For this week only, 29th June to 3rd July, heavy working horses will be working in Warren Glen. They will be pulling a heavy roller to bash and bruise areas of bracken in the Glen. Enlisting the help of working horses to pull heavy rollers to bash and bruise the bracken is an effective, traditional and low impact method of reducing the vigour and growth of bracken in hard to reach areas and avoids the use of chemicals. Frankie Woodgate and her forestry horses, 13 year old ‘Yser’ and 9 year old ‘Tobias’ will be on site at Warren Glen from the 29 June for around 5 days. They spend most of the year extracting timber from woods around Sussex and Kent but spend the summer rolling bracken. Everyone is welcome to come along and see the horses at work in this unique natural environment.
Further to our post below, we have now discovered that, incredible though it may seem, Hastings Borough Council are not allowing public comments on this application. After all we have been through it seems that attitudes still have not changed within the planning department. In the circumstances we would urge Friends to write directly to their councillors.
Sadly we must draw Friends’ attention to yet another planning application relating to Rocklands Caravan Park, this one concerning an unauthorised storage building erected at Rocklands some years ago. Please do add your comments on the planning website as public engagement in this serious issue is important for the future of the Country Park:
At the foot of the east wall of the Visitor Centre there is a patch of exposed earth pocked with small holes that are the entrances to the nests of Mining Bees. Three species of Mining Bee have been identified there; Clarke's Mining Bee (Andrena clarkella), the Buffish Mining Bee (Andrena nigroaenea) both on the ground and a Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) visiting the adjacent ivy. Each species of Mining Bee has an associated cleptoparasitic Nomad Bee. The predominant species of Mining Bee at the visitor centre is Andrena nigroaenea, and its cleptoparasite is Gooden's Nomad Bee (Nomada goodeniana). Gooden's Nomad Bee is a medium sized almost hairless bee with yellow bands and spots that looks like a wasp. Females enter the open cell of the host bee and insert their eggs into the wall of the cell. The first instar larva kills the egg or young larva of the host bee using a pair of sickle-shaped jaws. It then eats the host bee's provisions.
This fully booked event was again led by popular local naturalist and photographer, Crystal Ray. The morning began with an indoor session at the Milking Parlour Field Centre before we all ventured out into the rather windy and inclement conditions to see what wildlife and plants of interest we could find to try out our new-found skills on.
Some time was spent attempting to focus closely on a lone Scorpion Fly and most participants successfully photographed a very obliging Speckled Wood butterfly. Our walk took us as far as the dripping well, looking rather eerie and gloomy in the cloudy conditions, where comparisons were made between flash and non-flash photography.
All in all this proved an extremely enjoyable and informative event and I’m sure we shall be welcoming Crystal back again next year.
There are still a few places left for next Saturdays Photography Talk/Walk with local Naturalist Crystal Ray. Booking is essential for this event. Please see our Events page for more details or phone Jan 01424 715556
On Saturday, 22 of us braved the cold wind, the rain, then more even colder wind to go on a wonderful walk in the Country Park with the amazing Ben Fairlight Edwards. Ben's knowledge is incredible and we all learnt so much about the healing properties of plants that we walk past all the time. We were even treated to Bramble tip tea - standing in the rain in the Quarry! Very many thanks to Ben for such a brilliant walk!
Last Saturday the Friends enjoyed a fascinating talk introducing the lichens of the Country Park Nature Reserve given by local naturalist, Keith Palmer. Keith’s talk introduced us to the different forms of lichen and described their life cycle in fascinating detail. He also showed us colourful examples of some of the lichens we might expect to see on our walk. So, armed with lenses and lots of enthusiasm, we set off towards Barley Lane.
Our first stop was at a small derelict stone barn whose walls were a rich hunting ground for various common stone-loving lichens. A pair of nearby iron gates with an old wooden latch quickly produced some more common examples. A wooden fence and kissing gate together with nearby trees produced several different lichens and our walk finished with close examination of some beautiful foliose lichens growing on blackthorn bushes alongside the footpath.
This was a most enjoyable and informative event and Keith proved such a popular leader that I suspect we will be booking him for a similar event next year!
Please may we draw your attention to another planning application that has implications for the Country Park
We are sorry to announce that Thursdays Photo Shoot has now been cancelled.