Great weekend at Littlehampton Town Show and Findon Sheep Fair

I have received many letters and comments about the fate of the Selborne oak tree over the past few weeks concerning the planning committee’s decision not to oppose the application for the felling of the old tree.

I note from the committee agenda that ‘there were no tree applications…’ – there were, and this was patently an oversight, and the fate of our tree was not considered by the committee and points to the fact that the decision was made at council officer level and not by our elected representatives.

Wildflowers on Caffyns Field, Littlehampton

Wildflowers on Caffyns Field, Littlehampton

| Also in the news – history will repeat itself next month in a battle of the sexes at Worthing FC to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day; a Littlehampton pub and hotel claiming to be one of the South East’s most-haunted pubs has appeared on ghost-hunting TV programme Help! My House is Haunted; and entries have officially been opened for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2019. |

This is often the case and, in my opinion, is wrong in so many ways.

Most importantly, with this particular sensitive issue, the strength of feeling regarding the tree should have been made clear to the members for their decision and it not left to a council employee.

After reading the intelligent and well written objections, the applicant himself informed me, rather wryly, that having read them he was almost tempted to object to it himself – but only almost!

He is obviously concerned about the safety issue of the tree and rightly so, but assured me that should another solution be found, he is no in a hurry to send in the chainsaws. In any event, it is messy to fell a tree in full leaf, as the oak currently is.

Other options were being considered by the community and our ward reps were on board and offering their support to save the oak. However, due to the condition of the old tree, sadly, I now fear this to be unlikely.

No one to blame, just old age and neglect over the years.

I hope the community will now get together and plant new trees in the area...

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LOTS going on last weekend including the Town Show which was, as usual, a huge success. I visited but did not linger as was tempted by the Findon Sheep Fair, a new experience and a delightful one.

Carousels, old fashioned fairground rides, shooting ranges, food tents, a real ale bar, Morris dancers, country-ware stalls, a birds of prey display, dogs everywhere oh, and of course, sheep.

Big ones, little ones and a few you would not like to run into on a clear winter’s night with horns enough to hold a dozen fine hats – of which there were a-plenty on display atop the heads of the happy crowd.

Free entry and a superb parking organisation for which a donation of a fiver was requested in support of the Scout movement.

Looking forward to going again next year as, I guess, are the several folk from Littlehampton I met there.

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ARUN District Council are to be complimented by their planting and maintaining the wildflower beds on Caffyns Field. I walked by yesterday and the flowers glowed in the afternoon sunshine watched over by the lone soldier.

They are a home to thousands of pollinating insects and grub for the birds, sadly also a home for the Littlehampton Wine Club gathered thereon among their empty cans.

Worse though, the scene was somewhat further blighted by one of their number urinating among the flowers.

I sometimes think I would prefer to see them assemble in the town centre rather that in these quiet, delightful little corners of our own.

• If you would like to get in touch with Whispering Smith, please email: whisperingsmith1@gmail.com

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