Task Day 19 June

Well, we planted most of the wild flowers we were given today, which were Ladies Bedstraw, Birds Foot Trefoil, Teasel and Wild Foxgloves. Time stopped us doing them all, unfortunately. The weather was mostly good with a few raindrops – not enough to put us off. Although we watered them all in, we are now hoping for some proper rain to help the plants bed in and become established. There is some forecast for tonight, but let’s see…

Very many thanks to the volunteers who helped us. We couldn’t have done it without you (obviously!) and I think we all enjoyed the occasion and worked well as a team.

Hopefully we will see the benefits as time goes along.

Task Day 19 June – Volunteers required

CAN YOU HELP US?

A specialist wildflower nursery has donated several free trays of wildflowers to be planted on the Reserve.

We could do with as much help as possible to plant them at our next task day. Would you be able to join us? We’d be very grateful.

Planting will be between 10am & 12 noon but if you can’t give up 2 hours, then an hour or half hour would make all the difference. Tools will be available, but if you have a trowel or spade you can bring that would be helpful, and gloves would be advisable.

Meet at the car park at 10am. Thank you.

Spring 2022 Update

Task day

Please note that this month’s task day has been brought forward to this Sunday as the usual time on the following week clashed with Easter.  Usual arrangements apply – meet at the car park at 10am.

Spring is getting underway on the Reserve now and the warm weather a couple of weeks or so ago brought out some early butterflies.  Here are some which have been seen so far:

Brimstone
Speckled Wood
Peacock

The sloe blossom is abundant this year and there are some wood anemones flowering in the Clump.

Friends of Lancing Ring memberships

This time of year marks the start of the membership year for the FOLR.  If you are not members why not consider joining us?  Subs are £3 adults, £5 family, 50p juniors.  We’d love you to join us and it is as simple as just popping your money in an envelope with your name, address, email and phone no and dropping it at either

  • Bowness Avenue newsagents. 
  • Through the letterbox of 21 The Street
  • Through the letterbox of  31 Sedbury Road, Sompting
  • Through the letterbox of 1 Silverdale Drive, Sompting
  • Through the letterbox of 59 Irene Avenue, Lancing

Members receive 3 newsletters a year letting you know what is going on around the Reserve. 

February Task Day Cancelled due to high winds

We were planning to work by the seat recently installed by the Friends of Lancing Ring today, however the wind was still strong following Storm Eunice, so we had to cancel it for safety reasons, which was disappointing. The plan was to clear some scrub to allow a better view of the coast from the seat. We hope to carry out the work on another Sunday, hopefully before the next planned Task Day on 20 March.

There has been quite a lot of damage in and around the reserve which many of you may have seen.

Probably the most serious is this one, near the top (north west) corner of Macintyres Field. We think it will be quite a job to clear it. In the meantime, keep clear and don’t try and walk underneath it! There is a route around the obstruction

Task Days at the Start of the New Year

We have had a busy start to the year with lots of work already taking place.  A group of the South Downs National Park volunteers started clearing and cutting back blackthorn bushes on 9th January.  This is being done to stop the scrub from spreading further into the fields, but it will also help the brown hairstreak butterfly.

These butterflies are on the priority list for butterfly conservation.  Hedgerow removal and loss of woodland in the past has resulted in a serious decline in numbers.  Sussex remains a relative stronghold, so we are keen to encourage them.  They lay their eggs and caterpillars feed on blackthorn bushes but they need young growth, not thick mature bushes.  Once we get a routine established, the bushes will be cut in rotation each group being left for a number of years between cutting.

16 January saw the FOLR volunteers working in the chalk pit.  We had an amazingly productive session strimming the banks and raking off the cut grass which should help the more delicate chalk grass species.  We also cut back and cleared the perimeter paths and had a general litter pick. 

We were blessed with a beautiful warm day and the team worked really hard.  The chalk pit is looking very spruce now and ready for the new flowers.

You may have seen the SDNP Rangers clearing a pathway ready for the flail machine to come onto the Reserve to cut the meadows.  We should see the mowing starting soon.

If this has whet your appetite, our next task day is on Sunday 20 February. If you would like to come up to the reserve for a couple of hours and help out, we meet at the Mill Road car park at 10.00am.

Last Task Day of the Year – 12 December 2021

Well, it wasn’t really a task day as such. Traditionally the last one is a get-together with some mulled wine and mince pies to celebrate the year on the Reserve and for the Committee to thank the volunteers who come out and help with all the work we do throughout the year. So we didn’t do any actual work! These are just some of those who have helped over the year; others couldn’t make it, but we are just as grateful to them.

We spent a convivial hour here at ‘Joe’s Seat’; this was installed in memory of Joe Barrow, founder member and long time Chairman of the Friends of Lancing Ring, and of course we made a toast to him.

Our task days will resume next year on Sunday 16 January 2022. If you feel like getting rid of all those Christmas excesses, please join us at 10.00am at the Mill Road car park. In the meantime, the Committee wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Update 17th October 2021

The Friends volunteers have been working away keeping paths open and accessible on the 3rd Sunday of each month during the summer and early autumn.  Today we had a change and were joined by some members of the Worthing Conservation volunteers to clear around and within the Diamond Jubilee Plantation.  The trees in the plantation are doing extremely well and the Spindle trees are looking particularly striking at the moment.

We also discovered a harvest mouse nest attached to the long grass.  The harvest mouse makes a tightly woven nest by stripping and weaving grass into a ball like structure.  They are the smallest rodent in Britain and the only British mammal with a prehensile tail that can be used like a fifth limb to hold onto grass stems.

The Rampions have started to appear in the chalk pit.  They are very distinctive dark blue shaggy flowers which grow exclusively on the chalk grassland of the South Downs.  They are also known as the Pride of Sussex because they are the Sussex County flower.  The flower heads look like a single flower but if you get up close you can see that they are actually lots of smaller flower heads clustered together.  Sorry about the rather blurred photo but you get the idea!

On 17 July we saw our first clouded yellow butterfly in the wildflower meadow.  We didn’t manage to get a photo, but here is what they look like in case you see some more.

And finally – a big thank you to the 6 hardy souls who braved the sun at last Sunday’s task day.  Despite the heat we managed to clear several very overgrown paths near our Friends of Lancing Ring seat.  They are all useable again.

Orchids in Macs Field

There is a wonderful abundance of pyramidal orchids in Mac’s field this year.  Over the years they have been spreading throughout the field.  Orchid seeds do not store enough food to grow on their own, so they rely on a mat-forming fungus in the soil.  In turn the orchids protect the fungus. 
The orchids here were growing with bedstraw, agrimony and yellow rattle.

13th June 2021 – Keep Britain Tidy – Great British Spring Clean

Just some of the 21 people who turned up to help with the litter pick on Sunday morning.  A big thank you to you all for your efforts especially on such a hot day.  We collected a fair amount of litter, but were also pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t more.  We have added our figures to the Great British Spring Clean website and between us 126 miles of litter picking was pledged to add to the 1 million total achieved by Keep Britain Tidy so far.

Whilst litter picking we noticed that the first orchids have started to appear in MacIntyres Field.  Summer is here!