Dead fish, country walks, high winds and cormorants…

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January 16, 2014 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith published in the Littlehampton Gazette January 9th 2013

ALWAYS plenty to see on Littlehampton’s seashore after a very high wind of which there have been many recently. A gathering of dead lobsters, a herring, flounders, dog fish, starfish, large crabs, netting, an eel, cuttlefish and seaweed all neatly laid out, almost reverently, along a short section on the edge of the promenade as a sort of homage to the passing storms. Further inland, during a brief break in the dark clouds, I walked with a friend past Arundel Park’s Hiorne’s Tower and on to Whiteways Lodge where, from that high vantage point, it was clear to see the flooded wetlands across the Arun Valley to Amberely, and beyond to Pulborough Brooks. An inland sea, magnificent, great for ducks but not so hot for the endangered water voles many of which were forced to abandon their flooded homes and take to the higher ground and whatever fate awaited them there.

LOOKS as if the poor old cormorants are not going to have a very happy new year as, according to the Angling News, the Angling Trust are pressing for a free hand in the culling (killing) of these magnificent birds for daring to trespass on privately owned fisheries. Sadly, this pressure may have some governmental support. I understand the concerns of the fishery owners but cannot help thinking there must be another way and I only hope this will not affect the local population of birds that daily amuse both local residents and visitors to our lovely River Arun. I am aware that my comments and support for the cormorant may have upset a few fishing folk but, as Jochem Barden said to John Snow on Channel 4 news, ‘Once you have an opinion you have enemies, but also you may find more friends…’ and I certainly have.

TO HAVE AND TO HAVE NOT, well, we did have a cinema 331 days ago and now we do not have one. But if you are a Bogart fan then the good news is that the East Beach Café are putting on their bangers and mash film evenings again and starting out with a screening of CASABLANCA on the 16th of January from 6.00pm. Take an acquaintance along, you never know, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

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