the maze takes us into blind alleys, whilst the labyrinth path leads to the centre. For the following week there will be art displays, continuous videos of local beauty spots and a series of workshops, talks, concerts and drop in exhibitions. The full programme has now been published on line and via fliers in stores. Workshop places are limited and are between £10 and £12. Places therefore need to be pre-booked by email to booking will be confirmed by email following payment. For those without email telephone enquiries can be made to 01323 871944. Talks are £6 cash on door. Full details can be found on the website at:

SUSSEX DAY: June 11, plans are now being finalised and the village website will be updated shortly with all the stalls and entertainment. The Boot Fair will open from 8am on Recreation Ground with parking available all day. The Labyrinth Festival and Horticultural Spring Show will open at 11am. Kevin Gordon will give a talk on local notables and June Goodfield will talk in The Heritage Centre at 2pm about the history of this wonderful valley. Come join us celebrate all things Sussex with food, drink, crafts and family fun. If you have some time and would like to help with set up and organisation there are plenty of ways to get involved so please contact me in the first instance.

THIS WEEKEND: Tomorrow (Saturday) why not take in a performance of Hamlet by The Festival Players Company at The Old Chapel Centre. Tickets can be purchased from Chestnuts Tea Rooms in person or by telephone 01323 841414 visit for more information. The six week traffic consultation kicks off today (Friday) at The Old Chapel Centre between 2pm and 8pm and Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

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