BLUEBELL TRAIL UPDATE: Open daily from 10am to 5pm until May 13. The Bluebell Trail blog says that now the season is coming to a close in Beatons Wood, at last there is a forecast for a dry and sunny days ahead after recently experiencing two days of rain and strong winds, which dramatically affected visitor numbers. Many of the bluebells are still not fully out, so with the increasing day and night temperatures they should soon reach their peak. The strong winds with heavy rain cause turbulence in Beatons Wood, which has affected some areas of the bluebells, so they are not standing as upright as last year, but they are all still there. To avoid the crowds, try to come early in the morning from 10am, and be the first to enjoy that unique fragrance, which only comes from English bluebells and certainly not from the Spanish! Charities this final weekend are Cancer Research UK and you can also support the Action Medical Research for Children book room every day, The RSPB have a stall as does Hailsham Pavilion and the Sussex Wildlife Trust. For more information visit www.bluebellwalk.co.uk. The Bluebell Trail is at Bates Green Farm, Tye Hill Lane, Arlington BN26 6SH.
MICHELHAM VOLUNTEERS: The Gardens and Environment volunteering team at Michelham Priory has grown from just two members in 2014, to 18 this year. To support this dedicated team, which cares for the site’s eleven acres of gardens and grounds, the Sussex Archaeological Society has now installed a new state-of-the-art volunteer rest area for the team. This new facility features a kitchen area, dining table, desk, and lockers. It was opened on April 24 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Tristan Bareham, Chief Executive Officer of the Society, James Neal, Head Gardener at Michelham Priory and numerous members of Michelham’s dedicated volunteer team. This amazing new resource for the Michelham team was generous funded by The Finnis Scott Foundation, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Tesco Bags of Help, and The Assheton-Smith Charitable Trust. The funded works also included the purchase of two new storage sheds, which should allow the Gardens & Environment volunteering team to expand even further. The Sussex Archaeological Society would like to thank all the funders who generously supported this project, as well as the volunteer team at Michelham Priory whose contributions are essential to the continued maintenance of this unique historic site.
MICHELHAM CONNECTIONS: There is to be a talk by local historian Richard Goldsmith on the connections between Michelham Priory and the nearby town of Hailsham to be held in the Elizabethan Barn on Sunday May 27 at 1.30pm to 3pm. Richard will talk about the Canadian soldiers that stayed at Michelham Priory and in Hailsham during the war. He will also speak about Hailsham’s history of ropemaking and the links to the Rope Museum at Michelham Priory among other things. Ticket: £3 Members of Sussex Archaeological Society or Friends of Michelham Priory, £4 non-members. All money raised helps with the upkeep of Michelham Priory house and gardens £4. Standard admission still applies. Tickets available to purchase in advance or via Michelham Priory Gatehouse on the day. Phone: 01323 844224, Address: Michelham Priory, Upper Dicker, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 3QS.