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25 Aug 17

A hard day's work

Our ranger team have been working hard alongside volunteers to reclaim this sunny south-facing slope from the continuing encroachment of scrubland. Without clearing some of the trees which shade out other plants and mowing away the brambles which deter the sheep from doing their job the beautifully special chalk grassland habitat would be lost. The swelteringly hot day was more than enough to get them sweating, if pushing a heavy mower along a slope was not enough. A good days work all round.

Countryside rangers working on site

18 Aug 17

Natural lawnmowers

Our flocks of sheep are making the most of the summer sunshine to munch away at the green swards on the downland of Newtimber Hill. They are continuing in the steps (or hooves) of their ancestors who have been grazing these hills for thousands for years. Without their efforts our precious chalk grassland would revert to scrub and woodland, meaning we would loss a wealth of our natural heritage which relays on this habitat being maintained. With the decline of sheep farming in recent years it is more important than ever for the National Trust to maintain sheep on the South Downs.

Sheep grazing in a field

08 Jul 17

The drinker

We held another successful moth trap session last night. This stocky male drinker moth rather caught the most attention. We were rather surprised by the large number of water boatmen beetles which visited us, most likely attracted from the nearby dew pond. A much large dor beetle also came along. Other moth highlights included the chalk carpet and small phoenix.

A large stocky-looking moth at rest after being caught in a moth trap