By Michael Blencowe
Senior Learning and Engagement Officer
Hopefully you’ve all survived the storms of February. Sussex was battered throughout the month by what felt like weekly storms and torrential rain. There was fallen trees and flooding all across the county. Spring still feels a long way off. On the rare days when the sun has shone I’ve seen a Red Admiral butterfly or heard a Chaffinch singing – but the following day we’ve been wrenched back into winter again. It’s hard to believe that at the end of February 2019 the thermometer was up around 20 degrees and we were basking in a record breaking heatwave- which itself was also a cause for concern.
Looking ahead to our events in March and many of our walks and courses are already fully booked. So it’s always worth looking ahead on out ‘What’s On’ calendar and booking early.
On 11 March our President, Dr Tony Whitbread, is giving a talk at Shoreham’s Ropetackle Arts Centre entitled ‘There is no wealth but life’ which challenges the low value we put on nature and natural systems.
On 12 March the Eastbourne Sussex Wildlife Trust Group will be walking around Arlington Reservoir near Polegate. This site is great at this time of year for water birds and other wildlife.
You’re all welcome to a celebration at our Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on 15 March. It’s 50 years to the day since the first warden started working here and we’ll be undertaking a 5 mile guided wildlife walk around the reserve to commemorate the event.
We’ll be out undertaking one of our regular beach cleans on 18 March and are looking for volunteers to do their bit to clean up the planet by assisting us at Worthing beach.
As part of Brighton & Hove’s Nature 2020 project we will be leading an event at our Woods Mill reserve on 19 March looking for ‘Signs of Spring’ – emerging Toads, Grass Snakes, birdsong hopefully there will be plenty to see and hear by then. Also on 19 March ecologist Evan Jones will be presenting an illustrated talk in Eastbourne on the amazing wildlife that can be found on the Pevensey & Eastbourne levels. Should be a fascinating lecture.
James Duncan will be leading his monthly Camber Castle walk at Rye Harbour on 20 March, looking for wildlife and giving you the rare opportunity to step inside the old castle and learn more about its history. The following day (21 March) you can learn all about beachcombing with naturalist Andy Dinsdale at an event in Winchelsea.
And there’s a chance to get out and do some beachcombing…and beachcleaning on 22 March. As part of the Great British Beach Clean we will be organising an even at Rye Harbour.
Our West Dean Woods reserve near Chichester is one of the best places in the south-east to see a lovely display of Wild Daffodils in the spring. There is a members only guided walk here on 26 March. Also in Chichester there is an illustrated talk organised by our Chichester District Group. Naturalist Bruce Middleton is an expert on our local heaths and will be talking about the wonderful wildlife of these rare habitats on 31 March.
There’s plenty to get involved with. Hopefully, by the end of March we can pack our wellies away for another year.
Coming up in April.
Many adult education courses are fully booked but places are available for: