Letters to the Editors
Newmarket Tip Closure
Please can you pass on news of the forthcoming closure of the Newmarket recycling centre in May and the e-petition against it on Suffolk's Council website.
The e-petition is here. There is no need to login. Closure of the petition is 5/4/11.
Although we are not in the proper catchment for this recycling centre, it offers a fine service. Closure of the service will only increase overall costs in managing landfill and clearing up fly-tipping.
John Norris and Ivy
On a sunny morning in February when the cold had finally relaxed its grip, I was watching a wren skulking in and out of the ivy at the base of a tree. It struck me that the case for the prosecution (John Norris, February issue) required a reply. Because it gives food and shelter to a wide variety of animals, ivy has a very high wildlife value. Its flowers are a last rich source of nectar at the end of the year, not only for bees but for butterflies and moths and many other insects which may then overwinter hidden within it.
Insect predators such as ladybirds, hoverflies and queen wasps are also among the creatures hiding overwinter in its dense cover. The more successfully they do that the less we are dependent on insecticides to control aphids and other pests in the following growing season.
Many of our garden and woodland birds from robins to tawny owls, find sheltered roosting places in ivy and particularly so in hard winters. Of all the bird species, probably none is more dependent upon it than the wren, not only for warm sleeping quarters but also for breakfast, dinner and tea provided by the insects and spiders hidden there. Prolonged cold weather kills many small birds. Ivy can make the difference.
Finally, at this time of year ivy is an important food source for deer. When driving on East Anglian country roads, you may notice the "browse" line on the ivy on roadside trees. At least they are not eating the crop!
The plant is an important part of our biodiversity but there is also no doubting that it can be destructive of trees and built structures. By the sheer weight of its foliage and by increasing resistance to winter storms, branches are broken and trees and fences brought down. However, mature healthy trees can support a lot of it and their destruction is certainly not inevitable. Exuberant growth in the canopy can be reduced without killing it, by cutting the stems at some point on the trunk. Furthermore when the host is sycamore, which itself has little wildlife value, the ivy can be considered as "value added."
The name of the game is compromise. Sometimes the ivy is holding up the fence!
Any tree lover reading John's piece on Ivy in the February Crier will most probably agree that this "insidious climbing plant is becoming rampant everywhere." Some may disagree with the word "insidious" but the word "rampant" is certainly true.
Would any tree lover like to join John and me in an attempt to bring a little relief to some of the trees in the village? For a start, take a look at the trees the Red Lion side of Coopers Green to see how great the problem is. As John says "We all too easily accept its invasion, and become unaware of the rapid growth it can make." No plan of action or policy has been made but if you would like to help make one or to know more please contact me. Apart from being useful it may also be fun.
Those Bards Again
Alas Poor Ophir
For believing we're both a
Couple of serious poets.
I have more vital ways
To be spending my days
Than trying to think up rhymes unnecessarily.*
(*copyright ML, self-declared Bard of SP)
I'm being a bard, not a poet (see article elsewhere in this issue) But don't let anyone say I'm a bit slack if someone writes a pome about me. I can do pomes.
Bon Mot No 11
The 'Bon Mot' label is nominated
To a remark that is witty,
Not the glaringly obvious,
Which is a pity;
For Mrs T to be remembered solely for this- -
(And of course that may not be the case)
It'd be akin to her having,
('pardon me ma'am')
The proverbial, egg on her face.
Horkey Supper in St Cyriacs Saturday 17th September
Just a note to say that Fleur Routley and Susan Wade have taken up the challenge to run the Swaffham Prior Village Harvest Feast this autumn. The Harvest Supper in East Anglia was known about 1800 as the "Horkey Supper"- (the spelling varies). We are planning to carry on this Anglo Saxon tradition (possibly! Eds) and serve traditional food in St Cyriac's church with candle lights glowing in the fading light. After supper we will clear the floor for some traditional dancing with local musicians. Do pencil this date in your calendar for your family. Tickets will be sold nearer the date.