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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 15th May 2010
Rickney - Herstmonceux - Wartling - Norman's Bay - Pevensey - Rickney
13 miles
OS Landranger 199

We're still riding the Suzuki about whilst we search for a replacement Harley, but we find it really uncomfortable. After an hour or so your bum goes to sleep and your legs start to ache, so this ride out to the hamlet of Rickney (TQ 626 068) is about the furthest east we really want to go on it.
This walk is across drained land and is criss-crossed with reeded waterways. Raft spiders, Whirligig Beetles and Water Boatmen hunt in the rills and the entire walk at this time of year is punctuated with the mad songs of Reed Warbler. We heard cuckoos calling from the small copses that dot the very open landscape, and heard a few short bursts of Nightingale too. A Hobby (our first this year) belted past us and swooped behind a line of hedgerow, but best of all, just before we reached Herstmonceux church, a Red Kite came soaring overhead and continued eastwards towards Hooe.
There is not much cover on this walk as its mostly wide-open spaces but there are lots of places for wildlife to live, so you have to keep your eyes peeled and binoculars are a must. Surprisingly for East Sussex the footpaths are quite well signposted although many of the stiles are in a bad way and are quite perilous.
We left Rickney just after sundown, and wended our way slowly down the single-lane track back towards Hailsham. All of a sudden our lights caught a Sparrowhawk in flight and we watched as it flitted along just ahead of us: landing on the road several times and beaming back at us each time with it's contemptuous gaze.
A great end to another superb, springtime, Sussex walk.

We keep finding body parts lately. It's like being on safari.
Are we being hunted too!

The Science Centre at Herstmonceux, which is right next-door to Herstmonceux House.

Wartling Church.

Fox cub playing outside the den.


St Nicola's, Pevensey.

The Martello tower at Norman's bay.
It's privately owned now and the gun emplacement on the top has been replaced with a glass-walled room.

Pevensey was where the Normans landed when they invaded Britain in 1066
and the castle here was the first one they built when they had taken over the country.

A final evening stroll following the Pevensey Haven back up to Rickney.

Whirligig Beetles.