About us ~
Bikes ~
 Videos ~ Gallery ~ SearchLinks

Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 6th August 2011
Amberley - North Stoke- South Stoke - Burpham - Wepham - Wepham Wood - Rackham Hill - Amberley.
11.5 miles of complete gorgeousness!

Right from the off this walk had more wildlife than our meanderings of late. A pair of Peregrines screaming at the top of their voices on the cliffs at Amberley started things off and two minutes later we met the Barnham eel man checking his traps along the Arun. He already had a few good specimens but he spoke of getting over 3 tonnes of them throughout the season (which runs from 'last frost to first frost' or 'When the willow comes into bud, the eels come out of the mud') with no sign of the decline seen in other parts of the country.
At peaceful South Stoke church there was: a nest of extremely busy bees in the porch roof, a sparrow's nest in a hole in the nave's flint wall, a fruiting walnut  tree growing in a neighbouring garden and walnut cake and tea for us.
Onwards, through idyllic Burpham and Wepham and we were transported back in time, out the other side and into Wepham Wood and we were just transcended. A Brown Hare saw us to the wood's entrance and above soared Buzzard and Kite. The light through the canopy of the coppiced wood was a mystical turn to an already magical walk and although we didn't spy any elves we did glimpse a chestnut brown Roe Deer scampering off into the distance.
Our walk was timed so that we would be out well after dark, and that was when the fairy folk really did arrive: the little green beacons of Glow Worms in the lush hedgerows showed up easily and we marvelled at these seemingly impossible little creatures. The female beetles (not worms) glow to attract the males and after mating they lay their eggs, put out their light and die. The young larvae emit a pulsating green light from two small dots on the end of their abdomen whereas the adult females have wide, constantly-glowing bands across their whole abdomen. The glowing must be infectious too because Gill's face lit up with excitement at the very sight of them.
First thing Sunday morning we reported our sightings to the Glow worms survey, and please do the same if you see them too.

Sussex eels, straight from the Sargasso to the Arun!

South Stoke churchyard.


Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum), a real stunner for the garden and a wild, British flower!

Wepham Wood straight ahead. A great spot to take a few minutes and watch. We were repaid with Hare, Buzzard and Red Kite.

Brown Hare.

The Ordnance Survey Triangulation Station (trig point) on Barpham Hill.

The fairy folk arrive at Rackham.

Glow worms!


Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.