In his “Vision of Britain” Daniel Defoe reported that the passage of a single timber tree from Sussex to the port of Chatham could take years, “for if once the rains come in, it stirs no more that year, and sometimes a whole summer is not dry enough to make the roads passable”. What was true of Sussex roads in the early eighteenth century is true of our woodland “rides” today. The spring was so wet, and the mud so persistent, that the wood we coppiced in February has been impossible to extract. So we are pleased to say that we have taken advantage of a welcome drier spell to do some ride maintenance. Sixty tons of locally-sourced chalk rubble were trucked in today and levelled off with a digger. We’ve also resurfaced a small section of the public footpath by the stream at Woodbine Cottage. Chalk is a local material and contains none of the potential for contaminants that can be found in some other forms surfacing. We are keen to understand how it behaves in this environment. Weather permitting (fingers crossed) we should be able to get a vehicle into our February coppices and start extracting the cut wood early next week.
A huge thankyou to Juliet Merrifield and Laurie Jackson and all at HKD Transition for organising the Bioblitz last Sunday. It was a tremendous success and greatly enjoyed by adults and children alike. Participants found quite a few species new to us, particularly the enigmatic sounding Ghost Moth, and the Essex Skipper butterfly which had not been identified here since 1999. It was a highlight to have a seven year old patiently explain how to identify one. It was a great opportunity to meet experts and share in the fascinating knowledge they have of our wildlife, so much of which is rarely seen, such as bats, moths, fish and other aquatic organisms and all the fantastic creatures that live in the meadow, wood and stream. Well done all!
See photos on the HKD Diary here
The Hassocks, Hurst, Ditchling and Keymer Transition group (HKD Transition) is holding a Bioblitz in Butchers Wood, Lag Wood, Pheasant Field and Parklands Copse on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning – 16th and 17th July. Its aim is to record as many species as possible in these unique local habitats. It is a great opportunity to meet local naturalists and discover the amazing variety of life on our doorstep. The event is free but you will need to book in advance via HKD Transition. Email email@example.com see details of the programme at www.hkdtransition.org.uk
Well it’s working. A disappointed Roe Deer inspects deer fence.