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Crowhurst Wildlife Verges & Projects

2021 Updates

Throughout Crowhurst we have a number of designated wildlife verges in an early stage of recovery. Here you will see regular updates on these sites, as well as many other projects of which we organise or participate in.

October Update - 


October 2021

Scything Muriel’s Meadow

Following on from last month’s news, Muriel’s Meadow had a really good turnout of expert and volunteer scythers, including England’s Champion Scyther! Apart from a small area which was left for over-wintering beasties, the Meadow has now had its annual ‘haircut’.


There is still the small problem of raking up the cuttings, part of which Sonia and Frances had a session doing - gathering 6 builders’ bags full. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t stay dry long enough to make good hay, but the remaining cuttings will not go to waste at Lucy’s animal rescue centre.


Thanks to Geoff Cornwall and Steve Gower for help with cutting and removing hay from the verge by Forewood Rise.


The newly planted information boards at Nashes corner and Muriel’s Meadow had a rather nice inauguration ceremony, with bottles of ‘falling down water’ on offer. I knew I should have just taken my bottle of tap water! Audrey, who designed all our information boards, and Richard, who made and helped install the oak frames, were there too. Thanks to both of you!


The village hall car park grassy slope (MUGA) should be cut and cleared by the time this edition gets to you, we just need the weather to stay dry on our arranged cutting day.


Flytipping: You may have noticed that there has been more fly tipping on all roads leading in and out of the village. Household items, furniture and garden tree cuttings all dumped. Thanks to villagers who either reported or cleared some of the rubbish up. It’s getting too regular now and if you do happen to see anything, try and get the vehicle registration number and photo if possible. Our Wild About Crowhurst Whatsapp group proved helpful for reporting and clearing up. Our next LITTER PICK is planned for Sunday, November 21st at 2pm. Meet at the Village Hall Car Park.


The wildflower meadow next to the Discovery Cafe at Combe Valley had its annual cut as well this month. Friends of Combe Valley volunteers, using scythes, cut the majority of the long grass, leaving some of the wild flowers standing, again for over-wintering insects. FoCV and our Environment Group work together on different projects. We also have valuable links with Mantel Farm, Wild About Battle, Wild About Burwash, High Weald AONB, and RSPB.


Crowhurst Environment Group AGM - 6th November in the Village Hall at 2pm

The AGM should be an interesting meeting with updates on what we’ve achieved over the past year or two. After the usual reports etc, we have managed to get some speakers from different areas and wildlife groups to come and give short talks on what their own groups are getting up to. Let us know if you would like to nominate someone for the committee either before or on the day.

Please come along and help us plan for the future. There will be Tea/Coffee and Cake on offer and a RAFFLE !


Many of our group’s initiatives have come from local residents and members.

If you have any ideas, projects or concerns you think we might be able to help with, please do get in touch.

New volunteers are always welcome, especially younger people! Here are our contact details:

Please contact Sonia if you’d like to join our Wild about Crowhurst WhatsApp Group


Frances Royston: 01424 830236 or

Will Kemp: 830454 or

Sonia Plato: 830349 or


Keep safe!

Crowhurst Environment Group

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November Update - 


November 2021

AGM – 6th November - Many thanks to all those who contributed cakes and raffle prizes and who took part in what proved to be a well attended, thought provoking meeting. 
We listened to interesting talks by fellow Wildlife groups from Burwash, Battle, Warbleton, Friends of Combe Valley and our own Ian Donovan's Hastings and Rother Swift Conservation Group. It was great to hear the wide range of projects and commitment from these groups.
It was enthusiastically agreed to develop a wildlife network amongst local groups to share experiences, ideas, resources and projects together.
We have a new Chairman for the Group - Dr John Feltwell, together with Will Kemp continuing as Treasurer and Sonia Plato continuing as Secretary.  
Frances Royston handed over to John as Chairperson, but remains an active member of the group and part of the small organising team made up of Frances, Will and Sonia.  Frances welcomed others to get in touch and join us over our usual cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich !
We will be holding quarterly CEG meetings, with all welcome to attend.  Thank you to Kerry and all those at Mantel Farm, for offering their impressive training room for our meetings.
Work at Combe Haven: A busy weekend's work litter picking and working with Friends of Combe Valley; cutting back willows to open up access on Combe Haven beyond Three Bridges.  Due to late arrangement times, only Beverley and Will joined the group from Combe Valley. On arrival at the Three Bridges, work cutting the overhanging branches of the willow trees had already started. Cutting was being done by Dean from AONB, then in went the “labourers “ to hand cut the branches into manageable lengths, carried off to higher ground and stacked for later removal by the farmer and his loader. Heather made a very good point to Dean about not cutting the lower willow branches as these were used as handy seating and the seating now remains. Leaving after 12, there was only a small amount of branch clearing to do. All in all, another good, successful joint working party.
Litterpicking: There was a great turnout for the Crowhurst Litter Pick with many bags of litter collected. As many will be aware, there has been an ongoing fly tipping problem across the village over the past few months. It is much appreciated when local residents clear up their local patch – we are aware that many already do so. We hope to hold regular two monthly litter picks in the New Year.
Verges and Muriel’s Meadow: Thanks to all who helped with the final raking, bagging up and collecting of cuttings from the Meadow. Particular thanks to John Goddard for his help with this. The verges will be getting another shorter cut to encourage wildflower seed to proliferate, ready for the coming year.
Diary Dates:
Wildlife Garden (Millennium Garden): We’ll be working on the Garden over the next few weeks.  Get in touch if you’d like to help.
6th January at 4 pm Crowhurst Recreation Ground – Dark Skies Project:-
Come and meet Sam Nicholas from AONB who will be showing us how to use light meters to set up a Dark Skies project
Tuesday, 11th January 7-9pm CEG Meeting at Mantel Farm:– Join us to share ideas for future plans and projects including setting up a local network with other Wildlife groups All welcome. Lifts  available. 
New volunteers are always welcome. Here are our contact details:
Frances Royston: 830236 or
Will Kemp: 830454 or
Sonia Plato: 830349 or 
Please contact Sonia if you’d like to join our Wild about Crowhurst WhatsApp Group 
Keep safe!
Crowhurst Environment Group

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September Update - 


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September 2021

September has been an exceptionally busy month, with several visits and social activities, as well as working groups. We even had our first proper, though small, meeting in almost two years, thanks to the hospitality of Kerry and Jason at Mantel Farm, Catsfield . They have made a most impressive and welcoming semi-outdoor meeting space, with socially distanced seating, heating and lighting. Our next group meeting will be at Mantel Farm at 7.30 pm on 19th October. Do come, and see the facilities for yourselves. Lifts available on request.

The ‘Wild About Crowhurst’ WhatsApp Group has proved useful, not only for sharing, recording and identifying sightings of various plants and creatures around the village, but as a quick and convenient way to muster volunteers to help with locating, reporting and gathering up the litter which was recently spread around so copiously. It was reported to RDC, who promptly collected it. Well done to everyone, and thanks to all those of you who make a point of collecting litter whenever they see it.
You can join our WhatsApp group by emailing Sonia with your mobile number.

Visits and Events

There were excellent visits to Great Dixter and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, both of which are highly recommended if you want a great day out. An inspiring talk about enhancing meadows was given by Michael Wachter at Great Dixter, It was great to share this with Wild about Battle and Warbleton.
We are very fortunate to have Michael Wachter at Great Dixter and Cliff Dean at Rye Harbour as supporters of our group, and as inspirational examples.
We held an enjoyable Saturday afternoon gathering at the Plough, which was an opportunity for members to meet in person after a long time when that wasn’t possible. It was great to see some new faces, as well as friends from Burwash and Battle, and to compare notes. 
There are new sign boards at Nashes Verge and Muriel’s Meadow, and one to be erected marking the rare Black Poplar we planted at the bottom of the Recreation Ground. Many thanks to Richard Holttum for making the oak frames and posts, and helping to put them in place, to Audrey Koop for designing and producing the illustrated signs and to Crowhurst Parish Council for providing a grant to make it possible.
Working Groups
Our Scything Demonstration and Working Group is taking place at Muriel’s Meadow, in Breadsell Lane. Will and Sonia attended a demonstration in Battle, and invited John French and others to show us how it’s done - with the added bonus of getting the meadow cut in the traditional way by experts! 
The ‘permissive’ footpath along the old railway track by Adam’s Farm has been cleared of brambles and nettles to allow better access for villagers once the new access gates are operational along the track. 
The Ballards Hill Triangle and the Pollinator Garden have had a gentle trim, with seed heads deliberately left as a food source over winter, and to allow for regeneration next year.
If you would like to know more about Crowhurst Environment Group or would like to join one of our Working Groups, please contact us on the email or numbers below
Frances Royston on 01424 830236 or email:
Will Kemp on 830454 or email: or                                
Sonia Plato on 830349 or email:


May Update - Getting Started Again


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Crowhurst Environment Group - May 2021


Getting started again

Mowing is now completed on the MUGA, Church and Nashes Verges to open up the sward for wildflowers and plants to flourish.  At Muriel’s Meadow, our 3 resident sheep have finished grazing and moved onto pastures new until the Autumn, having completed their work of keeping the grass low and ready for wildflowers and plants to emerge once more.

Millennium and other Verges

After a very cold, dry and late start to the growing season, Volunteers have started work on verges including ongoing planting and gardening at the Millennium Verge. You may have noticed the newly emerging cowslips and a new Crab Apple tree which was kindly donated by a member of Friends of Combe Valley. 

Please get in touch if you have any bee friendly and native plants you wish to donate. Donations are very welcome and will help to increase the plant diversity and beauty of the Millennium Garden.

Get involved in restoring verges

Work is ongoing to restore verges damaged by heavy vehicle traffic and in particular along the footpath down to the old post office and at the Triangle Verge which is a designated site for wildlife recovery.

Plantlife - a charity championing wildlife recovery – is a useful organization for those wishing to understand more about encouraging wild flowers on verges and in your gardens. To get involved and find out more, sign up to Plantlife, at

‘Spring into Action on road verges

7 in 10 councils are making efforts to encourage wild flowers on road verges. We’re delighted to hear 38 councils are looking to expand on what they’ve already been working on, and a further 36 already have new plans for 2021 and beyond. This is positive news, and really shows that your voices are being heard and action is starting to happen on the ground.’ - Plantlife Newsletter


No Mow May

Did you know that not mowing your grass during May, not only gives you a break from your lawnmower, but greatly increases the insect and wildlife diversity of your lawn, allowing wildflowers to bloom and providing nectar for struggling pollinators ?

At the end of May, you can join in Plantlife’s Bank Holiday “Every Flower Counts” survey to discover how many bees the UK’s lawns can feed and a “nectar score” to indicate how many bees your lawn can feed. Your contribution will help Plantlife to learn more about the health of the nations’ wild flowers.


Trees and Hedges

Crowhurst is rich in bats and birdlife with bird nesting season in full swing. You can help to preserve and promote their wellbeing by valuing the trees and hedges in your gardens, planting native species and keeping outside lighting low and unobtrusive.  It is illegal to move or disturb birds during the nesting season or disturb bat roosts.  For further advice, please do contact us or our Crowhurst Tree Warden, Dr John Feltwell at


Many of our group’s initiatives have come from local residents and members.

If you have any ideas, projects or concerns you think we might be able to help with, please do get in touch.

New volunteers are always welcome, especially younger people! Here are our contact details:


Frances Royston: 830236 or

Will Kemp: 830454 or

Sonia Plato: 830349 or


Keep safe!

Crowhurst Environment Group

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