Free Meadow Maker seeds

To be 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.

Please send us (mail@ewhurstleap.org.uk) a photo of your meadow when it flowers!

Sowing

LEAP Seed packets

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 and keep free of unwanted weeds. Cut back all growth at the end of flowering (late Aug-Sept), removing all cuttings. If growing with grasses cut them back every few weeks in first year to allow wildflowers to establish, otherwise grasses will dominate.

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

Village Hall forecourt

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:

Bulletin 402 (campaign-archive.com)

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.

Afterword

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.

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April

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.

TS Eliot

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:

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March

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.

Emily Dickinson
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February

Beneath the ground things are stirring and there is hope in the air as we begin to hear, see and feel the spring coming on. I always think February is one of the best of the months as the days are visibly longer and for the first time in ages new growth starts appearing as each day goes by. It is true that we can still experience harsh weather but there always seems to me to be light at the end of the tunnel. This year that flicker of light and hope is important as so many of us have been through a wretched time in recent months; now on the cusp of spring, we have the vaccines that our scientists have developed with astonishing brilliance, which will bring normality back to our lives and prevent the old and vulnerable living in constant dread of the virus.

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Ewhurst LEAP tree survey

Many thanks to all those that took part in this tree survey on 2nd January 2021.

For the survey we had four groups of people (maintaining social distancing) making various tree measurements and photos in the village and Ewhurst Green, to add to Treezilla. This is a “citizen science project that is aiming to encourage members of the public, local authorities, business, local groups and other organisations to collaborate in mapping, measuring and monitoring trees across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland”.

Treezilla measures the “eco-benefits” of the trees as they are added. On the day we could only measure a small fraction of the trees in the village but the numbers are still impressive. The measured trees give an annual saving of £3,840. Just imagine what benefits all the trees in parish are giving!

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