Saturday, July 7th. Had a beautiful, enjoyable afternoon, including a trip down Memory Lane! Went to an Open Garden event in aid of the Family Support Group at The Long House in West Dean near Seaford. The owners have over the past six years created an extensive, beautiful but compartmentalised cottage garden containing a wide variety of plants.
After, we visited the nearby churchyard and church. I used to know the village well and a number of its then inhabitants when I lived and worked over the hill at Exceat during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Upon leaving the village spotted one of the last fair-sized elms in the area starting to die from Dutch Elm Disease. Further up the valley at Lullington and especially sad for me, one of the last sizable elms has at last surrendered to this dreadful disease. It is the only example in the area of a Smooth-leaved Elm of the variety diversafolia.
I managed the East Sussex Dutch Elm Control project between 1997 and 2004. Due to mis-management and cost-cutting, it unraveled two years later and failed, after a total of some 30 something years and the expenditure of millions of pounds of public money.