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Steyning for Trees: March 2024 News Letter.

Many thanks to those of you who live on higher ground and have been asking for trees and hedges to be planted there. This is of tremendous help to those who live at the lower levels who have been experiencing flooding. We have all seen the pictures of the flooding at the Star Inn a few weeks back. We all know Steyning is bowl shaped so it is important to plant on higher ground to prevent run-off, as well as lower down to absorb the water there. This is something that SFT have been working very hard to do

Trees and hedges are well known to be a vital tool in preventing and controlling flood water. This is predicted to be an increasing problem with extreme weather conditions being caused by global warming. The Environment Agency advises that flood risk could double by 2055. We are so pleased that Richard Goring and the Wiston Estate are so conscious of this They are planting a one kilometre long hedge at the top of Mouse Lane and have asked Steyning For Trees to help.

We have already helped with the long hedge planted on SDS last year. We transferred the hedging plants ordered for another site to SDS with the help of their Project Manager. They were planted by SGS pupils. Our wonderful SFT volunteers were again at work before Christmas, despite difficult conditions under foot, gapping up this long hedge with tree whips provided by us.

After conversations with Richard Goring before Christmas we were delighted when he told us that he has commissioned a consultation on additional methods to control flooding e.g., the possibility of holding ponds, sluice gates etc. in the Mouse Lane area. He was letting the PC know.

We have been told that the Government say they are going to restore 30,000 miles of hedgerow by 2037 and 45,000 by 2050. Lets hope that's quick enough for our endangered species!

Pictured  is the Woodland Trust printing paper which you can buy from Steyning Stationers. Sales of this contribute to its valuable work as the UK's leading conservation charity.

We were glad to be able to help Ronnie Reed refresh an old hedge by giving her some tree whips to plant, all helping the cause. Also giving Louise Crush some of our surplus whips - we know that she will give them a good home

SFT is so pleased to be supporting the Steyning Festival: we are involved in 4 events. Our main one being the talk to be given by Dame Eleanor Jane Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity at Oxford University. This will be held at Wilton Park (Wiston House) on the evening of 1st June. EJ is Chair of and involved in many UK and international Environmental Committees. She was a pupil at Steyning Grammar School and was taught by David Buckett, SFT co-chair. Maybe some of you knew her?

She will be talking about the Saiga Antelope which she saved from extinction, and reasons to be optimistic about the fight to save biodiversity. She and the antelope were featured in the television programme hosted by David Attenborough, Planet Earth II and III.
Saiga Antelope

EJ said, in National Geographic, 'The Saiga Antelope population plummeted by more than 90% in a short time. For starters Saiga horn had great value in the Far East as part of traditional medicine. But the great thing about Saiga is that the local people really love them'. 'To them, it is a symbol of the wild steppe, of independence and freedom.'

A headline read: 'Floppy-nosed antelope has baby boom raising hope for endangered species'. That hope was realised, but they are kept on the endangered list because of their vulnerability.

We don't think it would win a beauty competition but it is quite cute!

Well done Professor EJ. W:
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