Winter on the Reserve.
Strangely enough, winter is quite a busy time on the Reserve, as it gives us a good opportunity to get some of the maintenance work done before the birds start nesting and the flowers start appearing. The Council managed to get most of the mowing done before the weather got really bad and there are just a couple of areas to finish mowing before spring gets underway. At the January task day the FOLR managed to reinstate most of the view from their seat just to the north of the Clump. This was despite a sudden change in weather at the time to a light scattering of snow. We hope that people using the seat now will have a better view across to Cissbury.
At the moment most of the paths are extremely muddy after all the rain and the Council have recently delivered some bark chippings which will be spread on the muddiest paths by the car park in Mill Road.
At today’s task day we managed to thin out some of the hawthorn that has been growing taller by the path just to the south of the Clump. This is a good, sheltered butterfly spot, but the hawthorns have started blocking out the sun and the light, which is not so good for the butterflies and the area needs opening up a bit again. We have used the trimmings to put a sort of fence round the main orchid bed in the woods. We are always grateful to people who come along to help and would like to say a big thank you to the Worthing Conservation Volunteers for their help today. We welcome any members who would like to come and get their hands dirty and have been very encouraged to have a couple of new helpers at recent task days. Thank you for all you do. It can be very rewarding seeing the change that the work makes to an area.
There are the first signs of the orchid leaves appearing in the woods. At this stage they are very vulnerable to being trodden down. We have put a “dead hedge” around the main orchid area. Please do not step over it and walk on the site as you will damage the orchids. Please also do not let children play in that area or pick the flowers when they start to appear. Thank you for your help. We hope to see a lovely display of early purple orchids in a couple of months time.