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Rural life - June

PUBLISHED: 17:14 03 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:22 03 June 2013

Open Farm Sunday

Open Farm Sunday

David Hartley

Open Farm Sunday

On 9 June, farms across the county will be opening their gates and hosting various events and demonstrations. To find your nearest farm, go to www.farmsunday.org or call 02476 413911.

Sussex saves the nation’s trees

The Royal Botanic Garden’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, near Ardingly, has been chosen by the UK National Seed Tree Project to house seeds from 50 of the most vulnerable trees and shrubs in the country.

Species most at risk include English oak, common box plants and ash trees. Genetic testing will be carried out on each of the plants, so that scientists can create the first detailed picture of British tree populations. They will then be places in the protective storage facility at Wakehurst Place.

The Millennium Seed Bank is already the world’s largest collection of plant seeds. The seeds collected for this project will be used to help find trees that are resistant to disease and replant areas in the future. Some species will be particularly tricky to store though, such as oak, whose seeds cannot be dried and stored so must be cryogenically frozen and kept in a specially equipped facility.

The Environment Minister, Lord de Mauley, said: “Improving tree health is one of our top priorities and innovative projects like this, remarkable in their scale and ambition, are exactly what we need.”

Eventually, it is hoped that Wakehurst Place will store seeds from all the tree and shrub species in Britain, but those deemed most at risk, or those that will have the greatest impact on the landscape if lost, will be its first priority.

Off to market

Lewes Farmers’ Market has had a fantastic start to the year – The Sussex Food and Drink Awards gave it the coveted Best Farmers Market award, and planning permission has just been granted to run a second monthly market on Cliffe Precinct, in Lewes, which is now open for business on the first Sunday of the month.

New local producers, as well as some of the stallholders from the existing monthly market, on the first Saturday of the month, will make up the Sunday team. The Saturday market is open 9am to 1pm, and the Sunday market is open 10am to 2pm. See www.facebook.com/lewesfarmersmarket for more information.

Milking it

Chichester based company ADF Milking are celebrating are celebrating being named as winners of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise - the UK’s highest accolade for business success.

ADF received the prestigious award for Innovation for their revolutionary automatic dipping and flushing system, a patented in-cluster mechanism for use in milking parlours, which increases milking routine efficiency and improves cow health.

Farm shop of the month

Tulleys Farm Shop, Turners Hill (01342 718472; www.tulleysfarm.com)

A master butchers, fresh local groceries, and artisan breads and cakes, all under one roof

On my walk

A stroll through any woodland this month will be a feast for the senses – the blossoms are well and truly out, and not only do they look fantastic, but they smell gorgeously sweet and fruity. The sight of the petals catching on the breeze and dancing across the sky is a simple pleasure that we should not take for granted.

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