The Fernhurst Society
Newsletter no 21, January
Fernhurst Society Membership Cards
We have re-introduced membership cards this year, which have a handy
annual programme included. If you have renewed this is enclosed. If you
haven’t renewed yet there is a subscription form enclosed instead.
Please treat this as a reminder!
Junior Fernhurst Society
The Junior Fernhurst Society is progressing
with its dozen children. We have widened the age range so that it now
covers 5 – 12 year olds, although we ask parents to accompany the
under 7s. We meet monthly for a couple of hours on a Saturday. The focus
is on involving children in practical activities centred on nature conservation
and local history.
Since the last newsletter the group has had two interesting sessions.
In October we went around the village on a history quiz trail, looking
for things around the village that we walk by and don’t notice.
The children were given photos of features (for example the PO clock and
the Red Lion sign) that they had to find and then answer questions about,
centred on Church Road and the Green.
In November we had a fascinating session about recycling and composting
with someone from Chichester District Council. Nathan explained the 3R’s
– Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. They are all important to conserve
the Earth’s resources. We all need to:
- Reduce our consumption (e.g. low energy lights, avoiding unnecessary
packaging, walk rather than taking the car);
- Reuse materials rather than throwing them away (a great incentive
for being a real squirrel); and at the last resort
- Recycle the materials into something else.
Nathan also explained what and how to compost as a way of reducing our
waste and providing good nutrients back into our gardens. The children
learnt what could be composted (anything organic in origin that will decompose)
and what not (manufactured materials and cooked meat (because of vermin)).
Shredded newspaper, old woolly jumpers and our entire fruit and vegetable
peelings can all go in as well as clippings and leaves from the garden.
Nathan told us a bit about the technology CDC is now using to sort and
separate all the materials in our burgundy recycling bins. It is a state-of-the-art
machine that detects different materials by laser beam and shoots them
off in different directions. The reason that we cannot put all plastics
into the bins is that the UK does not have the recycling capability. In
Continental Europe they recycle more plastics as they have that capability.
Overall it was a fascinating session and the children went home with pencils,
each one made from a recycled plastic cup.
If you would like to help or want to know more, please contact Julia or
Sue or Shenda via the Society's email.
South Downs National Park: Update
On 16 December 2004, the Planning Inspector adjourned the proceedings
until 18 March 2005, when it is expected the inquiry will be closed. This
period will enable the Countryside Agency to complete the submission of
outstanding responses to the written representations that had been made,
and for the Inspector to consider those papers, and to complete his schedule
of site visits. A proposal on the table is to limit the Park to just the
chalk upland area, which would leave Fernhurst outside the boundary. The
South Downs Campaign group (pro Park) is keen that the wider area is included.
The Inspector emphasised that this delay to the close of the inquiry would
not affect the timescale for production and delivery to the Secretary
of State DEFRA of his report, which he expected would be done towards
the end of 2005. If the Park gets the go-ahead then it could exist by
Syngenta site: short update
Comers, the developers, submitted their planning application at the
end of 2003 to:
- Convert the office block into 359 flats
- Use the Pagoda building as a conference centre with 5 flats in the
- Care home providing 88 sheltered flats
- 260 bed hotel
- 13 new houses and a lodge house
- 4 family houses in the Bridgelands site
- 1 family house at Homelands Copse
CDC responded with a request for an environmental impact report, and
gave Comers the details of their requirements in July 2004. This should
be completed early Feb this year and Comers are planning to submit a planning
application with that report. It is expected that this application will
be much along the lines above. Artists’ sketches show very grandiose
Further updates in the Fernhurst News.
Changes to local planning
On a related subject, you may have read in Chichester District Council’s
(CDC) magazine in December about the changes to the local planning system.
The changes mean that the previous County Structure plan (produced by
West Sussex County Council) and District Local Plan (by CDC) are replaced
by a Local Development Framework to be produced by CDC. The reasons for
the change are to streamline the process, increase community involvement
and ensure all decisions are accountable and sustainable. As we are a
Society with a remit to promote high standards of planning and architecture
in the area, we registered as a group that would like to be consulted
on some of the issues. We hope this will be an opportunity for local voices
to be heard. We will let you know when we have further information.
Following the award of the LHI grant, the Oral
History Project team has continued to make good progress. Altogether
some 50 interviews have now been completed and most of these transcribed.
The hard work of pulling all this material together and putting it into
a readable book is now beginning.
One major benefit to the Community has already been achieved –
the acquisition of a digital projector, laptop computer and large screen,
enabling us to give professional presentations in the Village Hall (or
elsewhere if required). Many of you will already have seen this in action
at the talk in November, “Fernhurst in Living Memory”.
The Primary School are enthusiastic to participate in this project and
it is planned that they will be involved in the development of the website,
starting in September 2005.
Anyone interested in helping with interviewing, transcribing or preparation
of the book should contact Anthony Davies or John Clark via the Society's
Fernhurst Village Archive
We are pleased to report that Jackie Kennett has now joined the Archive
team, with particular responsibility for Henley. Jackie’s first
task is to secure copies of recent reports by the Domestic Buildings Research
Group, who survey and record older buildings.
Brenda Newman has been busy corresponding by email with people in Canada,
Australia and across the UK tracing their family histories back to Fernhurst.
Some have common ancestors, leading to 3-way communications.
The main activity of the Archive team though was preparing for the talk
on in November “Fernhurst in Living
Memory”. This is being repeated with the Good Companions and
for the Junior Fernhurst Society. The team is now beavering away on their
next subject, “A Glimpse of Edwardian
Fernhurst” in March – see back page for details.
The Village Archive is open on Tuesday
afternoons in the Village Hall (above the clerk’s office). Just
turn up. If this is not convenient please call Christine Maynard for an
appointment via the Society's email.
Also we are pleased to report that Helen Ouin and Iain Brown have written
up the history and nature walk they led in the summer, from the Red Lion,
up to Tanyard, back down Ropes Lane and up the footpath along the Lickfold
Road back to the start point. Helen’s narrative covers the history
of the people and houses passed on the route, whilst Iain points out some
of the interesting flora. The walk has been delightfully illustrated by
The booklet (History Booklet No 2) will be on sale for £1 (alongside
the first history walk booklet covering the Church Road and Green) at
the Fernhurst Centre, Post Office and at Society events.
The Garden Birdwatch group continues its activities and already seeing
the first hints of spring: robins are already pairing up with their usual
aggression and collared doves have been seen collecting nesting material.
Over the winter some interesting sightings: buzzards are now regularly
seen soaring over the village, redwings were spotted in December and a
white nuthatch was seen in the Marches. A dead male greenfinch was found
in a garden in Homelands Copse with a British Trust for Ornithology identity
ring on its leg. We are waiting to find out where the bird was ringed.
If you would like more information about the Garden Birdwatch please call
Arnold via the Society's email.
October Talk – Archaeological Finds
In October we had an enjoyable evening talk from Liz Wilson, the Finds
Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme for Sussex. Liz works across
Sussex helping people identify and log their archaeological finds. Her
major role is to build bridges with metal detector users to expand archaeological
records. Until recently archaeologists and people using metal detectors
were poles apart – the archaeologists were against the use of metal
detectors as the sites are disturbed without proper excavation and valuable
artefacts are dug up with no records. So Liz works with metal detector
groups and members of the public to locate and log archaeological finds
on to a national database. She told us of several cases where records
of rare artefacts (e.g. local coins) were increased significantly by logging
the finds of metal detecting groups. Members of the audience brought along
their discoveries and she identified some interesting pieces, including
medieval jug handles, coins and other ancient shards of pottery.
Walk – Lower Lodge Farm
In October we also had a fascinating walk around Lower House Farm estate
and house led by the owners, John and Nicki Braithwaite. This was an enjoyable
afternoon, finding out about how the estate is run and seeing the evolution
of the house. Nicki very kindly conjured up tea and biscuits at the end
of the afternoon. Their hospitality was much appreciated.
November AGM and talk “Fernhurst in Living Memory”
We are sad to note the resignation of Arnold Madgwick from the Committee,
but are delighted that Arnold is still running the Garden Birdwatch.
If you were unable to attend the AGM and would like a copy of the Chairman’s
report and Accounts, contact Julia via the Society's email.
The Archive team then presented a fascinating picture of Fernhurst’s
recent history through the development of rail, road and shops. Iain Brown
explained how we nearly had a railway line and station in the parish,
whilst Brenda Newman showed how the roads had progressed from muddy tracks
to the roads of today. Christine Maynard then took us through the range
of shops that have been in Fernhurst, many more than today of course.
Helen Ouin summed up beautifully by pointing out that the poor state of
the roads kept people in the village so that the shops thrived! The talk
was illustrated with pictures on a computer using our new digital projector
and everyone felt the quality was very good.
Dates for your Diaries
All these events are free to Fernhurst Society members. Non-members
are also very welcome, so please bring guests and friends.
Wednesday 16th February 2.30pm in the Village Hall. Hydestile Wildlife
They will talk about their work rescuing and nurturing wild animals and
bringing along some tamer “patients”. This is timed to coincide
with half term so the Junior group and any other children can come along
An illustrated talk by the Archive team.
Sunday 3rd April – next leg of the Parish Boundary Walk.
Starts at 1.30pm. This will be from Scotland’s Farm (just beyond
KEVII Hospital) down to Elmers Marsh.
Meet in the Fernhurst Village Car Park at 1.30 and we will convoy up,
giving lifts to those without transport. Lifts back from Elmers Marsh
will be arranged. Stout shoes or boots required. Bring a tea snack.