Storrington Conservation Society – July 2023 Newsletter

A poem by Joyce Kilmer which became, as some may remember, a song by Paul Robeson, contained the lines ‘I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree’. As well as being beautiful, trees are amazing creations.

They have many more verses. They are some of the longest living beings on earth. They absorb CO2 and produce oxygen. They provide habitats for numerous important creatures and other wildlife. They have remarkable root systems which enable communication with other trees. Governments and other organisations recognise their value and promote planting schemes to reverse their loss which has occurred over many years.

Even so, commercial interests continue to destroy ancient forests at an alarming rate, not only in Brazil. The cleared land is used for raising cattle, growing palm oil trees and other money raising schemes, which are often environmentally detrimental. For example, cattle produce methane, another major greenhouse gas. Besides that, logging itself is also a commercial enterprise which has a devastating environmental impact. It pollutes the land, drinking water and rivers, damages crops and encourages invasive species as well as decimating communities.

We well may be anxious to persuade other nations to stop felling trees, but we need to remember this country has one of the smallest percentage of tree cover in Europe as a result of forest clearance over many centuries. As financial gain is a major reason for forest clearance, financial incentives are needed to encourage alternatives. Who will pay?

On Thursday 29th June the afternoon work party met at Hurston Mill to clear alien Himalayan Balsam from the surrounding watercourse. A team of ten volunteers cleared a substantial amount of this invasive plant much to the delight of the respective landowners. Hopefully the cleared area will now recolonise with native vegetation and there will be no Himalayan Balsam seed dispersal further downstream from Hurston Mill.

On Saturday 1st July the work party cleared overgrowth from the paths between Love Lane and Fryern Dell and linking paths.

Stuart Kersley – SCS Publicity Officer

Our next planned projects are:-

Thursday 13th July 2:00pm: Himalayan Balsam Clearing, West Sussex Golf Club, Golf Club Road, Wiggonholt.

On Thursday 20th we will be meeting at the same location at 2:00pm, this time to clear Himalayan Balsam from Hurston Warren (the area west of Golf Club Lane where we have been before).

On Thursday 27th July again at 2:00pm: we will be returning to the Golf Course to finish off the work we started on July 13th if required.

Our next Saturday meeting will be on a different Saturday morning than usual. We are meeting on 19th August at 10.00am for hay raking and recently planted tree weeding at Dyke Farm (West Chiltington). This will be followed by a picnic by the lake at 12:00 noon. Please bring something to sit on and something to eat. We will provide tea, coffee and cake. Important to share transport where possible.

As ever, anyone interested in this conservation work is very welcome to join the merry band.

For information about becoming a member, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website.

Submitted to the Storrington Community Website using the News Item contact form.

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