It must be spring

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Just a couple of days after the official start of spring we went for a little walk round parts of Lynchmere that I don’t know very well. The lovely Sussex cattle is in two separate fields near Mare Barn at present- the heifers will soon move onto the common as they need less feed while the ‘ladies’ still enjoy the company of the bull in Stoney Field.

Dave their owner has just been to bring them their daily hay ration and as we watched them we realised that they were not alone in enjoying breakfast – the fallow deer spotted earlier was with them – always keeping at least one cow between us and it and we got the distinct impression that the cows surrounded it on purpose as we approached.

Now we might just read too much into this but it seems this deer has spent most of the winter with or around the cows and they don’t seem to have any problems with this – would like to know if anyone out there knows any more about that sort of behaviour.

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The bluebells are really coming up now and nothing stops them – I love to see them spearing old sweet chestnut leaves along the way.Carrying on along the footpath we found a green carpet of what I think are Douglas Fir twigs – although one tree had fallen I think the majority of the debris has been ripped off in the various storms we had this winter and have created a lovely and pleasant smelling carpet – correct me if I’m wrong!

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And back near the barn we found some primroses in the sun and is it only me or does this lovely oak look like some of us feel after the winter? I think the original cause of the fissures around the ‘waist’ was wire fencing but it does strike me as amusing looking.

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Now you see it – then you don’t

Last Sunday was the last day in our winter work program and a big group of rhododendron on Lynchmere Little Common got our undivided attention. Below some before and after photos do not even begin to show the impact a few keen volunteers can have!

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And suddenly there was a newly liberated oak tree and not one but two bonfires. It never ceases to amaze me how hot and well green wood can burn once it gets going. All in all a perfect day to finish on as the nesting season is upon us and destructive work must stop.

This winter we were frequently joined by up to 5 young people working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards at various levels. They were mostly lucky with the weather and we hope they not only learned something about conservation in practice but also enjoyed themselves. Most of them are likely to continue with us to complete the necessary hours and we hope they can get involved in the work on the orchard and fields during the summer.

Please keep an eye on the website or subscribe to the blog to receive updates of summer work days. Haymaking in particular – which was such (dusty) fun last year – will be advised at short notice due to the nature of the beast.

Until then ….

PS: get in touch if you see something of interest on the commons during the summer!

Log Day

We have just had our annual log day – a chance for members of the Society to collect a boot load of firewood for free. Given the mild winter we have had so far and the masses of fallen timber available elsewhere, the turn out was less than in recent years.

We have had to clear up a lot of fallen trees in addition to the planned felling program so there was plenty of wood available. Keep a lookout for a possible second log day later in the year.

Below a picture of our latest recruit – we like to train them young! Needless to say this is a toy chainsaw but with realistic start procedure and sound – the young operator was however not very impressed with its performance – ‘It’s broken!’ he was heard complaining before downing tools in disgust. 

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