Storrington Conservation Society – March 2023 Newsletter

The work parties on Saturday 4th and Thursday 16th February were at Chantry Hill where shrubs and brambles, which choke the chalk grassland essential for butterflies, were cleared.

On Saturday 4th March the work party carried out the annual path clearance at The Glade. Whether or not you think it foolish to want a litter free community, come and join us on Saturday 1st April for some rubbish gathering along local pathways. We meet at 10am at the Leisure Centre Car Park, all welcome to join us, enjoy a coffee break as well.

For information about this and our other activities, or on becoming a member, (no subscription is required, donations welcome) please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website.

Our well attended Talk and Tea on 18th February proved as informative as expected. John Oliver from the RSPB described ‘Behind the Scenes’ at Pulborough Brooks. He explained the site was not only wetland but included heath, woods and farmland. It has been occupied from the Bronze Age, through Roman times to the present day. In the 1960s flood relief drainage led to deterioration of the land. In 1989 the RSPB took over and introduced water control and cattle grazing which restored the balance. As a result, the site was opened to the public in 1992.

Since then it has been designated a Site of National Importance and been extended to cover 1200 acres and become a protected area. In addition the well equipped visitors’ centre, hides and other facilities have been developed. Managing the land is an ongoing task for the benefit of a range of wildlife, both flora and fauna. Not only waterfowl, but heath and woodland birds enjoy the variety of habitat. Water voles, cattle, deer, bats, harvest mice, reptiles, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects also find homes there. All rely on the dedicated RSPB staff and supporters for their wellbeing.

John illustrated his inspiring talk throughout with outstandingly beautiful photographs of a wide variety of birds, animals and habitat taken at the site. He stressed the aim is to conserve and sustain for the encouragement of native wildlife, such as the lapwing, numbers of which have been in decline in recent years. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful site on our doorstep. No need to use polluting air, sea and land journeys to travel to distant places to enjoy wildlife! With the Downs as well as a network of paths and cycleways for access, we are well provided for locally. Take advantage of them.

Submitted to the Storrington Community Website using the News Item contact form.

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