Sennicotts NGS Garden Opening 2019 – £2,000 raised

Thank you to all who attended the 4 Sennicotts NGS Garden Opening Days this month. Over 300 people joined us and with your help we raised over £2,000 for the NGS Charity.

To learn more about the charitable causes this money will support please see the NGS beneficiaries here

We are only able to donate 100% of your ticket sale and 100% of the tea and cake proceeds because of a very special team of volunteers who give their time to bake, serve and tidy up before, during and after the opening days. A heartfelt thank you goes to those who make the openings possible.

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Sennicotts as a photographic location

Sennicotts house and gardens are an ideal Georgian, English Country photographic shoot and film location near Chichester in West Sussex.

The house is a Regency Villa (as described by the Connoisseur Magazine in 1967) while the gardens are formal and landscaped including a large walled kitchen garden.

Located 4 miles from Goodwood and within 9 miles of West Wittering beach and Chichester Harbour. 

For more information please contact Eloise via email

Features include:

Barns and agricultural buildings; Entrance hall; Cantilever stairs; Living rooms; Dining room; Kitchen; Bedrooms; Bathrooms; Cellars; Domestic swimming pool; Formal gardens; Parkland; Gatehouse; Fountain; Tarmac road; 3 phase electric supply, 4m ceilings; Oak framed summerhouse.

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The Marmite Fence

In 2019 the fence alongside the B2178, opposite Oakwood, was replaced. The previous wooden post and barbed wire fence had reached the end of its life having suffered the effects of the elements, vehicle crashes, deer strikes and falling timber.

The replacement fencing is a stock-proof 1.2m X-fence galvanised product supported by the Clipex post and strainer system.

The new fence divides opinion … which is an issue as it was chosen to last

This fencing system had been tested in a short run for cost of installation, durability, effectivness and of course aesthetic properties.

As with any cap-ex decision we were wanting to satisfy a number of criteria to the greatest level of return. Aesthetic being only one weighted criteria. Other criteria included:

  • Durability of materials to the ravages of the english climate
  • Flexibility and speed of installation
  • Repairability
  • Strength and safety
  • Ability to contain stock of all sizes, from lambs to cattle
  • Safety – design to prevent lambs getting heads stuck
  • Effectiveness at reducing deer migrating across B2178 and causing accidents

It turns out this fence evokes quite different reactions from users of the B2178. Much like marmite the feedback has been starkly opposing. With responses ranging from it being used as a landmark (“where that smart fence is”) to “I don’t like it, why?”

Understandably these responses focus primarily on the aesthetic, with a trend for those in favour to see the aesthetic in a positive light when there is a natural appreciation of the function.

Like all things, the aesthetic will undoubtedly change over time through weathering and vegetation growth. Perhaps all that will be left to appreciate then is the function, less dead deer, and far fewer car parts being recovered from the field.

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Brexit

Waking up on February 1st 2020 to some it will feel like everything has changed. Maybe even as if the world has changed.

But for the majority of living things, almost all of life on planet earth, nothing has changed. Least of all the seasons.

We would do well to remember that as humans, how we organise ourselves should keep its rightful place behind the rhythm of life and needs of each individual’s heart – to be known and loved.

What this flags means to many might have changed, but the soil in which it is planted, and everything else that lives there, knows there is very rarely anything truly new under the sun.

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Health, Safety and Exhilaration

There exists a certain gulf, or maybe a canyon, between the two lands of health and safety on the one side and exhilaration on the other. Between lies a certain mystery at how the two might be joined. Surely it is not necessary for these two concepts to live in total isolation. Yet attempts to weave any commonality of experience or objective (and never methodology) seems futile.

I have recently spent many hours working at height in a 51′ cherry picker. An experience well outside my comfort zone. With the added ingredients of a chainsaw, Silky saw, and several tonnes of timber there was plenty which could go seriously wrong. The nature of the work means if you operate correctly the job gets done but if you make a mistake or miscalculate a risk someone gets injured or something gets badly broken.

Faced with these ingredients and potential outcomes the reality is we want to push through the fear while managing the risk. Yet it sometimes feels as if modern health and safety actually wants us to avoid any fear by removing all risk.

The problem is that bit of us that wants to experience the other side of that fear. In my case to see the job done and done well.

I have always struggled to articulate how the person facing the fear and taking the risk can actually be rewarded by taking responsibility for both. I think the resentment comes when we are told we are not allowed to take the responsibility ourselves and that instead we have to submit to someone else’s responsibility and processes to manage our own (and others’) safety.

I have just read John Muir’s description of wanting to get to a viewpoint where he can see over the edge of a waterfall – from within the rushing water as it approaches the edge!

A copy of this at the start of every Health & Safety Manual under the title of HSE (where HSE stands for Health Safety and Exhilaration instead of Health & Safety Executive) would ensure the whole subject is put in appropriate perspective.

I took off my shoes and stockings and worked my way cautiously down alongside the rushing flood keeping my feet and hands pressed firmly on the polished rock. The booming, roaring water, rushing past close to my head, was very exciting….

At length, after careful scrutiny of the surface, I found an irregular edge of a flake of the rock some distance back from the margin of the torrent. If I was to get down to the brink at all that rough edge, which might offer slight finger-holds, was the only way. But the slope beside it look dangerously smooth and steep, and the swift roaring flood beneath, overhead, and beside me was very nerve-trying. I therefore concluded not to venture father, but did nevertheless…

I crept down safely to the little ledge, got my heels well planted on it, then shuffled in a horizontal direction 20 or 30 feet until close to the out plunging current, which, by the time it had descended this far, was already white. Here I obtained a perfectly free view down into the heart of the snowy, chanting throng of comet-like streamers, into which the body of the fall soon separates.

While perched on that narrow niche I was not distinctly conscious of danger. The tremendous grandeur of the fall in form and sound and motion, acting at close range, smothered the sense of fear, and in such places one’s body takes keen care for safety on its own account.

My First Summer in the Sierra, John Muir 1911

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John Muir quote

“Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”

13th June 1869, My First Summer in the Sierra, John Muir

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Peonies

Sennicotts Garden’s Open to the public for National Garden’s Scheme (NGS) charities.

Sunday 9th June 2019 10am – 5pm

Monday 10th June 2019 9am – 4pm

Monday 17th June 2019 9am – 4pm

Monday 24th June 2019 9am – 4pm

Adults £4, children free

More information at www.ngs.org.uk

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A letter to the community

I recently heard Chichester’s A27 dilemma likened to the current Brexit chaos. While there are similarities there is one substantial difference.

With Brexit no one really knows what we can or can’t have in our negotiations with the EU.

On the other hand with the A27 at Chichester the Highways Authority have been consistently clear, telling us for over 15 years Chichester can have the congestion resolved by upgrading the existing A27 Chichester Bypass.

Much consternation and now disappointment has come from the suggestion that alternatively Chichester can have a northern bypass. The source of this alternative suggestion is merely an individual with a cause. Much like Brexit, a promise or claim made but not found in any reality.

So whereas Brexit is full of uncertainty Chichester’s A27 does actually have a very real and certain solution. A set of options within budget that admittedly need community refinement to work fully for all, but which are affordable and deliverable.

These options were put to the community in 2004 and again, refined, in 2016. Someone in that time has been claiming Chichester can have a different more expensive and destructive option north of the city but those who will be paying for the work and building it have given us a clear and consistent message – they have looked at that option and it is neither affordable nor workable.

So do we want to unite around the certain or be divided over a concept we are consistently told is not an option? We know Louise Goldsmith’s answer to that question but as a community we are free to choose to unite around the certain. I would encourage us all to do just that.

despite claims by campaigners that a northern bypass around Chichester would simply follow existing roads and do little environmental damage the video above shows the exact route of their proposed road through ancient parkland, productive farmland, important habitats and wildlife networks of the Upper Coastal Plain. 

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