SPRING has sprung, the daffodils are out and 1066 Country is looking green and fresh in the brilliant sunshine (well, at least it was at the time of writing).
But despite nature looking at its best, one of the most endearing springtime sights of lambs gambolling across the green fields could be at risk, thanks to a nasty new disease spreading across the south.
The Schmallenberg Virus has been found on 83 farms in England, including 15 in East Sussex, since the turn of the year.
The disease causes birth defects and miscarriages in sheep, although at the current time is believed to be of no threat to humans.
It is unclear how many more farms could potentially be affected as it is not known whether a sheep has been infected until the lamb has been born.
With the lambing season underway, it will soon be evident just what an impact this disease may, or may not, have had on the local farming community
Anyone who takes the time to search on the internet for images of what this disease can do will find some horrifying pictures of dead and deformed newborn lambs.
UK farmers have had enough rough rides in recent years, with bluetongue and foot and mouth scares still fresh in many people’s minds.
They could certainly do without another.
Rye Observer Comment: How was this situation allowed to develop in the first place?
Supermarkets have succeeded in turning a nice corner of Rye into a derelict slum and potential health hazard.
Boarded up windows and overgrown rat-infested gardens are far removed from the glossy artists’ impressions the supermarkets were displaying at their exhibitions.
They were first made aware of this problem by Rye Town Council on January 5 and so far nothing has been done.
Now Sainsbury’s, which owns the majority of the properties, has said it will send contractors to Rye to rectify the situation.
The question is how did a multi-national company, which claims its store will enhance Rye, allow this situation to develop in the first place?
Entertainment Workshops deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it this week.
David Byrne and his team kept going despite an initial lack of recognition and having to cope with two break-ins.
The company encourages creativity in young people as well as teaching industry disciplines and provides support for many disenfranchised youngsters who do not fit so easily into a school environment.
When the Observer visited on Monday the enthusiasm of the young people and the dedication of staff was plain to see.
It’s work has been praised by everyone from the MP down and we are happy to add our voice to that.