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02 Jul 17

Baking bread

Saddlescombe Farm played host to an enthusiastic group of bakers who joined us in using our hand built clay bread oven. Our rangers and volunteers have worked hard to build it from clay, and we have already had many successful baking sessions. Clay ovens like these would have been commonly used for many hundreds of years by our ancestors living on the South Downs.

Baking bread in an old fashioned traditional clay oven

23 Jun 17

Leaf cutter bee

We are lucky to host around 250 different species of bee, with them having a wide range of shapes and behaviours. Here, we think we have a patchwork leaf-cutter bee (Megachile centuncularis), who made for rather an amusing sight flying around as it was with its oval of neatly-cut leaf held between its legs. Leaf cutter bees make so much effort to craft these leaf pieces as they patch them together to form nests for their larvae.

A bee rests on a leaf with a cut peice of another leaf held between its legs

28 May 17

Light feathered rustic - Agrotis cinerea

The first trial of the farms new moth trap went well. Out of the many species we caught there we two examples of this beautiful chalk grassland specialist moth, the Light Feathered Rustic, just what you would expect to find here on the South Downs. The most abundant moths we found were the Common Rustic, White Ermine, and Treble Lines. A lone caddisfly was an added bonus.

A chalky-gray coloured Feathered Rustic moth siting at rest after it was caught in a moth trap