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From the Chair

PAT ARNOLD

Welcome to this winter edition of Ashdown Forest News!

As many of you will know, Spring on the Forest was overshadowed by the unexpected death of Chief Executive, James Adler, at the young age of 42. James joined Ashdown Forest in January 2021, having spent the previous weeks before taking up his appointment meeting people, reading, and absorbing all things Ashdown. During his short time with the Forest, he was instrumental in developing the vision for its future, focusing on the protection and enhancement of this unique landscape. He was an inspiration to everyone he came across, and his passion and knowledge is still keenly felt and he is greatly missed.

The Friends had a busy summer of events organised by our trustees. Following our Plant sale at the Forest Centre at the end of May, our now annual Nightjar Walk with the Ashdown Forest Bird Group was greatly enjoyed. Thanks must go to the Bird Group for sharing their knowledge and leading the walk for us. In July we visited Sackville College Almshouse in East Grinstead and one of our guides, Caroline Metcalfe, has written a piece about our visit; please see page … in this edition. Many thanks to Caroline and her fellow guides who made the afternoon so enjoyable, all rounded off with tea and lots of home-made cakes! Butterfly and Moth expert, Michael Blencowe, came to talk to us in August on the “Butterflies of Sussex”. Not only is he very knowledgeable about his subject, but he is also extremely entertaining. Two visits took place in September to Kingstanding Radio Station, a fascinating site with an interesting history. We saw the remains of the World War II radio station juxtaposed with the nuclear bunker dating from the Cold War and learnt about the training facility which is currently being used by Sussex Police. More events and visits will be planned for our members next year.

Thank you as always to all those who have sent in contributions to this issue and do keep sending them in to me. Any comments or letters would be very welcome too. Finally, on behalf of our Trustees, thank you all for your continued support and we hope to see some of you at our Annual General Meeting in December.

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