PARK WOOD: On Wednesday February 27, the Friends of Park Wood Hellingly held a very well attended public meeting and AGM. They were joined by guests from the Environment Agency, the Woodland Trust and Hellingly Parish Council who all spoke to the supporters. Paul Rees, Chairman of the Friends group, updated those attending on the campaign and plans to safeguard the future of the woodland whilst keeping it accessible to all as a local green space. Paul Levitt of the Environment Agency (current owners of Park Wood) explained why the woodland is no longer of use to them as a source of wood to maintain banks and shores, and how government instruct sale of unused assets to save public money. A full survey of the woodland was conducted in Autumn 2018 by Jim Smith-Wright of the Woodland Trust who talked about what he found, from rare plants to invasive species. He explained that Ancient Woodland now covers only 2 percent of the country so it’s vital that it is protected and its management properly undertaken. Hellingly Parish Council continue to support the group in their campaign and have included the woodland in its neighbourhood plan, giving another level of protection. The meeting was a very positive and encouraging event for the group who will all continue to work tirelessly towards a solution.
SUSSEX RAMBLERS: Hellingly Footpath 69c, Bridge replaced (B1641) TQ 589/149. An 8-metre bridge has recently been replaced by the maintenance rangers on Hellingly Footpath 69c.
FARMHOUSE BREAKFAST: Gill Hesselgrave: Once again we hosted this popular event on Saturday February 2 in Hellingly Village Hall. The event was to raise money for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, which helps farmers and farm workers in their hour of need. This may be because of illness, accidents, adverse weather condition or just the government agency not paying the claimants on time under the various schemes. We don’t help with business bills. In 2018 we raised £32.5k in Sussex and spent out £57k. £3k was spent on Relief Workers and £2,650 on telephone line rental. Some people travel for a considerable distance to join us each year and unfortunately due to the snow in some areas several were unable to attend. It was a successful event but the money raised is slightly down on last year. There was a good buzz in the hall as people were tucking into a great breakfast and met old friends. As far as possible the ingredients were sourced from local suppliers. We would like to thank those who donated their produce plus Waitrose, Tesco and the Co-op who all gave us grants towards the dry goods and Barclays Bank for their match funding sponsorship to £1,000. We would also like to thank our many helpers and of course all those who attended.
QUIZ NIGHT: This is on Saturday March 30 at Hellingly Village Hall, 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tables of six. Cheese platter, refreshments. Please bring own drinks. Cost £8 per head, tickets available from Barbara Moore 01323 841685. Raffle Prizes. The fund raising committee would also welcome any donations of raffle prizes for their planned events.
MEN’S BREAKFAST: This is tomorrow, Saturday, Chapter 12, High Street, Hailsham. Des Burton will be speaking on Continuation of an Alternative History of the Prison Service. Please let Graham know if you would like to attend on (01323) 840915.