South Downs Blog

This has been an exceptional year and now the autumn colours are spectacular. Somehow the trees are still reluctant to shed the last of their leaves. Wonderful.

I understand that there is something else to look out for on your walks in the South Downs. The Sussex Wildlife Trust has video footage of an Otter busy in a river in ‘mid Sussex’. Take a look on their web site. You will find it if you press ‘more’ on the News Section on their home page.

Otters have been slow to return to Sussex. Reports suggest that a sighting in 2017 was the first in the county for over fifty years. I still spend a lot of my time waiting for Otters to appear in Shropshire, Wales, Scotland and occasionally Ireland, but so far they have always remained unobserved. Well I am sure that they have been watching me its just that I havn’t been able to see them!

Oops looks like I have neglected this page for a while!

I walk a lot and cycle on roads a bit when I can convince my two dogs that this would be a good rest rest day and we don’t have to spend every waking minute together! When you are out and about I am sure you will have noticed how ebikes are starting to get established as the best way to travel. I notice them particularly on my bike when I am striving uphill or in the forest when a group of mountain bikers appear on the slopes, its just the ones at the back who are doing all of the work, the ones at the front on their newer bikes just sit there and admire the trees!

If you are a keen cyclist I am sure you will bring your bikes with you and you are welcome to leave them in the utility room or the conservatory where they can be stored safely. Most likely you will have a car full already so you might be interested to hear that Southern ebike Rentals now operate in our area.

One of the places that they work from is the car park on Knights Hill just below the trundle, but they are happy to bring a bike to you for as long as you need them. Olly and Simon specialise in electric mountain bikes most suited to our area, they have local cycling knowledge and know the best cafes to use and the routes to avoid where there is too much traffic.

13th September 2021

I discovered the other day that there are only two hundred chalk streams in the world! All the more remarkable that one hundred and seventy of them are in the UK. The winterbournes, these rivers do not flow through out the year. All the more remarkable that the river Lavant often originates from a spring under the road that runs in front of Bramley Cottage. Sometimes that is as far as it gets and it spends the whole of the winter gathering momentum as to visits WestDean, Lavant, Somersdale and Chichester before it finds its way to the sea. More often it will flow for its full length from the duck pond at East Dean.

In the distant past this gentle stream found it more convenient to follow the Charlton road to get through the village after heavy rainfall. Fortunately it no longer does that, but from time to time it struggles to stay in its course through Chichester and has to be helped with powerful pumps to speed its way and limit flooding in the city.

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