SOUTHERN WATER NEWS: Mountfield Residents Group have had another busy week or so. We held a general drop-in session for anyone who wanted to discuss any aspect of the scheme. About twenty people from over a dozen households came along and there was a succession of really constructive discussions as people came and went. The date of the session proved to be fortuitous as only that morning, residents on the scheme received an update letter and a survey form from Southern Water. (Note that 1-18 Eatenden Lane did not get this.) Their survey was a poorly conceived affair which did not say what respondents were saying yes or no to, did not distinguish between a tanker-based “solution” or a treatment works, was not confidential, and would not have been independently analysed. MRG have therefore advised residents not to answer the questions but simply to comment on these shortcomings and explain that much fuller survey results will be available shortly. When these results are known, MRG will share them with all interested parties.

The Southern Water letter also seemed to recognise that they are in an awkward position and they are “currently reviewing our position” and are therefore “unable to confirm when connections to the new network will be able to be made”. The “position” in the Planning Permission was perfectly clear.

SURVEY FORMS: This weekend is when we need to finalise the Survey. All designated households in the scheme have received the Survey apart from 1-18 Eatenden Lane and any rented properties. IT IS VITAL THAT THESE SURVEY FORMS ARE RETURNED. Without this informataion, MRG cannot fight for the best result for Mountfield. Some have already been delivered to the drop point at Jasmine Cottage on Hoath Hill. Some were brought to the drop-in session. The others will need to be collected over the weekend by MRG Committee members. If you have lost or mislaid your survey form, the MRG collectors can supply a replacement copy.

OPEN GARDENS: The weather certainly helped the event and Lucinda writes that it was “a great success yesterday with 130 people and raising approximately £650 for the National Garden Scheme and £280 from the teas for the Church. There were a lot of people who had never been before and it was all looking beautiful with the bluebells still out amidst all the colour of the azaleas and rhododendrons”.

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY REPORT: A reminder of the next two diary dates. The plant sale and coffee morning on Sunday, 27 May from 10.30 am at 4, Eatenden Lane. All welcome. The annual Summer Show is on Saturday, 28 July from 2.30pm at the village. Schedules with an entry form are available at the village hall on the notice board, and also from Celia or Rachael.

TWENTY-ONE NOT OUT: Peter writes: Last Sunday I led my twenty-first and final walk under the title “Through Trees & Time”. I led the first of them in April 2014 for members of The Darwell Area Conservation Society (DACS). Since then, the walk was thrown open to others, developed, the discoveries multiplied, my knowledge of the subject grew, the weathers included cruel winds, sunburnt noses, snowflakes, unrelenting rain and worse, but above all, with very few exceptions, wonderful company. And I remain in touch with many of those walkers as we grapevine other events and discoveries. My final walk was with a very responsive and appreciative bunch — a suitable way to round the series off.

The walks have given DACS funds and new members to help when we need to fight for this special part of the AONB. They have also made significant and rewarding contributions to the upkeep of All Saints Church, Mountfield. Above all, I have shown between two and three hundred walkers some of the clues to why our landscape looks as it does and why it is important to fight for it.

I should like to record here my gratitude to Lucinda and Simon at the Estate and to British Gypsum for allowing us privileged access to their land off any public rights of way. Above all, I am grateful to all the walkers who have stood and been so enthusiastic and responsive despite being talked at in whatever weather conditions applied.

BIRTHDAY WISHES: When we limped back, hotly, from that final walk, it was lovely to find Laura Martin’s birthday party in full swing in and around the Village Hall. Lots of children having a proper noisy time and everyone else enjoying the gorgeous weather and the celebrations. Congratulations and happy birthday, Laura!

CONTACT: If you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via We always welcome contributions and feedback.