March 2019


March 2019



Have we chosen the correct start date for the 2019 Bluebell Walk?

First bluebellI started the February blog with the same heading, and make no apologies for repeating it, as choosing the dates when to be open is fundamental to how successful each year is for the charities who are involved.  Too early, as last year, meant that visitors in the first week had to hunt for the first bluebells yet enjoyed the vistas of white anemones amongst the green bluebell leaves. But today the bluebells are already out, so it looks as if we will be one week late this year!  Pete Goldsmith, whom we refer to as our Resident Photographer, found this solitary bluebell last week, so they are here just waiting to emerge ready for the 11th April. 


A hidden gem in the Millennium Avenue

Snake’s head fritillaries

On my way to take the photos for this blog, I noticed some Fritillaria meleagris in flower. Commonly known as Snake’s Head Fritillaries, these are slowly increasing along the edge of the path, so long as pheasants have not wantonly nipped off the flowering heads!  My wife scattered seed about seven years ago and, as they take about five years to flower, some observant visitors noticed them last year. I just hope these ones last until 11th April!




New routes for the White and River Walks

New pathAt the top of the Fish Pond that was enlarged last year, a new path has been created, so on your journey along the White Walk, instead of walking all the way to the Cuckmere River, you can avail yourself of a short cut!  There are now seats alongside the area of water and, being a sun trap, I imagine it will be a popular spot to just sit, enjoy the views and possibly catch sight of some fish!


New barn


Our neighbour has erected a new barn, which means the route of the Green Walk to the Viewing Gallery to watch the milking process will have to change. I am assured that all the earth moving will soon be completed and will have a new route marked out ready for the 11th April!




Maintenance in Beatons Wood

We have removed some small trees to improve the view from the seats in the Memorial Glade.  Also last year unfortunately there were instances when the peace and tranquillity of this special place was disturbed by others.  This year there will be a new sign ‘Please respect the quietness in this place of reflection’.

We try to retain many standing mature dead trees as we can, being a haven for many varieties of wildlife, but some close to the designated paths have, for health and safety reasons, been felled.  This image shows a large tree, still alive but partially blown over in the 1987 hurricane, that has embedded itself into the tree it fell against. With the assurance of the tree surgeon it was deemed not to be a hazard, being away from the paths, so we can continue to watch its growth from afar!

Delighted to report that the blitz to remove the cleavers appears for the moment to have been quite successful, so all that work on my hands and knees in removing the vast quantities that were establishing themselves throughout the wood appears to have been worthwhile.  My blog of June 2018 has more details about this pernicious annual weed.


Improvements to the Photographic Competition

The submission form that I talked about in my January Blog, designed to go on the website is, after many problems, now live.  This means that we can accept both on-line entries and hard copies, but we have restricted the number of entries from adults to two per category.  There are four adult categories – Close Up – Landscape – Portrait – Flora & Fauna, which means a person can enter eight images, whilst the Junior Class remains at three entries per photographer under 16 years.  Full details of the Rules, Terms and Conditions of the Competition can be found on the website.  Last year’s winners will be displayed in the Bluebell Barn, but in a new format which we hope you will like.


I will be posting a weekly update from Friday 12th April and every subsequent Friday whilst we are open. 


John McCutchan


This message was added on Sunday 31st March 2019

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