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Graffam Daffodils: Losing the Map

Saturday 14th March, another dry, chilly, still and overclouded day, we drove to the other side of the world, beyond Petworth if you can believe it, & all to see the native daffodils at Graffam. This walk, which is a very good one but not to be undertaken lightly, now involves negotiating the Heathland Project, currently in process = the NT and Sussex Wildlife Trust conspiring to make a desolation out of the pine plantations of Lullington, Lavington and Graffam Common, (100 yrs old or so and ready for harvest) on the way to restoring the ideal state of land use (around 1763, I think). I'm not really complaining, I like adders, and on heathland there might be boletus, which I can eat, but at the moment it's a heap big mess. Anyway, we weathered it, with the help of directions from a friendly woman on a v. pretty chestnut: found our way to the stream and the woodland ridge above; where the daffodils grow. Whoever called them a "Wordsworthian profusion" hasn't visited Ullswater in the season, but they were lovely, and stretching far away under the bare trees, if not actually fluttering and dancing. Previously too early or too late, we made it on time this year: make a note of it, said Peter, & so I have. We lost the map later on, which involved some racing with the sunset, so as not to spoil a very good day out with a mishap. It was where it had been dropped, safe & sound; so an end to racing, & the two of us sitting looking across the powdery-blue shadowed valley, listening to the thrushes shout their evening song; me rubbing my sore feet.

My Fracking Round-Up: What About Balcombe?

If you don't already know, Celtique Energie made a surprise announcement last week: Greg Davies has decided to abandon his appeal against the council's decision to refuse permission for senseless unconventional oil/gas extraction at Wisborough Green. & also abandon all plans to drill at Fernhurst, inside the South Downs National Park. Good of him, eh?

Will Francis Egan of Cuadrilla now realise that oh, wow, never noticed, Balcombe is in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and officially abandon his plans there? I suspect not. He'll want to keep a foot in the door.

The Wealden frackers will be back. They've not even gone away. The CE/Magellan Billingshurst fracking site, with all the usual prevarication in place, is still due to be drilled this Spring

Despite everything we're hearing about a committment to dramatic carbon-emission targets, and a "growing realisation" that catastrophic climate change actually IS a terrifying disaster it would be a good idea to avoid, nothing's changed since we heard that story last time, and even the UK shale gas bonanza surges on.

Oh well. Congratulation KKWG. It's still good news.

The daffodils are standins. These ones, although native species, are in my garden


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