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A great and ancient Downland estate
Slindon Estate is 1,400 hectares of woodland, downland, farmland, and parkland. With countless historic landscape features and its unspoilt Sussex village, there is something for every visitor.
Take a couple of hours to stroll around the village or a whole day to stride out upon the 40km of rights of way that criss-cross the estate. In spring, there are spectacular woodland flower displays and a lambing event at Gaston Farm. In summer, wander the shady woodland lanes up through the estate to encounter butterflies on the springy downland turf of Bignor. Autumn brings Slindon’s famous pumpkin display, and a fantastic leafy show of colours in Park Wood. Winter is a brilliant time to seek out Slindon’s many historic landscape features such as Stane Street - over three miles of Roman road - and the Medieval Pale (deer park boundary).
Whatever the season, take in the long wide views down to the Weald, along the Downs, and out across the coastal plain to the sea. Whether you explore on foot, by bike, or on horseback Slindon is like a book that you can’t put down.
Slindon has a rich and wonderfully varied wildlife, from swallows and swifts nesting in old eaves and bats hunting for insects at dawn to families of badgers exploring at dusk. The woods and meadows are perfect habitats for spotting butterflies and wild flowers and sometimes even glow worms, so take a stroll and see what you can find.
The many past inhabitants of Slindon have left their mark on the landscape. The best-preserved section of Stane Street, the Roman road that links Chichester to London, crosses the Downs at Slindon; a medieval deer bank ‘park pale’ surrounds the old deer park; and remnants of a dummy airfield can still be seen at Gumber Farm.
Wonderful wild flowers
Slindon is a fantastic place to see wild flowers throughout the year. Woodland flowers make the most of the light reaching the floor before the leaves come out and the canopy closes. Violets, primroses, wood anemones can all be seen in the woods. Around Slindon Village and on Nore Hill there is a particularly good show of bluebells.
Slindon is a wonderful place to spot orchids. From the striking spotted leaves of the early purple orchid to fly orchids, small but pretty in the woodland light, white helleborines flourishing in the beech woods, common twayblades in damp shady places and the wonderful greater butterfly orchid in areas of dappled woodland light.
Birds on the wing
Greater spotted woodpeckers drum, green woodpeckers laughingly ‘yaffle’ in flight and the treecreeper, a tiny brown relative of the woodpecker, feeds on tree trunks. Bullfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch and greenfinch gather in the open woods. Skylarks. yellowhammers and linnets are common here, and swifts and swallows feed on the wing.