Leader: Glenn Norris(SWT Ecologist)
On a beautiful, sunny spring morning on March 19th with barely a cloud in the sky, fifteen members were greeted by Glenn Norris, the Ecologist for Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT), at their Reserve in West Dean Woods, near Singleton to see the Wild Daffodils.
The Reserve has been worked as a Hazel coppicing site for hundreds of years. SWT took the area over in 1975. Rotated on a seven year cycle, all wood is sold for use as fencing or poles. Once an area has been coppiced it is fenced off to protect the new growth from deer, and, more surprisingly, hares.
In the cleared rides many butterflies were seen nectaring on the fully-opened flowers of Goat Willow: Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Brimstone.
Plant species seen: Butcher’s Broom (an ancient woodland species), Blackthorn, Primrose, Violet and Wood Anemone. Glenn pointed out a pair of Ravens, a Firecrest singing high up in pine tree and a Marsh Tit. Chiffchaffs were heard everywhere, having just return to the UK. Also seen were Red Kite and Buzzard.
The visit to see the Wild Daffodils in flower in this private reserve certainly did not disappoint. They were spectacular ! – in full flower and extensive, a carpet of pale yellow as far as the eye could see. Members were truly impressed to see the thousands of Daffodils; surely a sight to remember.