A short downland walk around Warren Hill
By David Beer
Eastbourne Local Members Group
On a cloudless morning is there a better view in Sussex than from Warren Hill over Eastbourne and along the coast to Hastings with Dungeness power station visible on the horizon? Our group of 18 members started by strolling past the dew pond and trig point before dropping down the scarp slope through meadows and along woodland paths and thankfully out of the stiff north westerly breeze. Our guide Anna knows this area like the back of her hand and we were soon admiring Common Blues, Small Heaths and Speckled Woods. Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Skylarks and Stonechats were in good voice along the ridge and the unmistakeable croak of a Raven and the ‘yaffle’ of a Green Woodpecker were picked out as we entered the mixed woodland which has sadly lost a number of its oldest Ash trees.
A Brown Argus was spotted as we returned to a sunnier spot along with two Wall Browns, a splendid Small Copper and a Holly Blue. Swathes of Horseshoe Vetch, Birds Foot Trefoil and Wild Thyme indicate why this is such a wonderful habitat for many butterflies. Lesser Stitchwort, Figwort, Dropwort and Cut Leaved Cranesbill were some of the more unfamiliar plants that we encountered. As we passed the sparse flint walled remains of the site of the experimental horizontal windmill built in 1752 and returned to the car park a Kestrel could be seen hovering over the top of the hill. A fine walk on a beautiful morning.