Flower beds and containers planted and maintained by the Green Group Volunteers of Hassocks Amenity Association. Interested in helping out occasionally? — Contact Amanda firstname.lastname@example.org
The heather bed, originally planted by 1st Keymer and Hassocks Guides is now well established and the slate chippings make it much easier to maintain. The main raised bed, designed by Georgia Cheshire, provided an impressive and colourful display of plants. (see above) The main planting was financed by Hassocks Parish Council and HAA, but many individuals donated surplus plants and the ‘left-overs’ from various plants sales in the village all contributed to the wide variety of blossom. A very fine common orchid also decided to appear, and now, early autumn, the lady tresses orchids have reappeared. The Green Group will be busy in September/October on Spring displays both on this bed and in the hanging baskets at the entrance of Grand Avenue. The Group has also dug and planted a large bed behind the cycle racks on the Brighton platform at the station. Again, the design is by Georgia and already looks promising. The Group now has a number of planters to look after and any help with every-day weeding and maintenance would be very much appreciated.
HAA continues to press the landlords to repair the brickwork and continues to be unsuccessful. The Parish Council is now contributing its weight to the correspondence.
The Wild Bird Field:
HAA has provided a seat and this bird identification board which was designed by Lindsay Cross and William Hobday.
Few of the small plugs donated by Sussex Wildlife Trust and Kew survived last winter’s heavy rain: gypsywort and water mint flourished, as did some brave cowslips, but otherwise we were still faced with a great deal of bare bank.
HAA and HKD volunteers (with some welcome new faces) have provided the labour for the work done so far. More than one hundred large, robust plants recommended by OART have been planted, together with free ones provided by Pete, an anonymous enthusiast for wetland plants. Rachel (OART) takes up the story:
‘The plants provided include Yellow flag iris, yellow and purple loosestrife, flowering rush, great willow herb, water mint, gypsy wort, hedge woundwort, lesser and greater reed mace, branched bur-reed, galingale, soft and grey club rush, greater pond and fox sedge. All are native British aquatic marginals - species evolved to thrive on the wet margins of streams, rivers and ponds. Plus some other species (e.g willow herb, loosestrife) which can tolerate drier areas (the top of the bank is particularly hard to plant, very dry with a thin layer of soil). The reeds and rushes will help to protect the river banks and provide a source of food for birds (seeds).
Plans are also afoot for the trout in the stream. Rachel continues:
‘Brown trout and sea trout like to spawn on silt free gravel during the winter (usually between October and February), so the team have added 900kg of land-mined flint gravel to the stream bed. This replicates as closely as possible the gravel which enters water naturally through gravel seams. The trout excavate shallow depressions in the gravel, called redds, and lay their eggs in them. Fry quickly disperse downstream and need plenty of the bank-side cover we have planted to hide out in and grow. The gravel will also help other fish species as well as providing excellent substrate for invertebrates. Some of the gravel will be gradually washed down into the system as part of natural river processes and this is to be expected.’
Trees for Hassocks:
Each year, in conjunction with West Sussex County Council and Hassocks Parish Council, we contribute £500 to the Hassocks Village Tree Planting Scheme. So far, 225 trees have been planted on road verges by a small group of volunteers, led by Phil Mead. Vandalism has been minimal and residents have helped with watering. The total cost per tree is £150 and donations are welcomed through the Hassocks Tree Fund, c/o Hassocks Parish Council.
Lag Wood and the 'Pheansant Field':
We work with the owners of Lag Wood in their plans for conservation and community access to the wood.
See also: Spitalford Bridge, the Village Lottery and the Rail Group