A return visit to Cow Bottom and the Applesham Bank Open Access land involved climbing a barbed wire fence to gain entrance.
The alternative is to walk to the end of the track where there is a cow paddock and climb the gate there and walk all the way back along the field edge onto the north facing bank of species rich downland.
The common species most visible at present are Birds-foot trefoil, Cowslip (leaves), Salad Burnet, Stitchwort, Milkwort, Hawkweed and Buttercups.
Of special interest are occassional flowering plants of Common Spotted Orchid.
Few butterflies were present, those seen were Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue, Small Heath, Small White and Speckled Wood.
Burnet Companion and Silver Y moths were apparent and fairly frequent in the half hour we spent on the steep bank.
Returning via Lancing Ring main carpark and the woodland copse leading to the butterfly meadow.
In a sheltered opening among trees, with Bramble and Nettle growing up, a surprise sight was a Beautiful Demoiselle Damselfly, close by and perched on a dead looking Bramble stem was a female Broad-bodied chaser.
On arriving at the butterfly meadow area we found almost no sign of any butterflies. After a few minutes a couple of Common Blues broke cover for a few seconds and settled back in the grasses.
The vegetation is well grown and taller plants such as the Knapweeds are close to flowering.
The Yellow Rattle is very apparent and is growing and flowering well in almost the whole of the meadow area. In a small area are a handful of Pyramidal Orchids.
Walking up hill towards the Dewpond a small clump of Dropwort takes a place among the short turf and Salad Burnet plants.
We continued on past the dewpond, through the beech wood area and over to the north west corner and the arm of land that leads on to Steepdown.
A couple of Common Blues here were feeding on some Birds-foot trefoil in the tall grasses.
On down the West slope now largely covered in scrub and course grass. Arriving at a clearing area where a few weeks ago the sighting of Dotted Bee-fly was made. Today the small area has begun to fill out with grasses and plants that can compete. There it was good to find a Small Skipper active and feeding.
Completing the walk by returning through the buttefly meadow where there was still little sign of activity.
The Marbled White butterfly will hopefully soon be emerging and taking flight around this warm corner of the local nature reserve.