• Writing about the Arundel Bypass

      Many people are passionately opposed to the destruction of the countryside of Binsted and Walberton, Arundel and Tortington.

      Their love and concern for this landscape is finding expression in creative writing.


      Is that my shadow, or the tree’s?

       Long, leaning over, craning to see the rara skirt fungi we are careful not to touch,

       As we make our den, pretending to be estate agents, which is funny because you are only three,

       Good-sized bedroom, bracken roof, story of king Alfred’s cakes told as we test out the soil with our knees,

       A better offer of a road, our careful sticks and ancient neighbours crushed,

       Gazumped by a bulldozer.

      Matilda Tristram, June 2018

      Totem Pole at Binsted

      The tree that was

      Is always there

      It stands its ground

      with Corvid stare


      With limbs outspread

      Like angels wings

      It brings to mind

      Once sacred things


      Like land and sea

      And earth and sky

      And great directions

      Of the eye


      I hope the tree

      That never dies

      Will never see

      Its friends' demise


      The oaken beings

      That stand around

      Spread the message

      Through the ground


      Come stand with us

      Come stand up strong

      Let’s save the place

      Where we belong


      The sacred truth

      Of all we know

      Is how we reap

      Just what we sow


      In ancient times

      The people knew

      To stand with us

      In all we do


      It is time again

      For us to grow

      So raise your prayers

      With sacred crow

      Paul Ayling, June 2018


      The Paper Dart

      Binsted Woods are in the shape of a crab.

      The crab and the village play an ancient ring game

      Round the three fields which went on rotating.


      The sloping long-shaped parish contained all you need,

      Sandy gravel, clay, woods, fields, meadows, pasture and streams.

      A half-ring of water and marsh kept it an island.


      The outlying farms never formed a street

      With a complacent cricket-field.   But a wide track

      Led crowds of complainants to the Anglo-Saxon Moot Mound.


      Species counts rise higher and higher.   Bats smudge

      Your torchlight edge as you help breeding toads off the lane.

      Leaf litter heaves round the Madonna Pond.


      Inside the woods there’s a secret garden.

      Here Laurie and Lorna were intent as insects while bombs fell.

      Here Michael took his harm to the abandoned shooting lodge.


      The Purple Emperor quest yields the rarer White Admiral.

      A pointless winter meander revealed the blasted tree

      Its downed branches round it like the hands of a clock.


      This sheltering tent of possibility and history

      Is in danger of becoming nothing but a tube sign,

      Its circle shattered by a dual carriageway.


      We can trade numbers with the Department of Transport.

      Five to eight thousand toads, does it make a difference?

      We can input to consultations about the National Planning Policy Framework.


      But there’s a black hole in their millions of documents

      Gushing crude lies and plastic misinformation.

      A village drowned by a road causes more roads.


      It’s all for nothing, helping the great vanishing.

      All I can do is polish my micro-bead

      Of protest and fix it to my paper dart.

      Emma Tristram, June 2018

      Matilda Tristram grew up in Binsted, studied animation at the Royal College of Art, and works as a children’s writer, lecturer, illustrator and animator.

      Some of her work can be seen on www.mmaattiillddaa.com .  

      She has been published by Penguin and other imprints but her latest book is "Binsted - the Heart of our Horizon", on sale at the Binsted Strawberry Fair or email Emma Tristram.

      This comic strip vividly illustrates her sense of the place of Binsted and the threat of loss through a possible Arundel Bypass route.

      matilda binsted comic