It won’t have escaped your notice that electricity prices are rocketing, but have you thought about generating your own? If you install solar panels on your roof, any electricity it generates you can use for free! There has never been a better time!
Solar Streets plan to offer solar PV panels to our community. By targeting a small area they can do the installations more economically. The installer (IDDEA) is well-established and has worked with more than a dozen Solar Streets groups.
LEAP and Cranleigh Climate Action hope that many of you will take up the opportunity to combat climate change by installing panels, generating renewable, zero-carbon electricity and reducing the burning of fossil fuels – much better for the planet.
I’d like to wish all readers a very happy New Year. Let’s hope that the pandemic will soon come to an end. Despite the difficulties, Ewhurst LEAP was busy last year:
Surveying 40 of the street trees in and around Ewhurst;
A very successful litter pick;
Making four large wooden planters for the Village Hall – and filling them;
The wonderful village Carnival, where we gave out 200 free packets of wildflower seeds;
Footpath and pond clearance;
Helping the Infant school children planting a hedge.
The committee would like to thank you for all your help.
We have photos of some of these, please look at our Image Gallery to see them.
This year we have lots more ideas for activities. Yesterday we cleared footpath FP440 (well it is now passable, but only single file!) and more footpaths are planned. Much later in the year we will be clearing more of the pond, but this spring we will be planting yellow rattle plant plugs next to it. We hope this will discourage the grass and allow many other wildflowers to grow naturally. We are also doing a litter pick (always a favourite), as well as surveying the public footpaths and bridleways in the parish.
As we do most years the pond by the Village Hall car park had its clear-out over the last couple of Working Party sessions. Because it had very little attention last year we had a lot to do, but still managed a huge amount. Fortunately the weather was good (not too hot, cold or wet) on both Saturdays.
It is important to leave a lot of material in situ for the wildlife, so we can only clear up to one half of the pond itself. Next year we will clear a different section. The surrounds were almost completely cleared, but still leaving a lot ground cover.
All material dragged out of the pond has been left near the edges, to let any creatures crawl back in. We will move this at a later date, when it has dried out a bit and isn’t quite so heavy.
To see a world in a grain of sand And heaven in a wild flower
‘Age of innocence’ William Blake
Given out at the Ewhurst Carnival
Meadow maker plus from Plantlife: A diverse mix of species to establish a wildflower meadow that will put on a really good floral display. Contains British Native Wildflower species suitable for most conditions, including lady’s bedstraw, common Bird’s-foot trefoil, meadow buttercup, white campion, cowslip, oxeye daisy, dandelion, common knapweed, greater knapweed, black medick, ribwort plantain, selfheal, yellow rattle, yarrow, common sorrel, common vetch, red clover, betony, field scabious and musk mallow.
Each packet given out at the Ewhurst Carnival covers approximately 2m2.
Sow in spring or autumn into a fine, well prepared seed bed and lightly rake, then firm soil. Ensure seedlings are well watered. Cut back all growth at the end of flowering (late Aug-Sept), removing all cuttings.
This unique wildflower mix will help you (and your bees and butterflies) enjoy native flowers in your garden. For more wildflower gardening tips and advice, visit www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflower_garden
On Saturday 10th July we are going to help with a long term project to enhance Ewhurst and Ellens Green, and slow down the traffic. The full proposal, which is only a discussion document, can be read below.
Joanna has written a piece in the Village email bulletin, you can read it along with the rest of the bulletin here:
The initial project is to make some changes to the Village Hall forecourt. This includes moving the huge waste bins and building various planters for the forecourt.
As usual, everybody is welcome. As this is quite a major project for LEAP we will be working from 10am-3pm instead of the usual 10am to midday. Stay for as long as you like, you can join us for an hour or two, or for the whole time.
Last year I heard my first cuckoo on 27th April, this year it was the 29th. I was listening to a radio programme recently when the presenter, a middle-aged lady, said that she had never heard a cuckoo, the nearest to it being in Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony or Delius’s On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring. It made me think about what we have lost, since I am sure that she is not alone and this quintessential sound of spring, taken for granted for generations, is now rarely heard and in some parts of the country people never hear its familiar call. Cuckoo populations in England have declined by an estimated 65% since the early nineteen-eighties, less so in both Scotland and Wales. The lives of migratory birds are complex and it is therefore difficult to point to a single cause for this decline but ornithologists have noted that autumn droughts in Spain, through which cuckoos pass on their way to Africa, have depleted insect populations at a time when the birds most need them to replenish fat reserves. This results in higher mortalities on the migration route. To add to this habitat loss in this country and also dwindling populations of host birds gives the cuckoo fewer opportunities to interpolate their eggs into nests. Cuckoos are in danger of passing into folk mythology.
I love the opening lines of TS Eliot’s The Wasteland, the sense of force and vitality which drives the words:
April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.
Yet I cannot understand their sentiment, since I do not find April as “the cruellest month” at all. I find the boisterous opening of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales closer to my feeling about this time of year:
The light in March is fresh. The sun is catching the trees and fields, it glances on the hill-tops and it fills out the shadows with a new vigour alerting us to the arrival of spring. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), that extraordinary poet from Amherst, Massachusetts, who spent the latter part of her life secluded in her room at the family home and wrote over 1800 poems, few of which were published in her lifetime, was alive to the moods of light in a painterly way. Her poem, ‘A light exists in Spring’ has illuminated the way I have looked at the countryside in this first week of March:
A Light exists in Spring Not present on the year At any other period- When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels.
It waits upon the lawn, It shows the furthest Tree Upon the furthest slope you know It almost speaks to you.
Then as Horizons step Or Noons report away Without the Formula of Sound It passes and we stay-
A quality of loss Affecting our content As Trade had suddenly encroached Upon a Sacrament.