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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man

Saturday 7th July 2007
Kithurst - Amberley - Burpham - Kithurst

We needed a serious cheering up today, so thankfully the sun came out. We decided that we needed to lie down in a meadow covered in wild flowers for a couple of hours and so that is just what we did. The perfect place was on the Springhead Estate on the Downs at Rackham Hill. This estate is managed by
DEFRA and Natural England that has remained untouched by agriculture and is only grazed by sheep. The result is an amazing habitat which has been described as rich as the tropical rain forests. The number of plant species growing in one square metre is astonishing. The turf is thick and bouncy and like a memory-foam mattress. The only sounds were from crickets and yellowhammers.
When we eventually dragged ourselves from this therapeutic haven we walked west along the SDW to Amberley Mount (where there are great panoramic views) and down into Amberley. Along the way we met about 6 teams of air cadets who were all on a 40k hike. They looked very tired and hot when we saw them and they still had a long way to go. We thought that they were carrying too much equipment for a hike and they seemed to be in very uncomfortable uniforms too.
From Amberley we followed the River Arun south through the villages of North and South Stoke and down to Burpham. The church at North Stoke was very quiet inside with very simple decoration. From Burpham village we headed northeast across the rolling downs back up to the Kithurst Hill car park and home.

Cinnabar moth caterpillars (Tyria jacobaeae)

Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) showing how it's markings can be mistaken as a bird.

The lime trees are all in flower at the moment filling the air with the smell of cucumber.
This one at North Stoke was a particularly good specimen.

The font at North Stoke church (taken by Gill).

Dead man's fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)

An (as yet) unidentified millipede/centipede thingy.