Bepton Down SSSI should be a unique area of chalk downland in West Sussex – but it isn’t.
Bepton Down is just below The South Downs Way on a north facing slope with stunning views towards Midhurst and beyond. It should be 14 hectares of extraordinary habitat, home to protected species of plants and grasses – and one of the few remaining areas of chalk downland in West Sussex.
Even though Bepton Down has an SSSI status it has been neglected and it is now reverting to a mixture of scrub, wasteland and coarse vegetation. The steady decline of this SSSI has been overseen by Cowdray Estate and regulated by Natural England.
Please help me raise awareness about the decline of Bepton Down by sharing this article.
Continue reading “Decline of an SSSI on the South Downs”
Have you ever caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye and thought to yourself ‘Hello! I wasn’t expecting THAT!’…
Maybe I’m easily distracted. Or maybe I spend too much time looking out of the window, but earlier this afternoon I saw a dot in the sky that had me running for my camera. And the reason I ran was because I knew this bird was something special. This wasn’t any old bird. This bird was a Falcon. Continue reading “Peregrine or Hobby Falcon?”
Dastardly deeds have been happening in the garden…
I’ve genuinely struggled to get a photo of the villain that’s been reeking havoc in the garden. I’m sorry, but this best I can do for you.
Continue reading “Stop the pigeon”
Slow, slow, quick quick slow
When I originally posted this photo on Twitter I got into trouble for describing this Slow Worm as a ‘him’. She is of course a ‘her’. As a result I’d like to apologise to all female Slow Worms for getting this wrong – and explain to others how to spot the difference between a lady Slow Worm from a man.
Continue reading “Slow Worm, male or female?”
If you’ve not seen one before this is a Robin’s Pincushion. Or a ‘Bedeguar Gall’.
This ‘pincushion’ in the hedgerows is a gall from a wasp that lays eggs in the stems of wild roses.
Continue reading “Robin’s Pincushion”
It’s the wind what done it!
Hummingbird Hawkmoths migrate to the UK every year from southern Europe and north Africa. If you’ve ever seen one you’ll know why they get their name. In fact, so closely do they resemble a Hummingbird the RSPB gets phone calls every summer from bewildered gardeners reporting actual sitings of Hummingbirds!
Continue reading “Why are we seeing so many Hummingbird Hawkmoths?”
Female Brimstone is yellowish-green – with an orange spot in the middle of each wing
It’s so easy to get distracted by the butterflies in the garden. And this summer is turning out to be a great year for being sidetracked with butterfly numbers much higher than previous years.
Here’s a Brimstone. They’re traditionally one of the early butterflies and can be seen right through Spring and Summer in hedgerows and gardens. Brimstones have a single brood, and they’re a hibernating butterfly. They’ll spend the winter in ivy, holly and bramble, re-emerging early in Spring to breed.
2017 has been a great summer for butterflies
Here’s a photo of a gorgeous Peacock in the garden. Peacocks are common enough, but this year they are swarming in our garden!
Continue reading “Peacock in the garden”
I’ve waited 40 years to see one of these…
Today was a very special day for me. Because today I saw a Purple Emperor for the very first time. Which is pretty special, because I’ve been looking for one of these elusive butterflies since I was about ten years old. As a small boy browsing through my Observer’s Book of British Butterflies, the Purple Emperor and the Camberwell Beauty were the butterflies that dreams were made of. And today – after many years of looking – my dream finally came true!
Continue reading “South Downs Purple Emperor Butterfly”
Swarms of bees look pretty dangerous but the first thing to say is don’t worry! They’re pretty docile and if you treat them with respect you’ll have nothing to worry about. Watch them and admire them – when bees swarm it’s one of nature’s little miracles!
Continue reading “Why do honey bees swarm in the UK?”