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THIS WEEK Plan to establish Friends Group for Pevensey playgrounds

COMMUNITY PEVENSEY BAY HOLIDAY PARK: Wealden Council refuses permission for use of land

BUSINESS Renovation of Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay:

Alan Everard

Alan Everard: The Barn Owl, that beautiful night flyer on pale, silent wings

We all have our favourite Bird; mine is the Barn Owl, that beautiful night flyer on pale, silent wings. At the moment I am trying to paint one with its white, heart shaped, disc of a face, edged dark brown and its white body cloaked by wings of multi-patterned pale tan.

Trevor Weeks reported one brought to his hospital in July with a double fracture to one of its wings. After some tender care from his dedicated team which included making a splint from a coffee stirrer and cardboard it was able to be released, successfully, in October.

To quote from Trevor’s report, “He was taken back to his home range and on release flew straight onto a gate, looked around to get its bearings and flew off into the night sky. It would be safe to say there were tears in our eyes when he went off.”

And who could expect otherwise. Coincidently, his next week’s report included that most beautifully coloured of British Birds, the Kingfisher, many people’s favourite. (Think I’ll paint that one too).

We are so grateful for the wonderful work undertaken by Trevor and the Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service with their total commitment to animals in distress.

Staying with Birds, this time with Seagulls. The violent storm in early November caused the Sea, at high tide, to “over top“ our shingle ridge, it even entered many gardens.

This left a long black, ragged path of Mussel shells, complete with owners, stranded along the ridge. This, in turn, brought the Gulls in great numbers who entertained us by taking the shells in their beaks and flying aloft then dropping them in an attempt to crack or open them to feast upon the contents.

Those still on the shingle were not averse to attempting to take advantage of the opportunity to seize upon the food thus presented, adding to the entertainment.

There were hundreds in the cast entertaining us for several days. It took our minds back to past years when Rooks used to perch upon our low wire fence and conduct the same sort of robbery, pouncing upon the dropped Mussels and being severely and physically reprimanded for their temerity.

I wrote about the Pevensey Area Gardeners Club in the last edition and should like now to write about our November meeting.

It was about Eating Apples, in both senses of the words. Apples? I hear you say.

Yes, Apples, about which we were given some fascinating details in a slide show by Fiona and Andrew Durling, including the fact that they originated in the mountains of the republic of Kazakhstan and arrived here via the historic Silk Road.

There are now many, many different root stocks including a good number of different growth heights from dwarf through to very large trees and an infinite number of different varieties.

We saw some delightful shots of Fiona’s parents’ Apple orchard in early days including the first tractors to be used in this country and the various ways that pollination was achieved, including hand pollination.

The final pleasure was in a selection of Eating Apples, slices of which we were asked to taste, describe the flavour and decide upon our favourite – mine was “Charles Ross”.

As you probably know Fiona and Andy organise the amazing, “Incredible-edible Pevensey Westham group” whose aim is to introduce fruit growing, Bee keeping and wildlife to local areas and involve local people in taking part in these projects. A great asset to our countryside! Thank you!

Alan Everard

Alan Everard is a local artist specialising in Thames Sailing Barges and Nature. He says he “feels lucky to have a wall of his own in the Ocean View Bakery & Restaurant”.