Friends of Meadowside Newsletter January 2017

Friends of Meadowside
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Meadowside habitat works:
Thank you to all residents who popped out to chat to the contractors last summer about the improvement works they were doing on the stream. The support was really appreciated.

FOM habitat works 1The work objectives were to minimise some of the site pressures and to introduce marginal riparian flora to the area. Plants in the form of plugs were cultivated from seed stocks sourced by Sussex Wildlife Trust and grown by Kew at Wakehurst place. These species are found naturally along the River Arun catchment. Thank you to those volunteers who came out to help us plant them. We look forward to seeing the benefit of these improvements.FOM habitat works 2

In a separate activity we unfortunately lost two of our significant oak trees during the Autumn. The three trees located across the road from 4, Meadowside have been monitored for over 10 years due to signs of disease. Regrettably two of these trees reached a point whereby the degradation of the root and stem bases was undeniable and the safety of the trees could no longer be guaranteed. Friends of Meadowside have supported this activity on the understanding that these trees will be replaced with two extra heavy standard oaks early in 2017.

FOM interpretation board

An updated interpretation board was also commissioned, thanks to a successful application for funding to the Arun & Rother Connections (ARC) project. The board is very informative please do take the time to have a look if you have not already seen it.

Annual General Meeting:
In an effort to realign our AGM with our accounting year our 2016 meeting was pushed back to early 2017. It has now been arranged for Wednesday 1st February at Foxmead Court. We will follow the short meeting with a bingo session and raffle. All residents are welcome to join us. We look forward to seeing you. (Any donations of raffle prizes will be gratefully received, please deliver to 35 Meadowside.)

Upcoming activity:
As we look towards spring we will be organising a work party to further tackle the ongoing emergence of non-native Sycamore, Norway Maple and Ash suckers in the wooded area by digging more young trees out again. Additionally, to support our endeavours to encourage native plant species and wildlife in the area, we have applied for some trees/shrubs from the I DIG TREES! campaign (a joint venture between Ovo Energy and The Conservation Volunteers). We are expecting a delivery of 10 x Blackthorn, 10 x Guelder Rose, 10 x Hawthorn, 10 x Common Dogwood and 10 x Goat Willow in mid March and would really appreciate some help planting these in the meadow area.

Please share your sightings:
iRecordiRecord is a website for sharing wildlife observations, including associated photos.
The goal of iRecord is to make it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels. Registration is free! Recording your wildlife sightings around this area will support us in protecting our rare species. Please register for iRecord at or download the app. Once you’ve registered, you can add your own biological records for others to see, and you can also see what has been recorded by others.

Neighbourhood Wardens:
Horsham District Council, working in partnership with the relevant Parish Councils, operates a small team of Neighbourhood Wardens. Based within the community, the wardens work alongside partner agencies to improve the quality of life for everyone by undertaking a number of activities, from enforcement to community development.

As an integral part of the Community Safety Unit the Neighbourhood Wardens work with all sections of the community from elderly and/or vulnerable people through to young people and businesses to find solutions to problems whilst promoting community cohesion and resilience.

Neighbourhood Wardens do have enforcement powers and do carry out high visibility patrols in their respective areas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour. Horsham District Council is accredited by Sussex Police and as a result the Wardens can utilise certain police powers aimed at low-level anti-social behaviour. They can also exercise powers available to them as employees of the District Council in relation to environmental offences and against anti-social behaviour. As a service, however, they believe that prevention is better than cure and as a result the team spend time working to prevent issues by dealing with the long-term causes in partnership with other agencies rather than just the symptoms.

This is the day to day work of a warden:

  • Provide a reassuring, uniformed, patrolling presence
  • Provide an efficient eyes and ears service aimed at reducing fear of crime for residents in the community and improving quality of life
  • Deal with environmental crime issues, notably dog fouling and help to preserve the environment with playground inspections
  • Reduce incidents of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour by taking enforcement action where necessary and within remit – improving community relations and, where necessary, making referrals for enforcement activity
  • Support the community by encouraging the establishment of diversionary activities for young people
  • Support vulnerable members of the community by preventing isolation
  • Offer advice on crime prevention and fire safety in the home
  • Work in partnership with other agencies to help benefit the community
  • Act as a professional witness
  • Ensure that the village is benefitting from the full range of services and provisions from both local and national government agendas
  • Identify and establish specific schemes such as one to patrol houses when residents are away on holiday

Following a number of incidents relating to anti-social behaviour which have been discussed at length in the Storrington Village Group on Facebook (including, but not limited to, aggressive behaviour, dog fouling, littering, drug taking and theft from work vehicles) the Friends of Meadowside committee will look to reintroduce the topic of Neighbourhood Wardens to Storrington & Sullington Parish Council. The introduction of community wardens in the area has been discussed by the Parish Council in the past and was rejected, however as we no longer have an active PCSO in the area we feel that the topic should once again be considered. Wardens are paid for by the community through their council tax.

In Bloom:
We are delighted to share that we moved up from Level 3 to Level 4 – “Thriving” in last years’ RHS “It’s Your Neighbourhood” competition. Additionally we received a Silver award for our entry in the South & South East in Bloom’s competition in the category “Our Community”. We will be entering the competition again this year and look to improve on these fantastic results.

We are definitely keen to run some events this year. Ideas include the postponed visit to Terra Armata Farm and a Summer BBQ. Please do get in touch if you have any other ideas!

Please do contact us if you are interested in supporting any of our activities:

Friends of Meadowside:
Sue: 01903 742300 Rachel: 01903 741041 Anne: 01903 743291

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