Still busy

Thursday 5th: Brush cutting with the Crowhurst Environment Group. The permissive footpath alongside the Combe haven stream has become overgrown with brambles. It connects a useful circualr route but has probably become less used = less trampled = less accessible because people now use the all-weather Greenway alongside the Link Road.

Since it’s not a Public Footpath the County Council cannot be held responsible so it falls to this local action group to keep it clear. Whether half a dozen volunteers can hold the briars at bay remains to be seen.

Bad News: the flood attenuation pond just north of the Link Road showed great promise for its first couple of years, attracting both wintering and breeding waterbirds as well as Hobbies, which hunted the many dragonflies hatching there. This year, however, a sudden decline – actually disappearance – of this wildlife has been noticed. The water has become turbid and fish are breaking the surface. they appear to have been introduced illegally with the result that they have consumed the invertebrates upon which wildlife depended, including the dragonfly larvae.

Friday 6th: a windy evening high-tide walk at Rye Harbour for World Shorebird Day. i think we saw 10 species of shorebird (Bar-tailed Godwit,, Curlew, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Knot,, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone) but the real spectacle was down at the harbour mouth where about 30 Gannets in all stages of plumage were feeding close inshore, diving with great splashes right close to us. Not shorebirds at all, and nor was the black, black acrobatic Arctic Skua looping the loop in hot pursuit of a hardly discernible tern far out towards the horizon, while around the red marker post were feeding Common, Sandwich and a single Little Tern.

Sunday 8th: Camber Castle. The castle is so interesting and normally inaccessible that you never know how many are going to turn up. The previous day there had been 76 people in the group, which is a bit of an organisational challenge but on Sunday, a beautiful blue-skied morning, there were just 5 so it was much more sociable.

There are so many things to say about the castle, its history, structure, stones, birds, plants and cultural associations that you can’t cover it all in one visit. 


What if Katherine of Aragon had delivered a healthy son, instead of one daughter and five miscarriages? No divorce. No split with Rome. No castle.

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