At the Parish Assembly (April 8), Chairman, Jim Ray, gave his report on what has been a busy year for the Parish Council with issues of school transport, planning enforcement, the state of the roads and, above all, the dreadful closure of Mountfield and Whatlington School. The reports from our county and district representatives, Cllr. Kathryn Field and Cllr. David Vereker respectively, were mostly concerned with the effects of the budget cuts though Kathryn also spoke strongly on behalf of Battle Fire Station.

Finally there were reports from various clubs and associations: the cricket and football clubs, the Hastings and St Leonards Bowmen (who use the KGV Field), the Village Hall Committee and the Children’s Club, the Horticultural Society, the Darwell Area Conservation Society (DACS), Ruby’s Lunch Club and the Millennium Archive. Sales of Trish’s two books are still ticking over — quite extraordinary. The only subdued note came from the Mountfield Club which has a bit of a struggle on its hands.

We are not going to say anymore about the fire station. All the arguments have been put. Essentially there is no-one in favour of the option to downgrade: not local people, not the firefighters, not the police. It’s just the bean counters. The news pages of the Battle Observer continue to tell you all you need to know: consultation closes on April 28th and to make your view known you should visit You can also contact Fire Authority members — who are the elected representatives who will make the decision — via or sign the petition, available in most of shops/businesses in Battle.

We mentioned DACS above and, by kind permission of Lucinda and Simon at the Court and British Gypsum, they recently held two very successful “woodland walks” which took in the impressive remains of the 13thC fortified manor house, mediæval wood banks, Tudor minepits, local stone quarries, old trackways, ancient woodland botany, amazing trees and some hands-on foraging. For more information about DACS, contact either Victoria Fraser, Peter Miles or Andrew Wedmore.

A reminder that the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting concerning Southern Water’s plans for a sewage treatment plant has been called by Jim Ray for next Tuesday, April 22. This will start at 7.30, but it has been confirmed that hard copies of all the application documents will be on display from 7.00 on the evening. To see the application beforehand, visit the parish council website (; the reference is under “Recent Items” and contains a direct link to the ESCC Planning Portal.

We now have an update to the details of the Easter church services at All Saints and the three parishes. There will now be a said service of holy communion at Mountfield on Easter Sunday at 9.00 am. As already reported, there will be a one hour Meditation for Good Friday at Mountfield Church at 12.00 noon, with a full Easter Sunday the Communion Service for all three parishes at Brightling Church at 10.00 am. All denominations welcome.

It is always exciting to see how each new year unfolds and we have been amazed at the extraordinary spread of ramsons, wild garlic — in response to the amount of rain over the last two years — and delighted by the profusion of wild violets everywhere. But we were much taken aback when driving past the Laundry Pond on Banks drive to see a flotilla of four Mandarin ducks looking outlandishly exotic.

You know where we are: 880614 (evenings) or

Peter and Valerie Miles