April 2020 Extra


The crowds of people out walking in some areas have been quite amazing, so it is worth remembering that we are not the only ones getting out in the countryside at the moment.

As Nick Tigg points out

“As we all embrace our one daily opportunity to get out of the house, many more folk are taking to the hills and enjoying the spectacular countryside in and around Lewes and Sussex. This is a fantastic chance for us all to see a bit more of the South Downs.

And while we’re doing that, it’s also a chance to see some of the incredible species that surround us – and to remember that we share this habitat with them.

Skylarks, for example, are nesting in the fields around Lewes, particularly around Landport Bottom. This beautiful streaky-brown bird, slightly bigger than a sparrow, with a crested head, can be spotted hundreds of metres in the air on its iconic song flights, which can last minutes. Skylarks nest on the ground, of course, so are easily disturbed by human activity. They’re on the RSPB’s Red List, the highest conservation priority – so if you’re out walking, stick to the main paths to avoid disturbing their nests. The next few months will be critical for these birds, and our actions can help them survive and thrive.

Similarly, the first lambs are scampering about the fields, looking cute and ridiculous. Sheep are used to a certain amount of human interaction, but are also easily stressed, particularly when they have new lambs to keep an eye on. Try to avoid getting too close to a flock if you can, and enjoy those daft lambs from a distance.

We all need a bit of nature to keep us sane at the moment. Let’s all do our best to make sure the habitat we share with so many wonderful creatures is still in good shape when we emerge from our current enforced hibernation.”

 So please keep your distance from animals  and birds as well as people.

And if you are stepping aside on a path to avoid people be careful where you put your feet.  It could be on a rare plant or someone’s home.


One of the forms of life that is out and about at the moment is the Tick.  This is a peak season for these little creatures, whose bite can give you some nasty diseases. The South Downs is a peak area for them.  Here is some information about what they are and how to avoid them.  Leave the shorts at home!


Just because you are in the countryside and there is no one around does not mean that someone has not been there before.  Stiles and gates on paths can be great transmission places for Covid-19.

It is often necessary for everyone to touch them in the same place, which makes things worse.  Consider wearing one disposable glove on your walks , which you abandon when you get home. Failing this use one side (only) of a large tissue.

If you follow only bridleways you will avoid stiles, but may come across gates.


Quite wonderful, and reported by the BBC, so apparently reliable.



The route through the Clevedown flats has been used by many Winterbourne residents for many years as a convenient way to the bus stop and the main Brighton Road.  In November 2016 the land owners erected a private sign at the Brighton Road end of the route.  Evidence was submitted to East Sussex Council showing that people had used the route for 20 years previously and in 2019 the council decided to add the route to the rights of way map.  However some people objected, so the Planning Inspectorate needs to make the final decision.  We need more evidence to show the planning inspectorate.

If you have not already filled in an evidence form please download one and fill it in, by clicking on this link Lewes H March 20 evidence form with covering letter