Section: Sussex

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A bigger splash: Sussex art show celebrates the sea

Rick Dillon

The new exhibition Seafaring, at Hastings Contemporary, features a wide variety of works by mainly British artists from 1820 to the present day. Rick Dillon describes the stunning range of paintings, from 19th-century shipwrecks by Romantic artists such as Géricault to contemporary canvases by Cecily Brown and Maggi Hambling.

Growing up Catholic in the 1950s and 60s

Claire Hill

Growing up in post-war Britain, in a strict Catholic household, Claire Hill and her friends were given strict rules about behaviour and dating at her convent school, but sex (like the war) was never mentioned. Inevitably, rule breaking resulted.

UPDATED

Political unity and division as May elections approach

Rick Dillon

The May local elections are being seen as the chance for voters to give their verdict on prime minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative government’s record of failing the young, the vulnerable and ordinary families. In Sussex there will be several key contests; but while parties go head to head, there have also been signs of greater compromise and partnership.

Bee bricks: constructive contribution or greenwash?

Ross McNally

Nearly half of Britain’s bees are designated as nationally or globally threatened. Leading factors include habitat destruction and the use of chemical pesticides. Ross McNally argues that the introduction of bee bricks into new buildings will not make much difference to bee survival; it’s more important to ban pesticides in gardens, streets and agricultural land.

Walking the dog – when is enough not enough?

Claire Hill

Claire Hill finds it a great comfort to walk in the countryside with her dog. It gives her time to think and here she talks about what’s important to her in life – including food, shelter, good healthcare and a decent government – and not forgetting earrings.

NEW WRITER

A cake sale for Ukraine

Claire Hill

Many of us have a sense of helplessness about the war in Ukraine and this has prompted people to give money, offer their homes and contribute help in other ways. New writer Claire Hill describes how a cake sale she organised became a local community event, involving many others in her street.

Gardeners, give insects and slugs a break: we need them

Manek Dubash

Human dominance over nature is the lens through which we have been encouraged to see the rest of life on planet Earth. But the long-term consequences of this approach are becoming clearer daily: we are damaging the environment and ourselves. We have to reverse the trend, even if in small ways. We could do worse than start with our gardens, Manek Dubash explains.

NEW WRITER

A bumpy landing on Faridge Farm

James Cory-Wright

“I know it’s March but I must say that February is always the longest month, despite Dudley, Eunice and Franklin’s best efforts to liven it up.”… Welcome to the first Sussex Bylines ‘digested month’ by James Cory-Wright

Is it time to rethink unsustainable road expenditure?

Vic Ient

In 2020 the Government approved an eye-watering £27bn for major road construction despite the rising costs of dealing with Covid. Here in Sussex several schemes are planned over the next 10 years by a government that seems hell-bent on encouraging travel by road – at the expense of bus and rail.

What can we do in Sussex about climate change?

Mike Coyne

We all need to change the way we run our lives, if we are going to reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably. There are a growing number of community initiatives that are taking this open, co-operative and bottom-up approach to tackling sustainability issues.

Look again… at the legendary hawthorn tree

Ginny Smith

The familiar hawthorn tends to escape our attention except during a brief period in the spring when it is covered with brilliant white blossom and lightens a hedgerow with its flowers. But to ignore the hawthorn is to ignore the extraordinary weight of folklore, myth, history and literature linked to it.

What’s the buzz? Don’t forget to tell the bees!

Ginny Foster

Our bees are once more facing an existential threat. The powers-that-be have given permission for neonicotinoids to be used to control aphids on sugar beet. The very existence of these pesticides is a sword of Damocles being held over our bees, other insects and our countryside.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Sussex has its very own link to Europe. Let’s cherish it.

Tom Serpell

Newhaven is important in Sussex history and could be in its future. Brexit may be unhelpful but does not prevent travel. Tom Serpell and his wife cherish their local route to France to remind themselves of life beyond these shores and continue to enjoy another culture every bit as civilised and interesting as our own.

Knepp Estate: who controls and benefits from rewilding?

Ross McNally

Rewilding is all the rage yet there remain key fatal flaws in the model. First is the fragmented nature of rewilding in the UK. Second, it remains largely the domain of a handful of privileged people. Could greater democratic oversight help repair fragmentation?

Refugees and Sovereignty – Two birds with one stone

Tom Serpell

Taking back control of our borders was, for good or ill, a cornerstone of Brexit, fetishised by those who tell Johnson what to do. As the UK government weeps crocodile tears over deaths at sea of asylum seekers driven to desperate measures to reach their place of safety, it refuses to enact the simplest and most decent of solutions to the problem: to create safe routes to this country.

UPDATED

Infilling at Barcombe: a bridge too far!

Ginny Smith

Are disused railway bridges liabilities or assets? It’s a question highlighted by plans to infill a bridge in Barcombe with concrete, plans which provoked a vigorous and, so far, successful campaign to halt what local campaigners describe as vandalism.