You'll discover a great number of different habitats in and around Saddlescombe Farm, which have attracted many species of wildlife. Ancient woodland, dewponds and chalk grasslands all have their part to play, along with the sheep and cattle who keep the area in tip-top condition.
Newtimber is considered one of the best chalk grassland sites in the UK.
Thousands of years of continuous grazing have produced a rich tapestry of wildflowers. With such a variety of colour, smells and taste, Newtimber is also home to a wonderful variety of butterflies, bugs and insects.
Newtimber Holt has stood the test of time for thousands of years.
Amongst the gnarled, coppiced ash trees lies a 1,000 year old lime, a multi-stemmed giant that soars above the canopy. Delve deeper into the woods and you will find beech trees with graffiti from 1880 and bluebells galore. One of these graffitied beech trees now holds the record as thesingle tallest native British tree in the UK - pretty impressive.
Newtimber is lucky to have three surviving dewponds.
These ponds are a visible link to the past on the South Downs. Originally created as watering holes for sheep they are now important watery wildlife sites in an otherwise dry landscape. A myriad of dragonflies skim the surface in summer.
A century ago the top of Newtimber was a purple blaze of heather.
After years of neglect and fertilizer use, this rarest of habitats has now virtually disappeared. However, look closely and you can still find an intimate mix of acid-loving heathers and downland plants clinging on.
Newtimber has one of the largest stands of juniper on the South Downs.
This rare and declining habitat is a relic from the last ice age and will quickly disappear if it gets shaded out by trees. The junipers here have been closely studied and recently new trees have been planted to reinvigorate this micro habitat.
Habitat makers: cattle
At Saddlescombe cattle share the grass with the sheep, and play a vital role in keeping Newtimber's chalk grassland in tip top condition.
Habitat makers: sheep
Around Saddlescombe sheep grazing keeps the small paddocks nice and tidy, just like they were back in the Victorian age.
Habitat makers: volunteers
Whether it's burning scrub, clearing dewponds or mowing rank vegetation, all our habitats need a bit of TLC from us and our dedicated team of volunteers.
For more information please contact one of our Rangers at our Estate Office.
Discover this ancient hamlet nestling in the South Downs. Here you will find a well-preserved donkey wheel and our information barn which details the history of the farm itself and the development of farming in general.