What you might see

The best time to visit the meadow is in the Summer, in June or early July when the flowers will be at their peak and the meadow full of insects.

Plants

The plants are the real stars of a meadow. A mixture of grasses such as common bent, creeping bent, sweet vernal-grass and crested dogs-tail are present alongside flowering species such as common knapweed, greater and common Bird’s-foot trefoil and creeping buttercup. Several species only found in unimproved grassland are also present such as betony, dyer’s greenweed, devils-bit scabious, and bitter vetch. There are also damp areas of the meadow, indicated by species such as marsh thistle, oval sedge and sharp-flowered rush.

Mature hedgerows surround the meadow on three sides and a small stream crosses part of the field. This area supports a different flora from the main part of the field as it has developed into a mixed copse of oak, birch, sallow and alder.

dyer's greenweed / Graeme Lyons

Invertebrates:

Meadows are known to support a range of invertebrates providing lots of good nectar sources. In the Summer the meadow is alive with insects making use of all the nectar sources, butterflies, bees, beetles and hoverflies are all common.

Butterflies are the most obvious insect to notice as many species have been recorded on the site, look out for common blue, meadow brown, silver-washed fritillary or maybe a clouded yellow. Also keep an eye out for day flying moths such as burnet companion as well as one of the specialities of the meadow, the chimney sweeper moth. This is one of the best places in Sussex to see them as they are confined to a few places where their foodplant, pignut, grows. Listen out for the Roesel's bush-cricket on a warm sunny day, it makes a very distinctive noise.

Dragonflies can easily be spotted too. Look out for broad-bodied chasers in the Spring, often basking in the vegetation at the edge of the meadow near the stream. Spot migrant hawkers later in the Summer or maybe even a wandering golden-ringed dragonfly.

Birds:

Buzzards are often seen overhead and small birds use the scrub at the edge of the meadow.


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