Clump and the Dewpond from the east
by Andy Horton
Ring and Meadows:
to the 2004 Reports (click on this text)
of Lancing Ring Christmas Walk 10:00
the deluge of yesterday we were lucky to squelch through the mud of the
meadows and paths of Lancing Ring under a clear blue cloudless sky in a
pleasant 9° C. For
the most part the mud was not cloying and there was no standing water.
About 25 ramblers suitably fortified by mince pies and a glass of sherry,
with a few dogs, made a circuitous journey past the now full dewpond, down
the westerly side where we were met by a chilly (9°
C) fresh breeze
from the south-west.
meadows had been forage harvested. Birds were few, although Jan
Hamblett spotted some Yellowhammers
around the location of the old Roman Temple (nothing to show above ground).
This attractive yellow bird provides a welcome glimpse of colour over the
grass in contrast to the sombre leafless clump of trees.
the decaying beech logs the variety of fungi was past its best. The leaf
litter showed no clear toadstools poking out, but I did not have time to
look as the party moved on. In the meadows there were several clumps of
the orange-brown Tubaria
English Names for Fungi
field on the Lancing Ring Nature reserve, north of Manor Allotments, has
been forage harvested. That is to say the meadow has been mowed
and the straw baled into tight parcels. There are thirty bales each must
weigh half a tonne.
sun was warm but the wind fresh, there was no sign of flying Odonata or
Lepidoptera (Dragonflies or Butterflies).
Grey Shrike was seen on the west side
of Lancing Ring above the recycling plant early in the morning from
- 8.05 am. It was an adult bird, first seen
perched on the top of a Hawthorn
at the edge of the trees at the NW corner of Lancing Ring. It was then
disturbed by dogs and flew off down the side of the hill towards the Municipal
Tip. I relocated it again perched high in a Hawthorn
where it remained for 15 minutes or so except for one small hover which
upset the local Blue
& Great Tits.
It then flew west out of sight in the direction of Findon Valley.
Grey Shrike Information Page
was a Kestrel motionless
in the branches of a Hawthorn Tree
on the northern edge of grazing land immediately north of the Chalk Pit,
east of Lancing Clump.
congregated at the top of McIntyres field.
was drained very low, almost devoid of water. This may be evaporation after
breezy conditions suited to loss of water in this way, or the clay-covered
butyl lining may have sprung a leak?
unconfirmed brown butterfly seen by Katherine
Hamblett was thought most likely to be a Small
the rotten timber, there were several different species of fungi.
of Lancing Clump
mellea, amongst the leaf litter
a Sycamore Tree (ID
by Mark Pike)
main area of this fungus is around the stumps of
Trees felled in the Great Storm of 1987
by Ray Hamblett
of the British Isles (Yahoo Forum)
sheltered parts of McIntyres Field near Lancing Ring, there were plenty
of insects including at least ten Common
Darter Dragonflies, Sympetrum
striolatum, and one other species
of dragonfly, probably a Migrant
were seven species of
Blue female (1), Small
White (2), Large White (1), Wall
Brown (1), Comma
A few grasshoppers were active, chirping in among the dry grasses.
Photograph in October 2003
Butterflies Flight Times
Fungus, Ganoderma, at Lancing Clump
Hamblett (5 October 2003)
Nature Slide Show Pages (by Ray Hamblett)
quick walk around the "Butterfly Trail" produced two Wall
Brown Butterflies, one feeding on the
late Greater Knapweed
flowers, with two Speckled Wood Butterflies
in the shade, and four or more Common Blue
striolatum, were around: at least four were spotted.
the grounds of Lancing College, in front of what used to be Burwell's Farm
is a pond (TQ 197 063)
that hosts a wide variety of wildlife. We were treated to a glimpse of
as it darted from a branch of an Willow Tree into more secluded cover.
The stream-fed pond was very low and covered in vegetation after the long
the disused chalkpit near Lancing Clump, the rare Autumn Ladies
Tresses Orchid, Spiranthes spiralis,
was in full flower in the same spot where I had previously seen it.
Nature Image Gallery (by Ray Hamblett)
natrix, was found trapped in nylon netting on Lancing Manor Allotment
and was freed from its accidental entrapment.
nearby butterflies included on Clouded
Yellow, one Peacock,
three Common Blues
(including one female) and over a dozen White
bruennichi, were found in the early evening close to the chalkpit near
Lancing Ring. This immigrant spider from continental Europe was not spotted
there last year, but was known from the meadows in 2002.
picture spot goes to what appears to be a Chalkhill
Blue Butterfly (with certain characteristics of the rarer Adonis Blue).
Chalkhill Blues are nowhere near as common
as on Mill Hill, found in tens rather than hundreds.
of Lancing Ring
I have been looking through some images of Chalkhill Blues from Mill
Hill taken this month and many have the full array of orange spots
on the lower hindwing, and only a faint black spot in the large tadpole/anchor
like mark. But
it could just as easily be an Adonis Blue from other photographs. I have
photographs of the underwings of both species that match the above picture
exactly. The flight time could also match both species.
comparison photographs for experts (Link)
over the South Downs Conservation Board (SDCB) caravan on
a hot humid day. The SDCB were there to explain their plans for grazing
cattle on Lancing Ring, and Mill Hill as well.
of Lancing Ring arranged for expert Brianne Reeve of the Butterfly
Conservation group to lead a walk over the Lancing Ring Nature Reserve.
different butterflies were seen before
we left the car park.
was a screech and a magnificent but very brief view of a Sparrowhawk
flying overhead, being mobbed by a Crow,
the pale blue-grey body of the raptor distinguished against the cloudless
sky. The first butterfly to make an appearance was a Green-veined
White, and then there was a steady variety
noted by a dozen or more immigrant Clouded
Yellows, a large handful of Chalkhill
Blues, far outnumbered by Common
Blues, and the hard to spot Wall
Browns. More eyes are better than a single
pair, and I might overlooked nearly a hundred Swifts
high in the sky. There was sharp call and a Green Woodpecker flew
over at lower end of the meadows, leaving the clump across the meadows
to the back garden of a house backing on to the Nature Reserve.
There was a new clump of Purple Loosestrife
by the dewpond. A handful of Common
Darter Dragonflies were tricky to see,
merging into the scrub. Silver Y Moths
nestled in the long grass.
species of butterfly were seen on the one and half walk around the meadows.
All the butterflies were in a restless mood in the hot morning sunshine.
The Red Admirals,
Ladies and others were attracted to the
Agrimony. The Brimstone
Yellows fluttered rapidly over the open
meadow with Hardheads,
and scores of nectar plants. The Speckled
Wood liked shady areas and the Holly
Blue and Gatekeepers
were found on the edge of the wood (Lancing Clump). One Gatekeeper
Butterfly had been caught in a spider's web.
The last butterfly on the list was a Peacock
Butterfly as we departed. This
total of eighteen was the most species I have seen in one day.
Butterflies of Adur
sky was black to the north and it began to rain lightly. The
prevalence of immigrant of brightly coloured strong flying Painted
Lady Butterflies (40+) on the footpath
through the Lancing Ring meadows with the new
reddish Small Tortoiseshells (25+)
leaves me to speculate that the Small Tortoiseshell
Butterflies were immigrants as well. The
Common Blue butterflies were not spotted,
but they were certainly there and must have been hiding amongst the long
grasses. An Emperor
Dragonfly was on patrol. The Harebells
were in flower on the western fringe of the clump, but by then it was raining
too hard for a close-up photograph.
List (Species Recorded)
were 500+ Meadow Brown Butterflies
seen with thirteen
or fourteen other butterfly species including two
Yellows and a handful of Chalkhill
Blues seen on the southern meadows of
Lancing Clump. A Wall Brown Butterfly
showed an unusual faded colour. The majority of the butterflies were seen
in my first walk between
1:00 pm and 2:00
pm. A couple more were added to the list later.
Conehead Crickets were also seen. A tatty male Chalkhill
Blue was photographed.
Report with supplement
of Lancing Ring
bright yellow with an unmistakable lining of black was immediately recognised
as the first immigrant Clouded Yellow Butterfly
of the year in the lower meadows of Lancing Clump. It was flying around
energetically. The only other butterflies
noted in a passing visit were Common Blues,
Admirals, Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshells,
Browns and Large
Whites (note the lengthy black margin on the upper wing as shown in
the photograph). There was at least
Speckled Wood Butterfly
in the scrub as I left, and there was almost certainly more in the woods
but I did not recognise them definitely.
Brown Butterflies (20+) were the commonest
in the long grasses, Pyramid Orchids
of McIntyres Field, Lancing. A handful each of very orangey Comma
Butterflies (near Lancing Manor allotments),
Whites and Red
Admirals flew strongly.
couple of Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonflies
made a brief foray from shelter at Lancing
(TQ 181 065) where a Poplar
Hawk-moth fluttered in the undergrowth.
west along the bridle path from the foothills of Lancing College, the fields
to my right (north) supported long grasses with Greater
Knapweed and one Small
Scabious flower noted. Small
Tortoiseshell Butterflies (35+) were everywhere
settling on the path in front of me, with a handful of Small
White Butterflies over the cultivated
field on my left, before I arrived at the Hoe Court Cottages junction.
first Marbled White Butterflies (2)
were seen in the chalk pit with a handful of Meadow
Browns. Unusually, I walked the lower
meadow trail south of Lancing Clump where the Greater
Knapweed was flowering commonly. Marbled
Whites were quickly seen and then I was able
to see and photograph one struggling out of the long grass in the early
evening, where it was very weak for a couple of minutes before attaining
strength and fluttering off. For this reason I was reluctant to go blundering
through the long grass and crushing the emerging butterflies, so although
I saw 25+ Marbled White Butterflies,
I am sure these numbers were just a fraction of the hundreds present.
Browns were present, as expected, but not
more than a dozen were seen, and not noted as much as at least 30
Skippers that readily settled on the Greater
Knapweed. An amorous pair of Common
Blue Butterflies made a fleeting pass
by. There were numerous small moths for the experts in these insects.
to distinguish the Common Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris from the
Essex Skipper, T. lineola
a windy overcast day there were no damselflies and dragonflies
at Lancing Ring
(TQ 181 065). There was a small froglet on
the muddy fringes.
were few in flight including a handful of Speckled
Woods and a few Painted
Ladies and Red
Blue Butterfly nectared on Bird's
Foot Trefoil on the lower meadowed slopes
of Lancing Clump.
Flag at the Dewpond (image)
Wright and David (Sussex Bat Group) led the
evening walk in the dark up Lancing Ring in
overcast damp conditions, unfavourable for bats as their prey food of insects
were not flying about. On the edge of the woodland the bat detector picked
up the sound of two Pipistrelle
Bats in flight. The bats emit noises from their echo location system,
which cannot be heard by the human ear, but can be picked up and identified
by the bat detector.
These bats were seen flying across the path shortly afterwards. Later a
Noctule Bat was also detected. (Pipistrelle Bats fly when the temperature
exceeds 8° C. The night temperature fell
to 7.9° C.)
Conservation Trust: Bat Information
Biodiversity Action Plan for the Pipistrelle
Reeve (Shoreham & District Ornithological Society)
led the walk on Lancing Ring and meadows on behalf of the Friends
of Lancing Ring. On a damp and overcast
day with intermittent showers, we
were greeted by a screaming pair of Swifts,
but otherwise it was more of an audio show, the birds calling from the
bushes. An exception was a Yellowhammer
on a Gorse bush.
The full bird count was numerous, but the more vocal of the birds present
Whitethroats, with at least one Great
Spotted Woodpecker, and others including
and the Law UK
Flower Images for May
Purple Orchids made a fine show under
the shade of Lancing Clump. The leaves of this plant in 99% of case were
all spotted with black. There
were scarcely any butterflies
in the meadows though, just a handful of Small
Tortoiseshells and Speckled Browns
it was shady. There
were no damselflies or dragonflies to be seen
above the murky dewpond. Very
small Backswimmers swam near the surface and I saw one large tadpole.
This was probably a frog
tadpole that got larger, but without growing
facing meadow, next to the bridlepath from the road to Lancing College
(just north of the Sussex Pad road) to Hoe Court Cottages (on the route
west to Lancing Clump), was covered in flowering Cowslips.
A dozen or so Jackdaws
probed in the neighbouring grass only meadows.
Clump in the sunshine produced the following five species of butterflies:
Wood x 6
Tortoiseshell x 4
sp. x 3
the edge of grassland I caught sight of a Magpie
trying to steal a Field Vole
from the edge of a run into the scrubby hedge.
a pleasantly warm (18.5° C)
calm day, on the paths up to Lancing Clump,
Butterflies numbered at least 30, some
in pristine condition, one battered with torn
wings. Wild plants in flower included Wood
Anemone, Lesser Celandine and Daffodils.
A small clump underneath
a Beech tree on Lancing Clump
small yellow flowers are Lesser Celandine
midday we saw a large
bird of prey flying east towards Lancing
College. The bird was flying towards us at a height of about 100 metres.
The immediate impression was of a powerful, bulky bird of prey, in size
close to a female Peregrine.
The bird had a relatively slow wing beat and was mainly gliding. It also
appeared to preen once whilst gliding. In shape the bird resembled an over-grown
sun was high and it was not possible to see a great amount of plumage detail
as we watched the bird for roughly 20 seconds. Through our binoculars the
immediate impression was of an exceptionally light coloured bird. The only
markings that were apparent were a very prominent thick black bar at the
base of the underside of the tail, and a prominent black line running along
the front edge of the wings from just behind the carpal join to the outer
primary. The only other marking appeared to be a slight darkening towards
the front of the birds belly. We could not make out any more plumage detail
than that, and specifically we could not see any markings on the head,
or further barring on the birds body, wings or tail. The bird was not wearing
which would indicate a falconer's escape.
first couple of Holly Blue Butterflies
as well as an Orange Tip
near the petanque court at Lancing Manor, and a single Small
Tortoiseshell Butterfly and one Brimstone
are seen in sunny Lancing.
Butterfly was seen near to Lancing Manor
Allotments at the foot of McIntyres field.
& Found "Birds of Prey"
escaped Eagle with jesses
was seen over Cokeham Reed Beds, Sompting. It was mobbed by crows
and seen heading for the downs. This bird was
not a Harris
Hawk identified from Cissbury later in
Sorex araneus, was discovered
under the forcing cover of the rhubarb plants on our Lancing Manor allotment
(south of the tree ringed wild flower meadow called McIntyres Field, which
is part of Lancing Ring Nature Reserve).
first butterfly of the year was almost certainly
Small Tortoiseshell that
fluttered out of the Hawthorn and Dogwood shrub on the south east corner
of the Dewpond field on Lancing Clump.
Consultation draft of the 5 Year Management Plan has been published and
issued to the Friends of Lancing
plan begins with a description of the site. Its present status, Geology,
History, Landscape, Habitats, Recreation and Public Access, Current Management,
Interpretation and Information & Resources.
Nature Newsletter (December 2002)
of Lancing Ring
was a misty Lancing Clump
in the late afternoon, eerily still and quiet,
Ash and Beech
wintery trees are festooned with glossy green Ivy,
Hedera helix, and twining Old Man's
Beard, Clematis vitalba, with the
fungi disintegrating and being resorbed into the woodland soil beneath
the leaf litter.
the way out past the dewpond
(TQ 181 065), a flash of yellow and green
tail feathers caught my eye. As the large Jackdaw sized bird flew towards
the pond I could make
out its appearance as a Green
Woodpecker. Two species of woodpecker,
Green, Picus viridis, and Spotted,
are known on the clump but not frequently seen.
Clump was shrouded in a light mist, rain fell in intermittent bursts;
the woodland floor covered with fallen leaves, the trees almost bare after
the battering of recent gales. The atmosphere was heavy and sombre, the
weight of the woodland canopy all around the feet, ready to begin the process
of replenishing the soil. The recycling of dead timber was in evidence
with the fruiting of several clumps of fungi, including the Jews Ear
the Shaggy and Golden Pholiotas.
Report and Photographs
mushroom is Mycena
inclina with a slender stem dark red-brown at the base, white
above and with a pleasant soapy or sweet smell.
Checklist of Fungal Names
Nature Newsletter (September 2002)
bruennichi, were seen on my walk over Lancing
Ring (TQ 180 065). Three
specimens of the Autumn Lady's Tresses
Orchid, Spiranthes spiralis,were
discovered but on this relatively overcast day, there were few butterflies
about, but they included a Small Copper
Butterfly. A Green Bush Cricket
was spotted as well.
of Lancing 2001
of Lancing Ring have arranged for expert Brianne Reeve of the Butterfly
Conservation group to lead a walk over the reserve.
a hot (25° C) and muggy (humidity 86%) day, the walk produced an exceptional
variety of butterflies. In order of prevalence
last two were rarities in the meadows. Both could have been overlooked
by a single naturalist. Small red mites
were present on some of the Meadow Browns. This
is 13 confirmed species plus two possibles.
= hearsay reports)
is of many of the spider webs
in amongst the long grasses.
Burnet Moths were also common in the meadows.
Walk in August 2001
Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)
Dragonfly patrolled the Lancing Ring
(TQ 181 065), but this was to be expected.
There were small damselflies just above the water surface as well.
of Common Blue Butterflies
are disturbed at 8:00 am
on McIntyres Field (TQ
188 061) near
fine day after a over a week of rain and overcast days brought a few butterflies
out, included a handful of Marbled Whites,
at least one Small Skipper,
but the Meadow Browns
were the most plentiful (25+) in the meadows.
the dragonfly would not settle. I identified it before as a Broad-bodied
it would not stay still enough for me to be sure. It was
darting around at great speed. I fancied it had a a lot of black on its
thorax as well as black on the tip of its abdomen but I could not be sure.
A grey coloured Emperor Dragonfly
hawked at low level over McIntyres Field (TQ
Dragonflies Picture Gallery
the dewpond scores of front swimming Water
be seen in the shallows rising frequently to the surface, with the usual
Skaters on the surface.
In the wooded fringes, I noticed a colourful multi-spotted yellow 22
noticeable were Pyramid Orchard and
Acrimony, and small Puff
Ball Mushrooms stood out from the crowd in
the shorter grasses.
party of about 20 volunteers with the South Downs Conservation Board, led
by Countryside Ranger Richard James,
gathered for a scrub clearing session on the South-west slope of Lancing
Ring. The task was to remove some of the Hawthorn
which is seen to be invading the chalk grassland which itself has been
colonised by Tor
Grass, Brachypodium pinnatum. The SDCB hope to introduce
grazing by Exmoor Ponies which have proved successful on downland at Firle
near Lewes, East Sussex.
Grass Information Files:
Nature Newsletter (February 2002)
Life of North-western Europe Smart Group
woodland floor of Lancing Ring
is carpeted with fallen leaves under the Beech trees in this area giving
a patchwork of autumnal colours from yellow to brown. Under the Ash trees
elsewhere the leaf litter is far less colourful. It has
quite muddy in places as walkers have trod the well used paths. The dewpond
looks calm, it's aquatic plants looking yellowed as winter approaches.
small copse in the bit to the south-east of McIntyres Field, Lancing, was
cleared of a few trees (TQ 189 158)
and in this area a Great Spotted Woodpecker
between the remaining branches, landing to peck at the tree with sharp
captivate the outskirts of Lancing Clump with
their twittering melody and when seen their pretty appearance stands out
from the still lush vegetation.
bruennichi, was found on Lancing
Ring (TQ 180 065) by dog walkers Alex Wilkinson and his mother Vicky.
It a large (bigger than a fifty pence piece) yellow, black and white spider
in a big web..."
discovery was verified by Dr Gerald Legg at the Booth
Museum of Natural History.
fairly rare, these immigrants are gaining a foothold in Sussex and according
to a spokesman at English Nature found at several locations around the
area including Rye, Heathfield, and Hastings. They are normally to be found
on land surrounding the Mediterranean they have spread northwards. They
have established themselves in southern England since the 1990's.
Reeve led the Butterfly
Conservation Society walk at Lancing Ring. The day was overcast and
later it began to rain. On my cycle route on the path from the Coombes
Road before the Chalk Pits to the Mill Road car park I spotted a Wall
route we followed was through Pat Barton's Wood to the Hay
Meadow. There were few butterflies to
be seen so Brianne Reeve mentioned some of the flowers in the field including
the omnipresent Wild Parsley, Wild Carrot, Dogwood. Mugwort, Herb Basil,
Red Bartsia, and the Hardhead (the smaller
of the Knapweeds, more thistle-like superficially) Centaurea nigra.
and a Gatekeeper
in good condition obliged by opening on the same bramble bush. In the long
grass meadows, the day was overcast so the only way about a hundred each
Common Blue Butterflies and
Browns could be revealed was by flushing
them out with the attendant risk of stepping on some of them, or more likely
stepping on the moths at the bottom of the long grasses.
from Brianne Reeve: The Large White has a greater amount of black border
on its wing than the Small White.
Reeve recommended the out of print pocket guide "Butterflies" by Martin
A. Thomas in the RSNC issue. There is also a Hamlyn guide by the same author.
Plants "Smart Group"
went up the the Lancing Ring chalk pits (east side) (TQ
187 063) to try and find out what burnet moths
they were by counting the spots. This was difficult because these moths
would not settle. There were about 15 moths in a couple of small
meadows to the east of the Chalk Pit, attracted to Greater
It is probably the 6-spot Burnet Moth,
of the Burnet Moths
Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)
up the stems of the Ragwort, the
caterpillars of the Cinnabar
Moth, Tyria jacobaeae, spelt out
a warning that they are distasteful with their bright yellow and black
butterfly estimates in the meadows were Meadow
Browns (50+), Gatekeepers
(20+), Large and Small Whites (10+),
and smaller numbers of Small/Essex Skippers
(10+), Holly Blues (10+),
sign of the Chalkhill Butterflies.
attractive small plant the Harebell, Campanula
was especially noticeable on the steep chalk slope
west of Lancing Clump.
a scorching hot day, when by the afternoon the temperatures reached 26°
C hundreds of various of butterflies were
on the wing everywhere.
Ring was particularly covered with butterflies with Gatekeepers
(200+), Large and Small Whites (100+),
and smaller numbers of Small Skippers
(25+), Speckled Browns (25+) in the woods, Red
Admirals (20+), Wall
Browns (3+), Holly
Blues (3+), Marbled
Whites (3+). Meadow Browns (15+)
were almost all to be found in the meadow called McIntyres Field north
of Lancing Manor (TQ 188 061)
and even amongst the long grasses on this south-facing slope they were
outnumbered by the
very small pure white butterfly or moth fluttered over a path and disappeared.
It looked and fluttered more like a butterfly than a moth and was about
the size of a Holly Blue Butterfly. It was
almost certainly a pale version of the Holly Blue.
Holly Blues were noted for a very clear white rim on the upperside and
a dark blue underside matching the upperside, with just about four
black dots on the underside, near the abdomen and shared between the wings
with one on the top and three on the bottom wing,
ascertained only in the fleeting moment the butterfly remained still.
of the chalk pit in the long grass, I am still uncertain of the identity
of the day-flying moths, one of the Burnets.
settled for long periods and flew away with their distinctive crimson underwings.
Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)
(TQ 181 065),
mated in mid-air and at least one female Broad-bodied
Chaser patrolled the reeds.
a dozen of the stout-bodied dragonflies flew rapidly over the Lancing Ring
(see the previous report). They flew much too quickly
to ascertain any of the smaller details which is necessary to confirm identification.
Both males and females chased each other in the breeze. However, a brown
female dragonfly settled for about two seconds a couple of metres away
and there was just time to spot at least three large spots of bright
orange on one side of the darker brown abdomen. This together with the
brown bulky nature of the flattish abdomen, made to look more bulky by
the brown on the base of the wings makes me identify this spectacular insect
Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula
depressa. The appearance of bright
green Emperor Dragonfly,
female, was comparatively dull and inactive. A Blue-tailed
Damselfly tried to hide its then abdomen
along an equally thin waterside reed.
Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
Dragonfly patrolled the Lancing Ring
(TQ 181 065), but this was to be expected.
However, there was also a much sturdier-looking dragonfly darting between
the reeds. The abdomen was a very pale blue, almost white,
and stubby rather than elongate. This species was a male
Dragonflies Discussion Group
Life of North-western Europe EForum
a hundred Marbled
White Butterflies were
at Lancing Ring (TQ
180 065) meadows fluttering in the long grass
amongst a cacophony of grasshoppers
grasses supported a cocoon, probably from one of the burnet moths.
Nature & History - July 2001 Newsletter
Notes by Ray Hamblett
made a mental note of some of the species we saw including a number of
on the ground and airborne.
flower I noticed Sweet Violets
(Viola odorata), Blackthorn
(Ulex europaeus) Germander
Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys)
and Lesser Celandine
to flowering there were a few Early
Purple Orchid, worried me a bit
enthusiastic scrub clearance seems to have damaged one or two plants.
were three species of butterfly, Brimstone,
a Brown (I'm
not sure which
and a Peacock.
main species of tree on the clump seem to be Beech, Sycamore, Hawthorn
and Ash. There are also large drifts of Blackthorn on the
slopes surrounding the ring. I'll have to wait for leaves to recognise
noted the presence of Ivy (Hedera helix) which festoons many
(Lonicera periclymenum) is beginning to show growth as are the Nettles.
Bedstraw (Galium verum) was emerging, also distinctively was
on Creeping Silver Weed
out for Ajuga reptans
but saw none.
looked for fungi, wrong time of year of course, but found a form of Bracket
fungus on fallen Beech trunk, nothing special I suppose.
23 April 2000
a walk up woodland path behind Lancing Leisure Centre. Walking amongst
the trunks of Horse Chestnut,
the emerging canopy of leaves is beginning to darken the woodland floor.
well-trodden pathway meanders through herbaceous ground cover. Of
note are the Lords and Ladies, or Cuckoo Pint (Arum maculatum).
sprouted thickets of Nettle jostle with Cow
Parsley for the available
a moss coated fallen trunk Herb Robert
(Geranium robertianum) has found
a niche. Twinning through twiggy branches, Old
Man's Beard (Clematis vitalba)
(Lonicera periclymenum). Approaching the ancient trackway I notice
the bright green heart shaped leaves of Black Bryony (Tamus communis).
turned right at the top to look at Hoe Court Cottages.
view south here looks over Shoreham Airport,
the adjoining damp meadows
the town of Lancing.
can imagine travellers in ancient times looking over the sea which met
wide estuary of the River Adur close to the foot
of the hill on which we
Returning to the path leading to Lancing Ring we ascended the gentle hill,
the air here is filled with sound of birdsong from Blackbirds,
Tit, a Chiffchaff
and a pair of Robins
who followed us some way up
path. Near the top the distinctive sound of a Woodpecker
from a nearby
dead tree. As it climbed to the top I was able to identify it as a
Spotted Woodpecker by it's black and white
in the air I catch sight of a Kestrel.
We reached the site of the old chalk pit and the adjacent site of a Post
Windmill. In the grass we spotted clumps of Cowslip
veris) begining to flower. A Greenfinch flies out from a clump
of Hawthorn. We returned via the mowed field which in the summer
becomes a rich sward of meadow flowers. As we entered it a pair of Goldfinch
swoop out of trees and land somewhere on the open ground, no doubt finding
the abundant Dandelion
flowers shedding some of it seed.
of Lancing (Ray Hamblett)
Ring & Mill Hill Information 1 (requires Acrobat Reader)
Ring & Mill Hill Information 2 (requires Acrobat Reader)