Meteorologists, who love announcing the breaking of previous records, have told us that thisNovember is one of the warmest on record. On the last day of the month my wife spotted a Small Tortoiseshell on the wing and our apple trees are resolutely clinging to their green leaves. Many garden plants are still in flower, as there have been very few nights cold enough for frost.

The mild weather attracted a good number to the pond clearance and we managed to remove a mountain of debris from the central section, making it look much neater. There are only certain times of the year that this can be done, so it was pleasing to be able to take advantage of the volunteer helpers and the dry conditions. We built a five star bug hotel, with en suite, lake-side views and ideal accommodation for over-wintering! It struck me how easy it is to encourage wildlife to thrive if you just take a few minutes to set up habitats that suit them.

There are signs that the balmy climate has postponed hibernation in sleepy Ewhurst, to judge by all the posters that have sprung up over the village in the last few weeks. Both sides of the Polo Club debate seem to have hi-jacked the environmental ticket in their cause; I can’t help feeling that self-interest is a spur to these campaigners. There are, of course, many issues for the Green supporters and major investment plans could certainly have an enormous impact on the countryside in this area; but if you say ‘NO’ to every hint of development, I think you soon lose credibility. It is very important the Green politics do not become fragmented into parochial battles and that we look at the local issues in the context of the profoundly disturbing ecological changes which are on a global scale. Let us hope that those who have cut their teeth on this project will take up the green gauntlet in the future.

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