Wildlife discoveries and work at Saddlescombe Farm

Elephant hawk moth resting on a National Trust logo

Here at Saddlescombe Farm, National Trust staff and volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to conserve and enhance the natural environment we have been entrusted with.

Without the dedicated efforts to have a positive impact on the wildlife around us the landscape here on the downs would change, threatening the loss of many of the endangered and special species we play host to.

Saddlescombe surrounded by meadows and downland
Saddlescombe hamlet nestled in the surrounding downs
Saddlescombe surrounded by meadows and downland

So, in between endless bouts of scrub bashing and ragwort pulling, it's good to take a step back and appreciate the results of the work done here.

With so much wildlife around us there is always something new to see throughout each season. So, we will share with you some of the marvellous plants, birds, animals, and other things we have seen here, along with various projects we have been working on.

Hopefully, you will be inspired to get out into the countryside to have your own wondrous encounter with the inspiring wildlife of the South Downs.

Latest posts

06 Nov 18

Fantastic fungi foray

Autumn is normally a time of copious amounts of fungi but not this year; the dry weather has hampered the amount visible. However our recent fungi forays with mycologist Martin Allison on Newtimber and Wolstenbury hills still managed to turn up interesting specimens including the rare and red-listed flea’s ear (which nicely describes its size). Also seen was the rather disgusting beefsteak fungus which looks, smells, and bleeds like flesh.... and apparently is edible too!

Beefsteak fungus growing on an old oak

16 Oct 18

Fruits of our labour

In the walled garden at Saddlescombe Farm we have a lovely orchard with many old varieties of apples, medlars and plums. Last Friday we borrowed an apple press from the Permaculture Trust at Stanmer Park and our Trust in Nature volunteers picked and processed the apples. We kept the varieties separate so the different flavours of juice could be enjoyed, and they were all delicious!

Apple pressing at Saddlescombe Farm

02 Oct 18

The big burn

Last Wednesday, during the most amazing weather, we had a visit from Brighton College. With 140 young people armed with 120 bow saws feeding five fire sites, and supported by our own army of stoic volunteers, we made amazing headway. Summer Down is one of our sites we are bringing back from woodland to chalk grassland, a habitat that is internationally rare and incredibly biodiverse. Fantastic job guys!

Devil's Dyke big burn