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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Sunday 30th May 2010 - Bank holiday weekend.
Billingshurst to Pulborough
9 miles

OS Landranger 197 - Chichester and the South Downs.

This is about the fourth time we've done this superb walk and so far it hasn't failed to satisfy. As soon as you reach the river Arun near Guildenhurst Manor and start walking along the old, overgrown Wey & Arun Canal, the noise from the A272 starts to recede to be replaced by the songs of Cuckoo, Nightingale and Yellowhammer. You suddenly find yourself in large, flood-plain meadows that are full of flowers, birds and insects and today we were immediately struck by the number of Mayflies that were emerging everywhere. After stopping a while we found that we were also surrounded by many species of butterfly, grasshoppers, damselflies, spiders and beetles. Maybe not everyone's idea of bliss but for bug lovers like us it was a little patch of paradise. Someone who agreed with us was a Hobby, who's insect hunting was rudely  interrupted by an attack from a Carrion Crow.
Everything except the insects seemed to be taking it easy today: we saw; a Red Fox staking out a rabbit hole, before its cunning game was given away by a meddlesome magpie; a Roe Deer that was just chilling out in an empty paddock; Buzzards and a single Sparrowhawk soaring lazily above us in the very hot sun and we even came across a sleepy Grass Snake sunning itself on the towpath.

The route follows the footpath west from Billingshurst station, out through the houses at Parbrook and across the A29.
At the next road turn right, walk up to the Limeburners pub and then continue on the footpath west to Guildenhurst Manor.
From there the route follows the
The Wey South Path all the way to Pulborough.

The wildlife started right on the main road.

But soon you're into large, quiet meadows. Quiet that is except for millions of insects and hundreds of birds.

Mayflies were hatching in the meadows and thousands were doing their 'up & down' dance.
Very art nouveau too.

Broad-bodied Chaser. These chunky insects are so territorial they'll even shoo a hiker along!

Grass Snake
(Natrix natrix) basking in the sun just after Lording's Lock.

This fox was staking out a warren before an angry Magpie sent him packing.

A Roe Deer relaxing in someone's paddock.

Looking up to Toat Monument, which was erected by Samuel Drinkwater in 1827 and looks over some beautiful Sussex countryside.