Storrington Conservation Society Newsletter: March 2024

At our well attended Tea and Talk on 17th February, due to a technical hitch (modern technology is wonderful!) the talk followed the tea. However our Guest Speaker, Alice Parfitt, made the hitch worthwhile with a beautifully illustrated and entertaining talk on the future activities of the Society.

The Murray Downland Trust was founded to preserve, protect and restore downland nature reserves, both wildlife and artefacts. At present it cares for four Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the most westerly being at Heyshott Down, which includes bronze age barrows (Scheduled Monuments). Among flora it provides habitat for orchids and other flowers which attract the Big Headed Mining Bee as well as Bumble Bees, the Downland Bee Fly and Honey Bees. Woodlarks are part of the bird population.

The second SSSI is the old chalk workings at Heyshott Escarpment, home for cowslips and rose moss and habitat for butterflies, such as the Grizzled Skipper and the Duke of Burgandy. Birdlife includes the Tree Pippet.

The next SSSI is at Devils Jumps which is a mixture of chalk dwarf grass and heather, habitat for the Small Scabious Mining Bee. It also has seven rare Green Barrows.

The fourth SSSI Alice mentioned is Hurston Warren where we have been working. It is a mixture of heathland, grass and wetland, suitable for acid grassland plants. It attracts moths, the wonderfully named Pantaloon Bee, the rare Field Cricket and a rare Crane Fly. It is also nesting ground for the Nightjar.

These sites are managed with the co-operation of farmers and by mowing at appropriate times. Altogether an informative talk. It is encouraging to know the Trust cares for these sites, and of course we are pleased to be able to support their work at Hurston Warren.

On 2nd March at 10.00am the work party was due to be removing scrub at Chantry Hill. The persistent wet weather meant it had to be deferred to the following Saturday, March 9th. The unusual weather is another result of climate change which shows the need to reduce our CO2 and methane emissions. On Saturday 6th April we are due to meet at 10.00am in the Leisure Centre Car Park. We will be doing the necessary task of clearing litter and rubbish alongside paths and byways in the village. All are encouraged to join us, equipment is provided.

For information about this and our other activities, or on becoming a member, or offering advice, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see Storrington Conservation Society website.

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

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