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

07 Oct 17

Ruby-red rosehips in the Victorian walled garden

After the beautiful roses of summer come the brightly-coloured hips of our ornamental rose plants here in the garden. The thorns are still there as protection – but these wonderfully nutritious rosehips help to feed our winter birds at the farm when other berries from the surrounding countryside like hawthorn and elder are in short supply.

Rosehips in the Victorian walled garden

23 Sep 17

A splash of autumn colour from the garden

Another lovely autumnal day in the walled garden collecting some of our seasonal crops either for their flavour or their appearance. Pottering around the garden here admiring the lovely colours and shapes of our annual harvest remind me of the cold weather approaching and our work here at Saddlescombe Farm. The fruits of our labour as well as the fruits from our historic orchard can be found in abundance at this time of year – and always make me think of a hearty warming soup…

A colourful autumn display of garden vegetables on grass

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