We are very excited that South Downs National Park are going to help us start surveying some of the wildlife at the site in Sompting where we pick wildflowers. Within this old barnyard, that Mike Tristram of Sompting Estate seeded with wildflowers some years ago, there is an ephemeral pond that appears in wet seasons and then dries out over the warmer months. We are hoping to gradually reduce some of the overly dominant brambles and hogweed around it and hopefully increase the biodiversity, so before we start we need to know what is already there.
Ranger Sophie made an initial visit in February and with the help of a couple of volunteers we have set a date to do the initial survey in early March. We need to sample the pond water from different areas, for example around the clumps of willow, dock and bramble and see what’s there. We will repeat this, and also log what happens to the water level, throughout the year. We always see lots of butterflies in the summer and when the water goes down and mud is exposed Sophie told us it’s a habitat that insects like solitary bees and dragonflies enjoy. And although there are maybe too many brambles, they do make very good cover for amphibians and other creatures, so we will be sure to leave plenty near the pond. We will also be logging all the different wildflower species on site too.
Do get in touch if you would like to be part of this in the future.
This project is made possible by Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation and their funding round opens again in the spring. Visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk/rampion or call 01273 409 440.