Good News to end 2019
There has been a great deal of enthusiastic and positive activity happening to the Funtington and District Parish Assets as the maintenance of three areas is the responsibility of the Parish Council, the playground adjacent to the village hall in West Ashling, the Parish Meadow and the Village Green.
The Big Climate Fightback, masterminded by the Woodland Trust, saw almost 4000 schools and community groups take delivery of free saplings. They distributed nearly three quarters of a million trees and 350 of those have now been successfully planted by a hardy group of volunteers. Additionally 60 daffodil and tulip should provide a colourful display in spring. The task was not without challenges!! A group of seven West Ashling residents, including three Parish Councillors and a local farmer, braved the November weather, only to face buried bicycles and fridges, but successfully planted 11 trees, Common Oak, Silver Birch Crab Apple, 350 saplings and 60 bulbs.
On the advice of South Downs National Park Rangers, overhanging trees and hedges have been cut back to make pavements and highways safer for pedestrians and a tree surgeon was appointed to clear out the three copses on the Village Green. The south downs National Rangers have arranged to assist a local residents working party arranged for February 2nd 2020 to assist with clearing the copses.
The parish council tendered the maintenance work required to the trees, hedges and grass in the Village Playground and negotiated an annual contract with a local contractor representing a saving to the parish council.
Other areas where environmental improvements have succeeded include the building of a new bus shelter agreed by WSCC. Work will start in the New Year to install an oak shelter with a slate roof sited forward of the current location so that those waiting can see the bus coming whilst taking shelter!
Also in the New Year missing and damaged bollards are being replaced.
Work has also started to consider and develop longer term sustainable projects for the Parish. A new steering group has been established to formulate a three year Parish Plan. The basis for this plan will stem from the parish survey carried out in 2018, which is now available on the parish website. The Parish Plan will contribute to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish, similar to those which have been developed by Westbourne and other adjacent parishes. The Planning Working Group, together with members of the public, will be taking this work forward and meetings have already been held with district councillors.
Respondents to the Parish Survey rated the rural location and the peacefulness of the Parish as the top two attractions. We are working hard to improve, protect and sustain the rural environment where we all enjoy living.