The rain, welcomed by farmers and gardeners, has softened the parched earth which is once again ‘green and pleasant’. Now it is time to move on and sow the seeds for the future.
It is the season of Ploughing Matches. An opportunity to watch Sussex farmers turning the rich soil expertly with their ploughs of many vintages, including some horse drawn, to the latest ultra-modern, satellite navigated tractors.
On Wednesday September 21 the Laughton Match is at Vuggles Farm, Barcombe. Petworth’s is on Saturday 24 at Okehurst Farm, Billingshurst, and Hurstpierpoint’s on Sunday 25 September, at Rivers Farm, Borde Hill Lane, Haywards Heath.
The public are welcome to attend these events, a day out for all the family. They offer a close-up window on the countryside, an opportunity to understand what goes on behind farm gates and hedges.
Today more than ever we need to understand the connection between farming and the food which ends up on our plates. It is simple, one which has gone on for centuries. A natural process which as the years go by, becomes less understood by the public.
The tributes to her late Majesty continue to pour in with heartfelt messages of sadness, respect, love, and admiration. We have reflected with heavy hearts as she travelled from Balmoral, lying at peace within her oak coffin, to the heart of London to lie in state, attend the magnificent service at Westminster Abbey, then to her final resting place in St Georges Chapel, Windsor, to lay beside Prince Philip.
Thousands have lined the entire route. They have waited respectfully and patiently for hours, some to file past Her Majesty in Westminster Hall, others just experiencing privately this momentous moment in the history of our nation.
The transition from Her Majesty to King Charles has been seamless and triumphant. Years of preparation mobilised faultlessly by the armed services, the Royal household, and the people.
The State funeral on Monday, (due to the Bank Holiday I have been asked to file my copy on Friday), is the first since the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill on 30 January 1965.
Since then, the term ‘ceremonial funeral’ has been used for the funerals of Lord Louise Mountbatten, Diana, Princess of Wales, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Margaret Thatcher, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, have fallen into this category.
Never again will there be another to equal Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, nor shall we witness such perfect pageantry. As she looks down from above as I am certain our Queen will be well pleased.