Labour party announced at the Bournemouth Conference that the South Downs
are to become a National Park. All the Councils in Sussex except
proposers Brighton Council are opposed. The FOE are actively in favour
and groups like the National Trust and the Society of Sussex Downsmen have
expressed their support. The Sussex Conservation Board, which would be
replaced, are opposed. A few working environmentalists I have met said
that it would not make much difference, except that:
planning applications on the Downs would be more difficult.
more money would be available for conservation projects etc.
Shoreham Herald has invited comments from its readers in a full page display.
current Sussex Conservation Board annual budget (1998-99) amounts to
Gross. The Adur District Council contribution is £11,200.
amount spent on Information and Interpretation was £8,100, which
was only about 1% of the total budget.
Spruce (Liberal Democratic, Peverel ward, Sompting) is the Adur Councillor
representative on the South Downs Conservation Board.
counted over 50 adult Great Black-backed Gulls, with a handful
of full-sized juveniles all perched on top of the blue roof of the disused
prefabricated warehouse and factory of Sussex Polythene, Brighton Road,
Shoreham-by-Sea. This property is adjacent to Monteum Ltd, where the Shoreham
trawlers and fishing boats berth. The Great Black-backed Gulls is common
in the town from autumn to spring, commoner than the noisy squawking Herring
Gull. In nearby Brighton, Hove and Worthing, the Herring Gull is far
the commoner of the large gulls.
for a better view
of the Kingfisher of yesterday and/or to catch
the Little Egret on film when there was more light around noon, I was to
be disappointed as the tide came up to its maximum of 6.7 metres and, of
course, high tide was about an hour later. Even the towpath had nearly
broken off - (the banks are friable white chalk on the east side north
of the railway viaduct) - and washed into the Adur. I had to make do with
the sight of the white Magpie that I had seen for at least two years,
and I did not expect to still see it flying over the old railway track
- (now a gravel path, over the bit where the path comes to an abrupt end
at the demolished rail over road bridge). This Magpie was tinged with black
in small amounts, but could pass a a seagull, if the characteristic style
of the Magpie's flight did not instantly give it away.
flash of the iridescent turquoise and gold against the dull mud flats north
of the Railway Bridge over the River Adur attracted my eye. It was a couple
of hours after the highest equinoctial tide, so the water was still mostly
in flood, and the Kingfisher, perched but for a brief moment
on an protrusion above the surface of the river.
tidal stretch that up to and well beyond the wooden Toll
Bridge is a fully saline part of the estuary
and there were still plenty of small Bass
in the river.
looked like a young bird, probably searching for new territory. It is in
autumn that the occasional Kingfisher can be seen in the lower reaches.
was about to move on to see if I could catch a glimpse of the Kingfisher
upriver, when I noticed the first mud flats appearing as the tide rapidly
receded. Gulls, Black-headed and immature Great Black-backed
Gulls, were already settling down, and amongst the whites and greys,
one bird stood out because of its activity. Even without binoculars, I
could see clearly the fishing behaviour of the Little Egret. Unlike
the Heron which perches actually in the water, the Little Egret stood on
the mud and stretched out its long neck to capture a first year Bass. At
least one fish, it needed to adjust in its beak before swallowing. As the
mud appeared the Lapwings
settled in flocks of hundreds and the
squawk of the Redshank, foraging even nearer the bank acted as sentinel.
Upriver between the Toll Bridge and the Flyover, another Little Egret was
on the look out for fish and a large Cormorant almost invisible
against the steep marsh clay bank dived into
the river on its quest for fish.
rested on the mud outcrop,
shared with assorted gulls, in the middle of the Adur adjacent to
Ricardo Engineering, just north of the Toll Bridge.
Force 8 winds, gusting to Storm Force 10, and rain coupled with spring
equinoctial tides batter the south coast at the weekend. In Shoreham and
Lancing where all the properties built too near the sea were removed during
World War II, there was little damage.
shingle on the beach was hurled around by the power of the waves, burying
the Spear-leaved Orache, Atriplex hastata, the ground-hugging
plant nearest to the sea. (David Wood).
flocks of Goldfinches and Greenfinches brings a glimpse of
colour as they flit around the banks between Widewater
Lagoon and the sea. There were probably Chaffinches as well.
The salt spray results in an unusual collection of wild plants that attract
these birds, that can be seen throughout the year.
of the Shingle
second half of September was particularly wet with heavy rain almost every
day and night in the last 2 weeks.
protest against bird hunting in France.
Birdwatchers will be protesting
on a French nature reserve against the shooting of birds - many of
which migrate to Britain.
They are unhappy about
a French decision to prolong the hunting season by two months.
Conservation groups from
throughout Europe also accuse the French government of ignoring laws protecting
wildlife and allowing hunters to take over part of the Platier d'Oye reserve
The birds most at risk
include Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Lapwing, all of which would
otherwise migrate to Britain. (Redshank, Oystercatcher
and Lapwing all inhabit the RSPB reserve on the River Adur).
The Royal Society for
the Protection of Birds and the Worldwide Fund for Nature support French
bird conservation groups in a campaign to reverse last year's extension
by France of the shooting season.
It starts a month earlier
than before, in mid-July and ends a month later at the end of February.
Conservationists say that
means birds can legally be shot during part of the summer breeding season,
and the winter migrating season.
An online petition against
the hunting is at http://www.rspb.co.uk
of the Month
| pt | v. ME. [Origin unkn.] 1 v.t. a Dry by exposure to
heat; spec. (a)roast (corn, peas, etc.) lightly; (b)(of the sun's heat,
of fever or thirst) deprive of water, cause to be in need of water. Also
in pass., have an extreme thirst (for); long for on account of thirst.
ME. b transf. Dry, shrivel, or wither with cold. Chiefly poet. L16.
2 v.i. Become (very) dry and hot; shrivel up with heat. M16.
H. BELLOC For very many days the intense heat had parched the Weald. S.
E. MORISON Once ashore, they managed to light a fire and parch corn. b
SOUTHEY Whofelt the storm Of the bleak winter parch his shivering form.
2 W. COBBETT The grass never parches upon these downs. W. BLACK He would
sooner parch with thirst.
a. dried up; extremely thirsty: LME. parchedness | ptdns |
| pt | n. rare exc. in comb. LME. [f. next.] The action of parching;
the condition of being parched.
parch mark Archaeol. a localized discoloration of the ground in dry weather
over buried remains.
is found in the Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, Keats.
Excerpted from The Oxford
Developed by The Learning
Company, Inc. Copyright (c) 1997 TLC Properties Inc. (unless
indicated in blue)
1999: Computer Shopper has the Oxford Reference Shelf (not the above
reference). The standard dictionary is the Pocket Oxford (smaller than
the Shorter Oxford*).
The Oxford Interactive
Encyclopedia* (containing the Shorter Oxford Dictionary)
is now available with the first issue of Computer Success Plus (in newsagents)
million years ago, Cretaceous Period
(144 - 66.4 million years ago): Sussex is covered by a warm sea inhabited
by ammonites, Micraster urchins, molluscs, at a lower latitude (Continental
Drift: Tectonic Plate Theory). Sedimentary deposits of foraminiferans
such as Globigerina and coccoliths (microscopic plankton with a
calcium carbonate shell) lay down the chalk which is rock of the South
Downs near Shoreham.
Age (87.5 to 84 million years ago). The age's name derives from the town
of Saintes in western France, the area surrounding is the classic type
district for rocks of this age. I have deduced from the fossils I have
discovered on the shore, notably:
Fossil Sea Urchin
bivalve Spondylus spinosa