Features Sneak Peek: March 4, 2023 Issue

SYSTEM © An illustration of Ditchling.

Pat Coulter explores the creative heritage of delightful Ditchling, in the March 4, 2023 issue of “The People’s Friend”.

Pat believes that one of the delights of living in Sussex is the sheer variety of landscapes on your doorstep. In the magazine, join Pat as she heads into the South Downs National Park.

At a good few hundred feet about sea level, Ditchling Beacon offers the highest viewpoint on top of the South Downs in these parts. Looking southwards reveals glimpses of the glistening sea stretching from Brighton towards Eastbourne. The sunlight catches the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs at landmark Beachy Head. The springy turf of the chalk downland grass is a wildflower-rich habitat with rare orchids and rampion growing abundantly.

On a visit to the Nutmeg Tree village centre tea rooms, we will be transported back to the wartime era as Vera Lynn is playing in the background and Spitfire prints hang on the walls. Dame Vera Lynn was once a resident here and is fondly remembered by the community.

Ditchling is an ideal village for a stroll and as we’ll soon discover, there’s much to see and do here.

Guide Runners

Running with a guide has helped Ruth Forrest find her footing.

Photograph by Issy Paterson.

When Ruth Forrest lined up at the start of the Great North Run, she could feel the buzz of excitement from the tens of thousands of fellow runners.

She couldn’t see them, though, or indeed any of the 13 miles that lay ahead. Ruth, from Hamilton, Lanarkshire, is blind and had never run at all just a year before.

Then she found a whole new passion in her life by joining Parkrun and taking up running, hitting the road alongside a sighted runner.

Now Ruth is inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. Bill Gibb finds out more about how guide runners are helping those with sight loss achieve things they never thought possible.

Let’s Hear It For Herons

A heron.

Photograph by Polly Pullar.

A hard “kraak” splits the silence of daybreak. A heron passes over the farm, legs outstretched behind it, lanky body extended, almost prehensile in shape.

It has had an early breakfast of frogs close to Polly Pullar’s house. Every day in frog breeding season, the calls of herons add to the growing dawn chorus. They are quick to take advantage of this seasonal feeding bonanza.

Herons are adaptable and found in most parts of Scotland. They frequent sea and loch, river and marsh.

Polly casts her mind back to the first time she encountered these magnificent birds.

150 Years Of The Kennel Club

Beagle Miss P from the Hound Group after they win Best in Show at the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Photograph by Shutterstock.

It is behind the world’s most famous dog show and at the heart of all canine matters. Now the Kennel Club is celebrating a major milestone – its 150th anniversary.

It’s the largest organisation devoted to dog health, welfare and training, registering over 250,000 pedigree dogs annually and thousands more crossbreeds on its activity register.

But it was all very different when the club was founded on April 4, 1873. Read more about the history of the world’s greatest dog show in the magazine.

Elsewhere, we have a selection of tasty springtime meals, and a knitting pattern to make a colourful patterned sweater.

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