The sight of wild daffodils in their millions. The striking little flowers can dominate in areas of coppice or light shade and the effect in a good flowering year is a blanket of yellow through the woodlands. As the weeks progress the site is covered in bluebells, lesser stitchwort and then orchids – hundreds of common spotted orchids fill the rides each year. Although access is restricted here, many orchids can be seen on the adjacent bridleway as too can toothwort – a strange, pale plant that is parasitic on hazel. As the summer arrives, so do the woodland butterflies – look out for purple emperors dashing around the canopies of their mating trees (usually ash or oak) and down in the woodland rides you will see white admirals gliding peacefully in and out of the dappled edges. This is also the best site in Sussex for the scarce drab looper moth which feeds only on wood spurge. This is a fantastic place to see birds and in the winter you might be lucky enough to see lesser redpoll, siskin, crossbill or even a hawfinch. In the summer the reserve will be full of warblers including blackcap, chiffchaff and garden warbler while firecrest are also frequently heard.
wild daffodil / Neil Fletcher