By Michael Blencowe
The wet weather and grey skies lingered on into July and it felt like summer 2016 was going to be a complete washout. There was a lack of summer wildlife and butterfly numbers were notably low with some butterfly observers commenting that it was one of the worst years so far this century for these beautiful insects. When it all started to look like summer wasn’t going to get started a ‘mini heatwave’ sent temperatures soaring on 19th July for a few days and had us all reaching for our shorts and sun-tan lotion.
Hopefully this warmer, settled weather will continue on into August as Sussex Wildlife Trust have lined up plenty of events to help you get out and explore and enjoy Sussex.
On 4th August we’ll be leading a guided walk around our Graffham Common reserve looking for heathland wildlife on this recently restored heathland near Petworth. At the eastern end of the county on the 4th August there are guided walks around our Marline Valley reserve near Hastings and Castle Water at Rye Harbour.
Some of our most impressive moth species are on the wing in August and there are two events at the start of the month which will allow you to get closer to these beautiful nocturnal insects. We’re holding a moth evening at our Woods Mill headquarters near Henfield on 4th August (members-only) and another moth morning at Rye Harbour on 7th. There will be another further moth event at Rye on 11th August.
Friston Forest near Eastbourne is the venue for a guided walk on 11th August looking for downland butterflies and woodland wildlife and on 12th August we’ll be leading our monthly members exploration of Woods Mill on another popular ‘Woods Mill Wander’.
There are plenty of choices to explore the Sussex seashore in August – whether you’re an enthusiastic child or adult. There’s a Rockpool Ramble for children on Pett Level on 16th August and our marine wildlife officers will be holding their shoresearch surveys (suitable for all ages) at Saltdean (18th August) and Eastbourne (19th August).
Also in Eastbourne the Eastbourne Sussex Wildlife Trust local group will be leading awalk over the downs at Warren Hill on 18th August and there will be a longer downland walk to the beautiful ‘hidden’ valley of Ashcombe Bottom near Lewes on 19th August.
The month ends with a chance to learn more about the fantastic wildlife of Rye Harbour on our ‘Walk with a Warden’ event on 28th August.