|SITEZINE: HOLY ISLAND'S E-MAIL
- A bit from me...
- The next Vicar of Holy Island
- Reminder: NO Bonfires and Fireworks
- Reader's Letter
- Crossman Hall
- Lindisfarne Castle
- Myth of the geese which hatched from shellfish!
- Natural England - A Year in the Life of a Reserve Manager
- Natural England - Monthly Update
- Northumberland Coast AONB
- News from Ford & Etal
- Silent Spring?
- From the Community of Aidan and Hilda
- St Mary's notices
|"We will remember
|A BIT FROM ME
Welcome to our November edition of our
newsletter and for the benefit of new readers which uses the Ezine
to help friends of the island to 'Stay-In-Touch'.
Firstly, thank you to Northumberland County
Council. On 24th October a small digger appeared on the south side
of the causeway re-starting the trench that was hoped would
enable debris to clear more efficiently from the road surface with
ebbing tides. Residents possibly recall the meeting in the old
village hall almost 20 years ago which ignored local advice and
resulted in a £200k feasibility study and the ensuing £2M
spent in a marginal causeway height increase. This new approach
should represent a significant saving and with regular maintenance
could become an economic, safer, solution for years to come. I
crossed two days later with no sign of a trench. There was marked
evidence of their work with huge sand ruts along the south side
reducing cars and coaches to walking pace and those with two-wheels
to ride in the opposite lane. NCC please come and finish the
However, regardless of any improvements that
might eventually be made, when the tide opens Holy
Island Causeway and Coast Road can still be left littered
with all manner of flotsam. During poor weather conditions it
can become a perilous place. Puddles might be disguising a new or
untreated pothole. Please be vigilant and courteous to other road
As I write, the wind continues on but now
from a much colder compass point. Staggered, school half-terms
will be responsible for our well-filled car parks. And the
increasing visibility of scarves, gloves and bobble-hats herald
that winter is almost on top of us.
shorten and nights close in we endeavour to keep our free
community attractions open when daylight and weather permits and the
causeway is open. (Window on Lindisfarne, Lifeboat House, Lookout
on Lindisfarne). For similar reasons the patterns of church
services are changing. Hopefully, in next month's newsletter we
shall have a schedule of our special services in December and
over the Christmas period.
We are delighted that our period of
Interregnum is nearing an end. The provisional date for the
Institution of our new vicar, Reverend Canon Dr Sarah Hills, is
War': In our annual Remembrance Service in St Mary's Church
on Sunday 11 November and the laying of wreaths on the Heugh, we
commemorate the centenary of the first world war. During just one
battle alone (the Somme) over a million soldiers from the British,
German and French armies were wounded or killed. WW1 was one of the
deadliest conflicts in history - almost 7 million civilians and 10
million military personnel died - around 37 million civilian and
military casualties. Many of us have personal memories of family
members involved in that 'war-to-end-all-wars', the second world
wars and the horrific loss of loved ones in the countless
battles that followed. Like most parishes, our remembrance
service will focus on those who left their island homes and families
to serve our nation during those horrendous times. As we pray
these personal memories will come flooding back. "We will remember
Thank you to subscriber, Kathleen, for
getting in touch and to new author, Pat Cooper and all our
writers for enabling us to yet again keep our island in your hearts.
We do hope you enjoy our November newsletter and look forward to
getting in touch again in December.
|THE NEXT VICAR OF HOLY
|The community awaits our new 'Vicar of
The annual Remembrance Service will be
held in St Mary's Church at 10.45am on Sunday 11 November followed
by laying of wreaths on the Heugh. This year commemorates the
100th Anniversary of the Armistice in 1918.
The provisional date for the Institution
of our new vicar, Reverend Canon Dr Sarah Hills, is Sunday 27th
January at 2.00pm.
We would also like to give a belated
welcome to our new teacher, Heather Stiansen, and her husband
The Parochial Church
St Mary's - Holy
|REMINDER: NO BONFIRES AND FIREWORKS
We are again reminding
potential visitors who may have been used to visiting the
island to join with us in our traditional 'Bonfire
Night' celebrations that these will
taking place this year.
Thankyou for the article about Private James
Patterson in your last news letter James was my grandmother's cousin
and my uncle Jim Curry born in 1921 was named after him.
My grandma's name was Isabella Curry nee
Patterson. Her father's name was Richardson (Tish) Patterson he was
born on Holy Island about 1874 and was James' uncle My grandma lived
in Newcastle but paid many visits to Holy Island during her life
often staying there for long periods with her relatives the
Patterson family and was well known to many Islanders at that time
as Bella Tish.
Many thanks again I hope to visit the Island
as soon as I can and see the memorial.
As this year's archaeological exploration of
an area in the Sanctuary Close, just east of the current Priory
boundary, drew to a close. The Festival of Archaeology got underway
in the Hall. On Saturday and Sunday 22 & 23 September, the great
and good gathered to pay tribute to the late Professor Mick Aston,
who lead and helped, make Time Team the successful TV programme it
became. It could be said "he dragged archaeology out of the dark
ages and made the programme a right riveting not to miss
On both days ticket holders began queuing
just after 07:30; lectures began at 09:00 and ran through until late
afternoon. After a break on Saturday evening people collected in the
'blow-up' Pub for a drink before enjoying the Monsters Ceilidh Band
in the hall. All in all the weekend was a great success and a fine
tribute to Prof Mick.
Festival proceedings can be found on
DigVentures, DigNation website.
It is pleasing to note that this event was
live streamed across the world using the hall Wi-Fi and viewed by
of Northern Diocesan Group
Early in October the hall provided a venue
for a prestigious an assemblage of Northern Bishops who gathered on
the Island to review and plan well away from the helter-skelter of
Church activities. The meeting was successful and the tranquillity
of the Island enjoyed and not least they were delighted with the
This month saw the first of a series of Yoga
Classes, two sessions were held and enjoyed. More will be arranged
in December, beginning on 3rd December, time to be announced. The
classes have been arranged following requests from many of those who
attended during October and please don't forget the classes are not
just for Ladies.
Bye for now.
With only a couple of weeks of the season
left attention will soon turn to something we haven't really had to
think about for a while; routine maintenance. When all the major
works were going on, from a maintenance point of view we were wiping
the slate clean; a new maintenance schedule has been prepared and
this is where that begins to get used.
So that means I get to clean out drains
again (which of course I have missed) making sure that our resident
pigeons and fulmars don't cause any blockages. We have had our
five-yearly exterior painting programme carried out which will lift
things a little but some internal areas will have to wait until the
winter, so I'll need my brushes and white spirit at some point too.
There are also couple of leftovers from the major works that have
been put back to the winter. On the Lower Battery we will be
carrying out stabilisation work to the underground tanks - an
important source of firefighting water - and also clearing out the
old Butler's Pantry off the Kitchen to do some environmental
surveying. The walls in this room and the doorway into it from the
Kitchen have not responded well to the new plastering and so there
is clearly something wrong which we need to sort out.
Also on the agenda is planning for next year
and while we won't be bringing the contents back due to issues such
as that mentioned above, we are preparing a new visitor experience
to tell the Castle's stories in an engaging and imaginative way.
Some of you might have come up to the open evening we held at the
end of August and contributed to a couple of really interesting
workshops. On the back of that we are hoping to explore further some
of the fascinating stories that were shared via an oral history
project. This may involve direct recording by a filmographer but at
this stage we are still working things out. It all looks really
Soon after we close of course we will
approach the centenary of the Armistice in November 1918. I know
there are some colleagues of mine involved in the Pages of the Sea
project on the beach at Seahouses, which if you haven't heard about
is well worth checking out. The film director Danny Boyle is in
charge and on each participating beach around the country a portrait
will be created in the sand and as the tide comes in the image will
slowly disappear. It did put me in mind of any links we have here at
the Castle and the main one from the Great War would be that of
Billy Congreve VC, beloved of Hudson and one of the many who fell at
the Somme, and there is of course the less-direct link of Lutyens
being so heavily involved with the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission (notably here on the Island), but as 1918 is very much on
the agenda, I thought I'd mention the little-known visit of
Siegfried Sassoon to the Castle in September of that year. Sassoon
was wounded in France in July 1918 and discharged from the army. He
was invited by Hudson and William Heinemann, Sassoon's publisher, to
Lindisfarne. The pair planned to meet Sassoon in the August of that
year, but he did not arrive until September by which time the two
men had gone. The only person left in the Castle was Guilhermina
Suggia, the noted cellist and regular visitor to the island.
'After driving across the wet sands to the
island at low tide, we spent an afternoon with the only occupant of
the Castle. This was none other than Madame Suggia, who enchanted us
by her immense vitality and charm. It needs no saying that Suggia on
the concert platform has been the loveliest and most romantic of
modern virtuosos, in addition to being one of the most magnificent
executants. How then can one find words to describe her playing a
suite by Bach in the reverberant chamber of a lonely and historic
castle - her 'cello's eloquence accompanied only by the beat and
wash of waves breaking beneath the windows? This is an experience
which I will always remember with gratitude. It seemed as though I
had arrived at the end of a pilgrimage, to find peace and absolution
in an hour of incomparable music. For it was the first time I felt
completely remote and absolved from the deadly constraints of
It is nice to think the place and the music
had such an effect on Sassoon, and perhaps the passing of a century
will bring a similar feeling of peace and absolution across the
country on Armistice Day this year.
01289 389244 (press 1, then
|MYTH OF THE GEESE WHICH HATCHED FROM
It has been a wonderful autumn for Arctic
geese moving to wintering areas in Britain and here on the island we
have certainly enjoyed their passage.
Many of them were able to take advantage of
tail-winds to cross the North Atlantic from Greenland and
Iceland. Others arrived, also wind-assisted, from the Arctic
Ocean from breeding grounds on the Norwegian island group of
Svalbard, formerly Spitzbergen, and from the Russia archipelago of
A month ago I wrote about the arrival of our
own pale-bellied Brent Geese, also from Svalbard, and since then
numbers have really built up on the reserve, their only regular
wintering area in Britain.
The sight and sound of other passing geese
is always a feature of this stage of the year. Large numbers of
Pink-footed and Barnacle geese have passed over the island, both
species usually first noticeable by their far-carrying calls.
On many occasions I heard the distinctive
"wink, wink" calls of Pink-feet and had to search hard and long for
them against the almost dazzling blue skies which the winds cleared
to perfection. Eventually I managed to see skein after skein passing
over at very high altitude, tiny chevrons against the blue. Grey
geese against a blue background don't make for easy watching.
The Barnacle Geese were much easier to find,
coming through in typical low ragged flocks with their strange
yapping calls like a pack of small excited dogs.
Some of the Pink-feet will remain to winter
in the area, roosting out on the safety of the sandbars of the
reserve and commuting out at dawn to graze in pastures around the
Wooler area. Their return in the dying embers of winter sunsets can
be spectacular. Back in November 2014 an estimated 14,700 flew in to
roost, the largest concentration of these geese so far recorded in
Many others which flew through will have
continued onwards to East Anglia, the main wintering area, attracted
by the highly nutritious sugar beet stubbles.
- A massed flock of Barnacle geese
grazing on a winter pasture.
The following close-up shows
the striking white, grey and black plumage of these smart
Photo: Mike S
Most of the Barnacle Geese also quickly
moved through the area en route to their principal winter area
around Solway. Even as migration hit its peak over the island more
than 7,000 had already arrived at one of their main haunts, the
Caelaverock marshes, and a figure that swelled daily with further
The numbers passing over the island vary
from year to year, according to wind and weather. Back in 2008,
after flocks had passed overhead right through the day, 25,000
roosted on Fenham Flats and in Budle Bay, by far the biggest
concentration ever recorded in the county. They all moved off next
morning and a few hours later created a spectacular mass arrival on
However, in recent years some have remained
in our area using a new wintering area which has developed around
Budle Bay. More than 1,000 were present last winter. It will be
fascinating to see if that wintering population continues to
Both species are rather misnamed. The foot
colour of the Pink-feet is just about their least noticeable
feature, particularly while feeding as they habitually do on meadows
where their feet are not visible anyway. Their compact form,
distinctive dark heads and small bills are much better and more
visible clues to their identity.
I always think that Barnacle Geese are the
most beautiful of our wintering wildfowl in their smart plumage of
white, black and silvery grey. They got their name because of an old
belief, ridiculous as it sounds to us today, that they hatched from
marine crustaceans clinging to the bottoms of wooden boats and to
The story apparently originated in writings
by a 12th Century Welsh chronicler and cleric, Giraldus Cambrensis,
who claimed to have seen their strange birth during a visit to
Ireland. He wrote of them emerging from barnacles on floating tree
He said they were produced from fir timber
brought ashore by waves and were at first like gum. Afterwards they
hung down by their beaks as if they were seaweed attached to the
timber. They then developed a strong coat of feathers and either
fell into the water or flew freely away.
"I have frequently seen with my own eyes
more than a thousand of these small birds hanging down on the
seashore from one piece of timber," he wrote in 1186.
Other naturalists of the medieval era backed
him up, also claiming to have witnessed this incredible
metamorphosis. So the myth persisted for more than half a millennia.
It only faded away when their Arctic
breeding grounds were discovered in the late 19th Century. It was
finally established, to no great surprise to the modern mind that
these attractive geese hatched from eggs, just like all other birds.
But the name has stuck and is a reminder of the old myth.
In some areas, particularly in Ireland, it
seems that folk were reluctant to abandon the old belief. Not
because they still believed it to be true but simply for practical
reasons. After all, if Barnacle geese hatched from crustaceans they
must surely be fish rather than fowl. It was a handy way of getting
over the prohibition of eating meat during Lent. Canny folk, those
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE
A Year in the
Life of a Reserve Manager
October is my favourite colour -
Northumberland looks crisp and fresh in hues of orange, yellow and
brown. This was a wondrous time of year to begin working on
Lindisfarne. The arrival of the geese, decorating the sky like
skeins of wool strewn out in formation - team work to make sure
everyone makes it safely. Stronger birds flying at the apex,
alternating to share the load. Front flyers provide uplift and
reduce drag and resistance to make easier the way for juveniles,
older and weaker members of the flock that follow in their wake. A
joyous sound fills the air - calls of encouragement from birds at
the rear to say 'we're still here, keep up the good pace'! It would
be fair to say the geese are the highlight of the year for me. We
host outreach events that focus on migratory birds, watching from
afar so not to disturb them.
Autumn - a busy time - managing the land
through cutting, raking, pruning and grazing, removing non-native
invasive species. We cleaned beaches filled with debris deposited by
the seas that increase in power as they lap the land - fuelled by
wild winds of autumn. Small mammals were surveyed to monitor
abundance, a task repeated every spring and autumn. Sea-grasses
collected and evaluated for calorific value and the birds counted as
they are all year around.
Last winter was harsh but nevertheless,
livestock were tended, the reserve was patrolled, fences and hides
up-kept, reserve signage changed to reflect seasonal changes.
Vehicles, machinery and tools were maintained and plans made for the
coming year - by this time I had come to learn that reserve
management is a highly diverse role!
Spring eventually arrived after several
false starts. The overwintering fowl dispersed back across the globe
to breeding grounds. Sights and sounds anew filled the skies above
the reserve. All five UK tern species visit here, three of which
took their chances nesting on site. Skylarks began to sing in
mellifluous cadences above the dunes - a sound that promises summer
is on its way.
Summer saw human migration on mass as tens
of thousands of visitors arrived on the reserve - a pressure that
can be detrimental to the habitats and other species that reside
here. This was a time to engage with the public - we aimed to
enthuse them with fun activities to help them understand what can be
done to support species that call Lindisfarne home. The dunes now
alive with colour as orchids and butterflies abound. We monitored
and surveyed them to make sure their abundance is consistent year on
October is my favourite colour- we have come
full circle. I watch the birds arrive on cue- smiling from the
inside out at the joy their arrival brings - they made it again
across thousands of miles, against elements and obstacles. I
desperately try to comprehend what they have endured to reach these
essential feeding grounds; the instinct to support and protect them
is re-sparked as once more they will be the focus of autumn and
winter wardening. This October the time has arrived for my own
migration as I leave the reserve for pastures new...
Thank you for reading our articles over the
last 12 months.
Thank you to everyone that supports the work
of the NNR - particularly our small but mighty group of dedicated
volunteers who regularly brave all weathers to ensure the reserve is
I bid you all- 'fair thee well'
Ivison - previously Reserve Manager)
|NATURAL ENGLAND LINDISFARNE
There's a definite chill in the air in
the mornings these days, and Reserve staff are contemplating once
again our woolly hats as we set to work on autumn tasks. It is a
time of mending fences, brushcutting, beach cleans... and crossing
our fingers that the current sunny spell holds long enough for us to
truly make the most of it.
We are also in for a spot of cow and
shepherding, as we enlist four-legged colleagues to assist with our
work. A herd of thirty beef cattle are grazing the dunes and seem to
be enjoying their stint on Holy Island - footprints on the sand are
testament to a seaside stroll, and we've heard that one or two have
been enjoying a North Sea paddle. They are a placid group of ladies
but we do urge caution with all livestock, and certainly dogs must
be kept on leads to avoid frightening the cows. We do a daily stock
check, which sometimes feels a little like a game of hide and seek -
a chestnut rump disappearing over a dune, a calm-eyed, cud-chewing
face offering no clues as to where the remaining five cows have
hidden themselves. But eventually, they are counted - thirty-strong
- and we walk back through the dunes, collecting any litter we find
along the way and stopping at points to enjoy the spectacle of short
eared owls hunting.
Twenty-two sheep are intensively grazing
the Snook, a spot where the non-native invasive species Michaelmas
Daisy is attempting to gain a foothold. The fencing is electrified,
so please take care. We move the sheep regularly onto fresh areas
and are also engaged in the task of removing their droppings - thus
far with dustpan and brush, though we will also be trialling a
vacuum. The glamour of nature conservation!
Cutting and grazing keep the dunes from
developing monocultures, where one plant takes over, and open up the
sward for other species to flourish. The removal both of rakings and
of droppings keep the area nutrient-poor - an ideal environment for
wildflowers, such as the eleven species of orchid that flower here
in spring and summer.
Now is also the time when geese and
waders arrive en masse - 50,000 migratory birds overwinter on the
Reserve. Pink-footed geese overhead in their noisy, ragged skeins,
glimmering flocks of Golden Plover on the sand flats, Bar-tailed
Godwit feeding by the side of the causeway... the visitors to
Lindisfarne make for some incredible sights and sounds.
After their long journeys, birds are
very vulnerable to disturbance - they need places of refuge where
they can feed undisturbed by people, dogs, drones or anything which
might cause them to take flight. Each time they fly they expend some
of their energy budget and with no time to eat between flights, they
may starve to death.
Our peak counts to date include 3500
light-bellied Brent geese, 5000 pink-footed geese and 3500 barnacle
geese, with an estimated 2500 of the latter still on site. Early
morning is the best time to see these amazing birds in large
numbers. They will spend their winter here feeding and resting
before their long migrations back to the Arctic.
Apprentice, Lindisfarne & Newham NNRs
live-stock are checked daily but if you spot a problem you can
contact the Reserve office: email@example.com
or Tel. 01289381470.
|NORTHUMBERLAND COAST AONB
A Sparkling Close to Northumberland Coast
The Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
hosted a Celebration Concert at Ellingham Hall last Thursday to
bring to a close a year of events to mark their diamond anniversary.
It has been described as a "powerful essence of the Northumberland
coast's talents, beauty, wildness and power to heal and inspire folk
who live there and visit".
The night featured an eclectic mix of music
and song, bringing together different generations who all have a
love of the Northumberland Coast. The evening was also a chance to
hear the poems and prose pieces from the Written Word Competition
winners, which the Partnership ran throughout the summer.
The host for the evening was Tom
Cadwallender, who worked for the Northumberland Coast AONB
Partnership before his retirement seven years ago. His knowledge of
the coast and his natural ability to put the audience at ease made
him an obvious choice for the role. He ably guided the performers
and audience through the night.
Some of the music had been especially
written for the AONB's diamond anniversary. Andrew and Margaret
Watchorn, who perform as Pipes and Fiddle, debuted the two pieces:
the first was a slow waltz called Longstone (a nod to Grace Darling
on the 150th anniversary of her daring rescue) whilst the other was
a more lively jig named Sanderling, after the birds that dance along
The Duchess Community High School in Alnwick
played a big part in the celebrations. A quartet made up of Bethany
Kirkley, Palesa Thompson, Lucas Thornbury and Toby Cooke sang and
played beautifully, with a highlight being a modern twist on Byker
Hill, a well-known Northumbrian folk tune. The Creative Writing
Group from the school also performed a series of film poems - poetry
spoken alongside screened animation and pictures. This was a very
effective way of presenting their work and something the group are
keen to do more of as they grow in confidence.
Freelance poet and Beadnell resident,
Katrina Porteous, read several of her poems. Much of her work over
the last three decades has drawn on the detailed and loving
celebration of the landscape, nature and culture of the AONB.
Katrina writes her poems with the intention of them being heard out
loud and the broad Northumbrian accent with which she read them left
the audience amazed by her linguistic ability.
The prize-giving for the Written Word
Competition Winners was a highlight of the evening. The winners and
runners-up of the three age categories were asked if they would like
to perform their entries; they all stepped up to the mark with
remarkable courage and gave beautiful renditions of their poems and
stories. The theme of the competition was to reflect on and write
about the Northumberland Coast, with people and places
The competition had
a tremendous response, with a total of 147 entries received. T hree
renowned authors and poets judged the competition: Dan Smith is an
award winning, Newcastle-based author of adventure stories for
younger readers, and thrillers for adults; Dr Tony Williams is
Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Northumbria University,
who writes poetry and prose fiction and Richie McCaffery is an award
winning poet, with a PhD in Scottish Literature from Glasgow
University, who is originally from Warkworth.
Tony Williams awarded the prizes, giving the
judges comments and insights on each one. All of the winning entries
can be found on the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership
Runner up: 7-11 years category - Alex
Winner: 7-11 years category: Scarlett Hodgson
up: 12-16 years category - Antonia Johnson
Winner: 12-16 years
category - Lily Tibbitts
Runner up: Adults category - Julie
Winner: Adults category - Ali
Catherine Gray, Funding and Communications
Officer for the AONB, who has been responsible for organising the
60th anniversary celebrations, said: " We wanted to give people a
chance to share their energy and enthusiasm for the area throughout
the year. We've talked alot about the importance of preserving the
AONB in years to come, so involving the younger generation in our
celebrations seemed an obvious thing to do".
Cllr Jeff Watson, Chair of the AONB
Partnership, said: "For such a small team, the AONB staff achieve a
great deal. We've had a marvellous evening of entertainment which
has followed on for an inspiring Forum this afternoon. Here's to the
next 60 years!"
|NEWS FROM FORD & ETAL
Battle's Over - A Nation's Tribute and WWI Beacons of
Part in the national chain of beacons being
lit on the evening of 11th November as part of a historic tribute to
the many millions who were killed or came home dreadfully wounded
during World War I, this event is a joint commemorative event
between the North Northumberland branch of the Royal British Legion
and Ford & Etal Estates, and one of a number of events that the
Royal British Legion is involved with across the area on 11th
Visitors are invited to meet from 6.30pm
onwards with the beacon being lit at exactly 7pm, following a
reading. Hot soup, tea and coffee will be available. Donations
welcome to the Royal British Legion North Northumberland.
The beacon will be located near Watchlaw
Farm, one mile north-east of Ford. It will be signposted from the
B6353; Grid Reference for the event is NT958 392.
Live Music, Etal Village Hall - Katriona Gilmore and Jamie
Contemporary folk/acoustic duo Gilmore &
Roberts combine award-winning song writing with astounding
musicianship and their trademark harmonies to create a powerful wall
of sound. Nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards,
Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie Roberts (guitar) met
while studying at Leeds College of Music and released their debut
album in 2008.
Ford Christmas Market, 11am-3.30pm
Over 50 stalls selling gifts, crafts, and
local food. Santa and his Donkeys arrive at 12 noon.
It's time for a wake up call before its too
late. In the fifties Rachel Carson wrote her book 'The Silent
Spring'. This was the time that DDT and Aldrin were being so widely
used that the effects on wild life were quickly seen by the rapid
decline of raptors. Pressure was put on governments and these
poisons were largely banned. At that time I lived on a fruit farm in
Hampshire and my father saw the light and despite all the publicity
put out by the purveyors of sprays, decided enough was enough and
stopped crop spraying.
Where are we now in 2018? Birds are in a
free fall decline especially the insect eating migrants, wild
flowers are seen if you are lucky on unsprayed road verges.
Insects have decline by 95% since the 1940's. In the 1960's, we
purchased fly deflectors for attaching onto the bonnets of our cars
and despite this fly squash had to be washed off windscreens after
every journey! When was the last time you had to do that?
Why have insects and flowers suffered such a
decline? Global warming may have had an effect but the main reason
must be the widespread use of both insecticides and herbicides to
keep the monoculture of growing the same crop on the fields year
after year. Farmers currently apply 16,063,000 Kg of the stuff
on their crops in the UK (which is why we have such green fields)
and in addition the general public use Roundup indiscriminately as
though it was a miracle cure for everything in their gardens!
In 2016 according to the Pesticide Usage Survey from HMG National
Statistics Dept farmers have applied 56 Herbicides, 70 fungicides,
13 insecticides and growth regulators. It is not surprising
that we have so few insects, bees, wild flowers and birds around
nowadays. Swifts have virtually crashed out of existence -
when did you last hear the screams of these birds dashing through
the skies? We are getting to the stage where we have to
travel miles to see and marvel at the insects and bees in nature
All is not lost though, there are organic
farms around which successfully make a living by using
biodiversity of crops and using nature to assist in both insect and
weed control. Jody Scheckter (who was formula 1 world
champion) has a 2,500 acre farm at Laverstoke in Hampshire which is
totally organic rearing buffalo for mozzarella cheese, barley for
both beer and livestock feed, organic compost, etc etc.
What can we do to redress this imbalance in
nature? We can make a start by making your town or village and
garden spray free such that we lock away all those noxious chemicals
so they are not used around our roads or verges or in our gardens.
Its time today to write to your Council asking them to support this
suggestion and for it to be put into operation.
But I hear you say " it says on the
container that they are harmless to humans and livestock"!
Don't you believe it - that's just the manufacturers way of selling
their products! Now Monsanto and Bayer are joining
forces to form one of the biggest companies in the world controlling
not only the chemicals but also the seeds including GM. When
it goes ahead they will have influence on not only farmers but on
whole countries around the world. This makes for absolute
power over not just farmers but nations! That cannot be right can
It's up to us at ground roots to say "enough
|FROM THE COMMUNITY OF AIDAN AND
The theme of the Annual Scottish Pilgrimage
Gathering 2018 was 'Celebrating the historic ties between St.
Andrews, Lindisfarne and Durham'.
It was held at Black Adder Church, North
Berwick, following a walk along the first stretch of the Forth to
Farne 72 miles Way.
A local historian highlighted features
familiar to ancient pilgrims. The Eco-Congregation Scotland officer
described how churches can link the environment to their faith and
practice. Part of the Way includes that of the naturalist John Muir
Way. There is also an eco-congregation England movement.
I spoke about Resources for the Way, and
explained things that pilgrims do on Holy Island. Before that,
I spoke of 'Walking in the Steps of the Saints' en route. So
we learned about the hermit Baldred on Bass Island, Saint Ebbe at
Abbe'sHead, Saint Cuthbert stationed at Dunbar on military duty
(during this time he witnessed Aidan's glory trail to heaven) and
Saint Boisil's visits to the mouth of the Tweed at Berwick.
As pilgrimage increases the Pilgrim
Organisations hope to increase resources on the routes and in nearby
churches. A booklet produced for those who walk the Forth to
Farne Way includes this prayer by Rev Gabrielle Ayerst, who was
recently the locum priest in the Vicarage for a week:
Don't look back along the track
blasts of wind in your face
But embrace the steps before
Well travelled by other pilgrims on the way
The steps of
saints as they travel
To the Holy Island of Lindisfarne
The centre of spiritual fire and place of
love and beauty.
Founding Guardian, The
international Community of Aidan and Hilda
ST. MARY'S NOTICES
||Pattern of worship for Sundays|
worship (Monday - Saturday)
8 am Morning Prayer Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday|
8 am Eucharist Wednesday and Friday
5.30 pm Evening Prayer every day
notice board in church porch in the event of a seasonal
"Light up a Life"
In Belford and
meet our hospice