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Congratulations to High Beeches Woodland &Water Garden on being awarded Gold in the Heritage Parks and Gardens category of Britain in Bloom for the South and South East. For those of you who are not aware of this garden located on the Balcombe Road, it is a 27 acre woodland garden which has been planted with a variety of rare trees and shrubs over the past 100 years. It is a garden for all seasons: starting in spring with bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons; the summer sees the wildflower meadow in full bloom and finally autumn brings a spectacular display of colours before the gardens close at the end of October. They are open daily other than Wednesdays between 1 and 5 pm; if you would like more information, have a look at their website www.highbeeches.com, email gardens@highbeeches.com or give them a ring on 01444 400589. Better yet, why not just go and have a wander round!

Last week saw the first Annual General Meeting of the Slaugham Parish Community Land Trust which, I suppose, was reasonably well attended bearing in mind the small number of members they currently have. This is an organisation that everyone who is concerned about the level of development being faced not only by the village but the parish as a whole should be a member; why? Because by being a member you will be offered the opportunity to get involved in some the decisions that we as a community may be able to influence, such as where a replacement for the Parish Hall may go; the allocation and management of affordable housing that will be for those with strong ties to the parish in perpetuity, to mention but a couple of things. How do you sign up? Their registered office address is Seaforth Hall, Cuckfield Lane, Warninglid, Haywards Heath, RH17 5UB; alternatively, if you know any of the officers, Tim Arnold, Ed Hadfield, Debra Logan, Martin Lyne or Chris Martin, I’m sure they will be able to point you in the right direction. All it will cost you is £1 and you have to be over the age of 18 and live in the parish. The principal activities of the society include as mentioned above, the provision and management of affordable housing and the provision of facilities for the benefit of the community and improvement of the community’s environment; the community being Handcross, Pease Pottage, Slaugham and Warninglid. Please do spread the word as this is something that needs the support of us all! Finally, I would stress the society is completely independent of the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Planning Committee.

Have you registered your team for the first Handcross Village Quiz being held tomorrow evening Friday, 2 October in the Parish Hall? If you are involved with or a member of a village charity or organisation (eg, Help at Hand, Youth Club, WI or Rosemary Club), and you can gather a team of 4 people why not see how you can do! The cost of entering a team is £10, the first prize is £100 for your club or charity and the second prize is £25. Tea, coffee and snacks will be available on the night but if you feel you would like something stronger, you are welcome to take your own refreshments but don’t forget to take your own glasses! If you would like to register a team or would like further information before doing so, please contact Pam or Barrie Eager on 07519 173398 who are organising the event on behalf of Handcross Association.

It was mentioned at the Parish Council meeting last week that some people are taking their dogs into the enclosed play area on the Recreation Ground. This is not allowed for obvious reasons so if you know anyone who might have done this, for whatever reason, it would be appreciated if you could ask them to stop. If you see this happening but don’t feel confident in approaching the dog owner, please contact the Mid Sussex Park Rangers on 01444 477561 / email: rangers@midsussex.gov.uk or the Dog Control Officer on 01444 477041 / email: dogcontrol@midsussex.gov.uk, providing as much detail as possible including the name of the site (ie Handcross Recreation Ground), a description of the dog and its owner, the date and time, etc.

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