Thursday, December 27, 2012

A very flooded Pulborough Brooks

Pulborough Brooks are totally under water after the river burst it's banks last week and is currently home to plentiful ducks and geese rather than waders.  (You can just about make out West Mead hide in the middle of the picture on the edge of the water.)

While there and after a leisurely lunch, I took a walk around the heathland area which is now looking completely different having had a large number of the plantation trees removed.

It's opened up the whole area, although there are still a few clumps of trees and the occasional solitary tree standing in the now bare heathland.  Much easier to see the spotted woodpecker flying across.

The black pond swollen by all the recent rain has also expanded and there's a plan to create more pools up the valley to encourage the dragonflies.

Out at the new viewpoint there's now a view across the Pulborough 'Lake'.  A completely different view from just a few weeks ago as the water is now up to the edge of the slope.

View through the trees across to Winpenny hide in the distance.

I didn't have time or the gear to take walk down to the hides.  Will be back in the new year - especially as I've still not managed to see 'Wally'.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Litter Pick on the Tye

Just two of us to start with but joined by a third.

Interesting fungus on the Tye
Starting with a walk down the funeral track towards the coast road where the usual array of dog poo bags abound, although the smell of dog poo is equally unpleasant.  There's obviously someone who goes out for a dog walk with their can of larger judging by the number of cans picked up along the track.

Just for a change we headed out to the small piece of the Tye which is south of the coast road, below the Smuggler's Rest - a thin strip that runs along the clifftop.  Quite a lot of litter there - mainly discarded by the pub - beer cans, bottles and crisp packets.  The litter along the path down by the side of the pub was full of litter, which although outside of the Tye, we picked up anyway.  Maybe the pub will take the hint and clear up their land too.

The final haul

We then worked our way back up along the coast road, picking up the discarded litter mainly consisting of fast food wrappers, cans and drinks bottles and intriguingly discarded packets of pills.  Getting more difficult as the wind picked up.

We ended up with about 10 bags in all.  Not bad for just the three of us in three hours, although it would actually be better if people didn't just chuck it out of their cars in the first place.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Christmas Scrub Bash - Glynde Estate

A lovely crisp, sunny winter day and our Christmas Social involves clearing a length of track that runs up from Glynde village to Mount Caburn.
This is an old drover's track which has now been covered over in scrub but a few decades ago used to be covered in wildflowers.

One of the villagers, who remembered it as it once was, suggested it would be good project to clear the track and restore it to grass and wildflowers.

With the support of Glynde Estate the South Downs volunteers have set about clearing a few hundred metres of overgrown track.  It might take a while but hopefully the seed bank is still there and in a few years time it will be full of wildflowers once again.

The work had been started a few days earlier and about two thirds of the track had already been cleared.

Our morning's task was to carry on clearing the hawthorn and bramble and occasional larger tree.

We didn't have to burn it - as that was being done by the estate manager, who was also going to clear out the scrub and logs from the track itself.  Just as well as we only had a couple of hours in which to get it done.

It being a Christmas task it was combined with the Christmas social.  So after a couple of hours work and handing out of new gear to some of the volunteers, we walked down the hill to the Trevor Arms in the village and tucked in to a great Christmas meal.

Turkey with all the trimmings if you wanted it or there were alternate choices - beef, fish and veggie, followed by optional pudding and mince pies.  The pub is definitely worth a visit as the food was great - even though they were catering a large group of hungry volunteers.