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Showing posts from April, 2013

Showdown in St. Leonard's Forest

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I had toyed with the idea of having a lazy Sunday indoors. The weather forecast was uninspiring; I hadn't slept very well. I was soon to discover I had made the right decision. St. Leonard's Forest is situated to the east of Horsham and marks the westernmost extent of the High Weald Forest Ridge. Set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the forest is comprised of mainly coniferous trees, although there are birches, mature beeches and grand oaks, which are mostly found in the southern end. Two very pretty streams called Inholms Gill and Sheepwash Gill flow across exposed Wealden Ironstone and merge into a lovely pond adjacent to Roosthole Hill. I was surprised by the low numbers of Fallow deer in comparison to Roe deer. Fallow deer seemed confined to the periphery of St. Leonard's Forest. 
Late in the evening, I spotted a pair of Roe deer along a glade at the foot of Race Hill. Provided I kept my distance, the buck and doe were content with my presence. E…

Carry On Grazing

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Many people in Sussex would agree that last summer was cool and wet. It was certainly wet, but 'cool' was only applicable to the coast. Inland parts of Sussex enjoyed much higher temperatures, reaching the high 20s and early 30s on several days. Mosquitoes and midges thrived in the warm, humid conditions. Ferns grew to tropical proportions — I am 6'3" and the ferns growing along Crawley Lane stood at twice my height. Sussex is a county of varied micro-climates; the sea and the South Downs keeps Brighton and Hove much cooler than Crawley, some 20 miles inland. Indeed, when I visited the Sussex/Surrey border on Thursday evening, the mercury rose to 21°C, a full 7 degrees warmer than in Brighton. If you like heat (I absolutely love it), don't head to Brighton beach. Pack your picnic basket and go inland, where you could enjoy temperatures hotter than an average summer day in New York City.
Inland is where I headed on Tuesday. After a long and miserable winter, it was…

Goodnight Winter

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Goodnight frosty mornings and severe weather warnings. Goodnight mud and flash floods. Goodnight snow and turbulent flows. Goodnight rain; come again soon. Goodnight ice and goodnight cold air. Goodnight, winter everywhere.