About us ~
Bikes ~
 Videos ~ Gallery ~ SearchLinks

Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 19th March 2011
Bignor - Sutton - Barlavington - Burton Park - Duncton - Woolavington Down - Barlavington Down - Sutton - Bignor.
9 miles

T-shirt weather at last! Mind you, the temperatures were helped along by the many uphill sections on this extremely scenic walk. We hadn't gone 20 yards though when I heard Gill's footsteps behind me getting faster and faster and faster. I turned round just in time to catch her before she hit the deck! Brambles round the ankle to blame.
Our route took us on a pleasant meander through the thatched villages of Bignor, Sutton and Barlavington along the foot of the downs, before heading out into Burton Park. There we found two Egyptian Geese in an old dead tree. Something in the tree had snared the female badly about 20 feet up and she was left hanging almost upside down. I couldn't climb up to help her and we couldn't find anyone on the estate to help either. We called the RSPCA and a local Wildlife rescue organisation but still with no success and we started to get quite distressed ourselves. Luckily, we came across a neighbouring landowner (and parish council member on the committee for the national park) who said that he would put a rescue plan into operation. That made us feel so much better, as it was heart-breaking to leave them there with no help, with the male waiting patiently and faithfully by his mate's side.
To cheer us both up Gill managed to find a Little Owl while she was searching for a place to have a wee.

St. John the Baptist, Sutton.

Dog Violet.

Lesser Celandine (
Ranunculus ficaria)

St. Richard's in Burton Park.

Burton Park House was built in 1831 during the reign of William IV and sports four Ionic columns topped with volutes and is capped with a crested pediment.
It's now split up into luxury apartments.

A pair of Egyptian Geese - the female of which was badly snagged in the tree and the male seemed determined not to leave her.

A Little Owl (Athene noctua), completely unmoved by the frantic flock of small birds that were trying to scare it off.

Trying to find help for the goose cost us quite a bit of time, so we were still on the downs at nightfall.
What a beautiful, clear night though, and a super moon too: the biggest since 1993 apparently.

As it first rose above the horizon the moon was bright red and looked much larger than normal. What a sight!
Unfortunately we were too spellbound to take a photo until later on.

From Sutton back to Bignor we were in the dark, apart from the significant moonlight.

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