Posted by: lhct | October 5, 2020

River task for volunteers

Hardy volunteers worked together in a section of the River Arun beyond the boardwalk, their aim to remove Floating Pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides).

From the 1990s onwards, this invasive aquatic plant has found its way into English and Welsh waterways from domestic ponds. If not removed, it can clog waterways and shade out native species. It was first spotted on Chesworth Farm in 2019.

The clearance task was co-ordinated by HDC wardens (who will continue to monitor its success) with team members from the Environment Agency, Arun & Rother Rivers Trust, Horsham Green Gym and Friends of Chesworth Farm. Thank you all!

Posted by: lhct | September 22, 2020

Boost to farm’s autumn task list by UK Power Networks

Challenges included rock-hard ground, a persistent water leak and a mini-September heatwave for our team of UK Power Networks (UKPN) volunteers as they tackled a “shopping list” of tasks on Chesworth Farm at the invitation of Horsham District Council and Friends of Chesworth Farm this week.

This two-day company involvement project saw the UKPN team start clearing the volunteer centre garden of brambles and overgrowth, repair fences and gates, site bird feeding hoppers in the winter-seeded fields, repaint the farm sightings blackboard and add a new mini-drinker to the popular existing water station in the centre of the farm.

With many thanks to UK Power Networks for again lending us engineers from Sussex and Surrey: great teamwork, plenty of fresh air and a huge boost to the farm’s autumn task list.

And introducing the new mini-drinker

 

Posted by: lhct | September 15, 2020

Friends join the Great British September Clean

The Friends regular litter-picking group cleared the farm’s hedges, benches and ditches of unwanted debris this month, adding a tractor lamp (!) to their usual trove of bottles, cans, cigarette ends, food wrappers and discarded (often bagged) dog waste. This month their five-bag total will be registered as part of the Great British September Clean by Keep Britain Tidy.

We thank our enthusiastic team as all this volunteering helps to keep the farm looking as it should and free of litter. So much healthier for local people and wildlife. We are also grateful  to our resourceful visitors who back-up our team by informally litter-picking as part of their regular visits.

If you would like to know more about volunteering for our monthly litter picks (following current local Covid-19 guidelines) please contact us or email chesworthfarm@hotmail.co.uk

 

 

Posted by: lhct | August 10, 2020

Friends AGM tonight

Buttercups in Gravel Pit field by Steve Knight

Our AGM is tonight, Mon 10 Aug at 7.30pm via Zoom. Non-members welcome: please use comments or email us for a Zoom invite.

Posted by: lhct | August 4, 2020

Annual hay cut due

Photo: baling in Gravel Pit field 2019 by Stuart Brierley

Posted by: lhct | July 16, 2020

BioBlitz at Rookwood Sat 15 Aug

Here is an invitation to try out your wildlife explorer skills at Rookwood (Boldings Brook) on the west side of Horsham this August. Please use the link below to find out everything you need to know about this free BioBlitz and how to book your places.

Event details

Pictures: Peter Simpson

 

 

 

 

Posted by: lhct | July 2, 2020

Green space surveys need your views

Many of you will appreciate that Chesworth Farm has been positively buzzing with extra visitors taking more local exercise than previously during lockdown. So while you already know the benefits – physical and mental – of Chesworth and of all Horsham’s local green spaces, new visitors have been perhaps discovering them for the first time.

This news update will be relatively brief and concentrate on the theme of protecting our district’s open spaces. First, you most likely have read or seen that there is a short-term “Horsham District Open Spaces” online survey (as background to the HDC draft Local Plan) on what you think of the district’s green spaces. If you haven’t done so yet, please make your voices heard by filling this in, by Monday 6 July. It only takes minutes to complete and here is a link to it.

Next, many local people have banded together to oppose the proposal from Horsham District Council to build on Rookwood Golf Course as an option in the draft Local Plan. Opposition is focused on its proximity to Warnham Local Nature Reserve which will be severely impacted by the plan though the effects would be felt throughout the town . Those who wish to oppose this plan can find out much more from the campaigning group, the Keep Rookwood Green alliance. Here is a link to the group’s website http://www.keeprookwoodgreen.org. By taking part in their survey, you can record what you value about Rookwood as well as contribute your own ideas on future uses for the site.

 

Skylarks have nested in Spring Barn and Gravel Pit this summer, helped by a joint FCF/HDC project to give them some protected field-space.

Reference photos: Peter Merchant Poster: Lisa White

 

Posted by: lhct | February 29, 2020

Say no to Rookwood golf course development

Saturday 29 February is the Local Plan consultation drop-in session in Swan Walk, 10am-4pm.
Here is the first (and currently only) opportunity in Horsham town centre to look at the proposed plans in more detail and at the same time engage with representatives from Horsham District Council before sending in comments.

Top of our list for discussion is the proposal to build on Rookwood golf course. The Friends of Chesworth Farm committee (and we believe the majority of our membership) stand with Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve in saying “NO” to this development because of the significant and irreplaceable loss of valuable habitat on its very doorstep. We say “NO” to the extremely detrimental effects of this proposal on the wildlife breeding in, and passing through, the reserve, currently the only Local Nature Reserve (LNR) on the edge of Horsham town.

We say “YES” to keeping all our green spaces which are currently under threat of development, fragmenting our precious green corridors, our network (of which Chesworth Farm is also a part) so essential to healthy living. There must be another way, this is your opportunity to voice it.

Friends of Warnham Local Nature Reserve campaign poster

 

The Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036 public consultation is now live and open for formal comment by 5pm on Monday March 30. Use the link below to find out more – and please take the opportunity to comment during this first stage.

Among other topics, the link takes you to details of:
How you can register in order to comment officially and receive online updates
Local public drop-in events: Billingshurst (already past), Ashington (20/2), Henfield (25/2), Horsham (29/2), Ifield (3/4) & Southwater (4/4)
Where to find a paper copy of the Local Plan (libraries & Parish councils)
A glossary of terms.

 

Horsham District Draft Local Plan 2019-36: The public consultation is now open

Posted by: lhct | February 6, 2020

Hedge-laying skills learnt by Chesworth volunteers

Two workshops in the first weeks of the year have given Friends of Chesworth Farm volunteers new ‘estate skills’ in preparation for a future hedge-laying project in nearby Tip Field (on the right entering from Queensway).

In the first of two events led by HDC countryside warden Ryan Allison, the group started by learning how to coppice the hazel stands in The Warren (the wooded enclosed area just down from the Volunteer Centre) which produced the stakes and binders needed for the hedge-laying job ahead.

The second part of the task was to repair a section of previously-laid hedge along Pedlars Way. As you can see from the pictures, the group did a great job.

In the second workshop, the volunteers honed their skills over an afternoon by cutting and laying Hazel, Dogwood and Blackthorn already growing in the Volunteer Centre garden into a new laid-hedge. The team were delighted with their progress – and Ryan can set up the future project in Tip Field with confidence.

Photographs: Ryan Allison, Tim Thomas and David Verrall

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