THE MESSENGER: We are pleased to announce that Mel Willis-Fleming will be taking over from Yve Puxty as editor of The Messenger. The actual handover will be be phased over several months to ensure no stitches are dropped. There will be time to thank Yve more fulsomely in the future but for now we wish Mel lots of fun in the new role.

This is a good time to give some other credit where it is due. Andrew Wedmore, previously of this parish but now in Brightling by a matter of yards only, has put in Herculean efforts as treasurer to straighten out the accounts which were in a challenging state and Nicole Livingstone Smith has taken charge of the advertising and made great strides in reorganising things. All we need now is for someone to take over the Mountfield Village Voice. Anyone interested? If so, please get in touch.

PERCH HILL: Sarah Raven’s wonderful cutting garden at Perch Hill, Brightling will be open in aid of St Michael’s Hospice on Wednesday 22nd August from 9.30 to 4.00. This ought to be called the Practical Garden as it combines colourful displays of flowers for cutting alongside vegetables. Entrance is £7.00 in a very good cause. Refreshments are available from the farm café.

THE OLD BAKERY: A reminder that this garden will be open again in aid of CLICSargent (CLIC stands for Cancer and Leukemia In Children) and added attractions will be live music from local players (jazz/blues in feel), Barbara Valentine will be doing her speed portraits of children and dogs, plus a range of stalls selling all sorts of fun things like stained glass and pictures. There will be teas and refreshments. Sylvia would like to hear from any volunteer bakers who can support her (07960 360319).

DACS: We shouldn’t let the fifth birthday of the Darwell Area Conservation Society pass without mention. It was launched on Wimbledon Men’s Final Day 2013 (Murray since you ask) and immediately attracted what is still the core of its membership on that day in the sweltering heat. The Darwell Stream rises in Dallington Parish near Woods Corner, runs through Mansbrook and Coblye Woods in Brightling before entering the modern Darwell Reservoir and then flowing on down to Robertsbridge. Add the fact that the valley is overlooked by Netherfield and you have a pretty good definition of DACS’s home area and it’s something of a jewel in the crown of the East Sussex High Weald AONB. Since its inception, DACS has fought against development threats with great success, laid on Wild Flower Meadow walks, a farm walk, a guided tour of a local Tudor twin hall house, walks to the remains of a local Tudor ironworks, a number of local lectures, a moth identification breakfast, a number of publications from fracking locally to the A2100 between John’s Cross and Battle, plus Peter’s walks which introduced nearly 200 walkers to the historical, archæological and botanical clues to the landscape. Happy Birthday DACS! (For more info, go to

THE GEESE: Several people have mentioned the poor old geese on the Church Pond with the gaping roof on their floating house. The previous keepers no longer live in the village. They are such a feature of Mountfield for visitors and residents alike that something should be done for them. Ideas anyone?

CONTACT: For the remaining few weeks of our tenure of this column (see above), we can be contacted on 880614 (answerphone) or via