Parish Newsletter Summer 2021


As you may know, the Parish Council was up for election in May. As we had fewer candidates than seats, everyone that stood was elected unopposed. We have several new faces as well as many familiar ones, but one thing we have in common is a desire to do our best for Hawkhurst. I would like to wish a warm welcome to our three new councillors: Laurence Faulkner, Simon Paish and Lisa Ridley.

This still leaves us with two vacancies. Page 2 of this newsletter has all of the details on how to apply for co-option. So please do give some serious thought as to whether you would like to join us on the Parish Council.

You do not need to have any specific skills, knowledge or experience to be a councillor. In fact, there are very few requirements. You need to be at least 18 years old, a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen, and live or work in Hawkhurst. From my perspective, the fact that you are interested in and care about the future of Hawkhurst and its residents, is far more important than any skills or experience, which can be learnt after all.

I would like to thank our departing councillors Mike Appelbe, Brian Fitzpatrick, Richard Lusty and Paul Whittle for their service on the Parish Council over the years. I am sure you will join me in wishing them all the best in the future.

Our Parish Office has been working remotely throughout the pandemic and I am really pleased to let you know that the Parish Office is planned to re-open on the 21st June 2021 in line with the easing of restrictions on staff working from home. At this stage, it is not clear whether government guidance on social distancing will remain in place. If social distancing is still required, this may mean that the office has to remain closed to visitors, but our staff will be available on the phone or email as usual. Clearly, we will only be making changes in line with government guidance.

Take care,
Clare Escombe
Chairman, Hawkhurst Parish Council

Update on Copt Hall

The Copt Hall is currently closed while we await the results of a building survey to clarify the way forward. We will update you as soon as we can.

Support your local shops in 2021

Local residents and visitors are encouraged to support their local shops, cafes, pubs, salons, and cinema in Hawkhurst when the coronavirus restrictions ease.

Lisa Edwards, who runs interiors and gift store “Ooh How Lovely”, explained that “Business for my shop in Hawkhurst has been a total experience of learning to adapt. It’s vital to have local support but also to be available and offer adapted services when situations change.”

Update on Community and Sports Centre

Many of you attended the consultation events or commented on the initial designs and must be wondering what has happened to the long-awaited new facilities!

COVID-19 has delayed progress but we are finally moving forward and our aim is to submit a planning application in summer.

In the next year, we will focus on areas of the wider project; such as the upgrade the junior sports pitches, playground, fund raising and the overall business plan.

We will be in contact about these in the future.

Spring has sprung and summer is here

“Spring has sprung and the grass has definitely “ris.” I wonder where the birdie is?” Easy answer, they are busy building nests again and joining in the dawn chorus.

The trees and hedges have grown well in the last few weeks as nature gets back on track. One may be tempted to get out the shears, however this will disturb nesting birds and there is guidance that the hedges and trees are not cut until 1st August, farmers do not cut until September.

With a late spring this brought problems as birds need certain insects and many chicks died in March/April. The blue tits suffered as they need the insects from oak trees which were not in leaf early enough.

It’s best to keep peanuts as a winter food, as it can choke chicks in the nest. May and October are the months when there is an increase in deer activity and death on the road.

In recent years, there has been a massive surge in the deer population which stands at approximately 2 million and the largest population for 1000 years. Take care, they are a solid animal and can do you and your car a lot of damage. There are plenty of warning signs. If you hit a deer, please stop, and phone the police.

Slugs and snails have slept in later this year, thank goodness! Please do not use any slug pellets it kills birds and hedgehogs which we need. With the advent of these unwanted guests, it could be you need to worm your dog in case they come in contact with an infected slug or snail, they carry lung worm.

Lastly what super “Super Moons” have graced the skies on April 27, 2021: Full “Super Pink Moon” and this last week May 26: Full “Super Flower Blood Moon.”

The last one for this year is Thursday, June 24, 2021: Full “Super Strawberry Moon” (also the lowest-hanging full Moon of the year.)

Enjoy the summer and stay safe and well.

Hawkhurst in Bloom

Hawkhurst in Bloom was set up in March 2020 just before lockdown with a group of keen volunteers. We have set out our Vision & Aims and want to get as many Hawkhurst people and groups involved with the RHS In Bloom initiative.

This includes caring for open spaces, preserving habitats for wildlife, reducing litter, reusing and recycling, sustainable growing of plants, trees and shrubs, encouraging community spirit and helping the next generation of gardeners and growers.

Our 1st project was chosen, the overhaul of the Jubilee Garden flowerbed on the corner of All Saints and Rye Road

A generous grant was provided by Hawkhurst Parish Council and plans were made to start on.

A theme was chosen – Smuggling and The Hawkhurst Gang and a beach scene has been created with breakwaters made out of the old sleepers around the original bed. Barrels will be planted up in June to reflect the colours of the sand, sea and waves and grasses will be planted in the shingle. Hawkhurst Scouts are making a Smuggler figure which will be installed mid-June, ready for the visit of the Judges from South & South East in Bloom on 22nd June 2021.

The project is entered into the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition.

We have more ideas and plans for 2021/2022 so please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. If interested in getting involved, please contact 07775 736115 or please come and say hello at the Hawkhurst Fete on 26th June from 12 noon at The Moor!

Thank you

The last 12 months or so have been a very difficult period for many in our community.

We are all amazed by those who volunteered to help our community or who bravely kept working through the depths of the Covid-19 crisis, and continue to do so.

Thank you

To all those who turned out and helped with the Litter Pick on the 5th June 2021, it was another successful community effort!

We have organised then on a regular basis in the past and will look to do so again soon. We will be in contact soon.