Experience a landscape shaped by traditional rural life
Summer on the South Downs
We are so glad our visitors are enjoying our beautiful South Downs. Our car parks cannot be booked so on our busy days there may not be spaces when you arrive - please try again later if this happens. Please help us keep these areas special. Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs. Leave gates and property as you find them. Protect plants and animals and take your litter home. Keep dogs under close control, especially near farm animals and during nesting season. Do not camp, light fires or barbecues unless it is is designated areas. Thank you for helping us keep our countryside safe.
Woolbeding Countryside in August
The beautiful demoiselle damselfly can be seen flitting around fast-moving rivers. The males are metallic blue and the females green, but both have inky dark wings.
Our smallest falcon, the merlin is a pretty bird of prey. It chases small birds, flying low to the ground or hovering in the breeze because of its small size. Resident merlins are joined in winter by Icelandic migrants.
The name comes from its call which sounds just like two small stones being hit together. It is a little smaller than a robin and can often be spotted sitting on the top of gorse bushes, flicking its wings and calling.
The hobby is the only British falcon that spends the winter months south of the Sahara desert. It is kestrel-sized with long pointed wings. It chases large insects and small birds like swallows and martins.
Spot this bright yellow bird singing from the top of a bush or fence, or in a mixed-species flock in winter. Listen for it's cahractersitic 'little bit of bread and cheeeeeese' song
The male is unmistakable with a bright red breast and cheeks, grey back, black cap and tail, and bright white rump. They feed voraciously on tree buds in spring and were once a 'pest' of fruit crops.