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St John The Baptist Spring Fair: The Spring Fair held on 1st. April was again filled with local produce and activities. The amount raised was the substantial total of £435-79p. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the morning. The cakes, tombola and raffle were especially lively, and the egg hunt proving popular and keeping the children busy. We had very kind donations to the raffle. These were mostly handed in on the day, including a bottle of champagne and a bottle of Chardonay from Janette at the Netherfield Village Store. It was a lovely friendly gathering with perfect weather. Thank you all once again. Gillian Slack.

Brightling Stoolball Club: As advertised in this column last week the Brightling Stoolball Club are on a recruitment drive. Brightling needs you. That seems to be reminiscent of an old advertising slogan. But the only arms you will be getting is a stoolball bat. There is a practice game taking place at the end of April and if you would like to join in please ring Chris on 07749189984 who will be more than happy to give you all the details. So come on. Get “stooling”.

Mountfield Village Hall Cinema Club: This is the last request that is possible before the big screening takes place at the Mountfield Village Hall Cinema Club. It is the very funny “Bridget Jones’s Baby”, starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey. As usual the £5 per person entry donation is towards the upkeep of the hall. However, you can get “pre” and “post” showing drinks in the club bar. So come along and make a night of it. The film starts at 7.30pm on Friday 21st April. See you there!

Battle Neighbourhood Plan: The exhibition covering the neighbourhood plan begins on Thursday 27 April. That is next week folks. You should have received your flyer detailing the times and content of the Plan by now. Remember, residents of Netherfield; the details of the free bus transport to and from the Memorial Hall are as follows: Friday morning 28th April Depart 10.00am from outside Netherfield Village Shop. Arrive Battle Memorial Hall 10.20 am. - Return Battle Memorial Hall 11.20. Arrive Netherfield 11.40am. Friday Afternoon 28th April Depart 14.00 from outside Netherfield Village Shop. Arrive Battle Memorial Hall 14.20. - Return Battle Memorial Hall 15.20. Arrive Netherfield 15.40.

Reflections on a garden: There is a member of the Ardeidae family who returns to our garden every year to try and denude our pond of goldfish and tench. I speak of course of Mr Heron, or, in this case, maybe Mr Goliath Heron, as when standing tall he seems to measure a whopping 5ft. His spear like beak has the ability to plunge into the water like a rapier and come out clutching a fish in a microsecond. My good lady tells me this is nature and we should let him be. That maybe true, but there are reservoirs, lakes and rivers which were always the natural home for these magnificent creatures and not a man-made structure in your back garden, from which the fish have no chance of escape.

To catch falling leaves in the winter from filling the pond to overflowing, I constructed a segmented netting system, which is like a series of triangles of varying dimensions covering the water’s ovoid shape. A long pole with a hook, helps remove each netted triangle at times of leaf inundation during the winter and when the full glory needs to be exposed during the summer. Generally, this happens once the visitation of Mr Heron has been curtailed by my vigilance.

On that score, I can regularly be seen throwing open doors and running at him screaming like a banshee at any time from 5.00 in the morning onwards. Not a pretty sight when you have just got out of bed and your hair has not been washed and parted in the prescribed manner and you are wearing pyjamas that nobody else would be seen dead in.

I kid myself that the heron sees me coming and immediately takes flight because he sees me as a threat. However, I am beginning to question that particular conclusion, as when he thinks the coast is clear, he lands once again to resume his quest for food. We have tried other methods of deterrence but have had little success and I am not prepared to spend my day dressed as Worzel Gummidge to try and keep him at bay.

I suppose it could be a lady heron out to feed her brood.. That could explain the persistence. I can’t get close enough to check the gender anyway. All I know is, whether male or female, when the beak goes in the pond, it leaves an oily film on top of the water, which shows the amount of fish they must have consumed in this and other sources.

Unfortunately, this year has also seen the rise of the squirrel as a PIA (Pain in the proverbial). He, well most PIAs are male I guess, has taken to liking bird balls. His timing is not consistent so constant vigilance is required. My good lady has a bottle of water in the bedroom to spray on him when he starts his eating frenzy. This did work in the beginning but I think he sees this now as shower time and keeps looking around for the gel. So she calls me and I have to run out the back door, screaming like a banshee and running straight for him.

He seems to look at me as though ‘it’s not him again’ and immediately turns and runs towards the trees over the garage roof. Along the top of the fence down one side of the garden is his preferred route at this point, but he has been known to double back and question my ability as a squirrel stalker. I am not sure who is in control here, the squirrel, the heron or me?

More next week........

Contact: If you have any stories or articles of interest that will give our readership a reason to buy the paper please contact me on email at u4netherfield@outlook.com. New number 07766606611.

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