The area of SSSI chalk downland that we overlook has for a long time been a complete mess following the scrub clearance that took place last year. I have been concerned that the work that took place at great expense, both in monetary terms and the disruption to habitats, was going to wasted as almost a year after the scrub clearance the area still is not being grazed. I therefore decided to email English Nature. They were wonderful and replied almost immediately, reassuring me that everything is in hand and going to plan and the area will soon be grazed. I am so pleased and excited as this area used to be very rich in wildflowers. They also asked if I would be interested in doing recording for them this spring and summer so I have put my name forward. Hopefully this will mean I will still be able to access the area even when it is fenced off.
I find it very hard to motivate myself to do anything at this time of year (although I have got loads that I should be doing) but at the same time I feel bored. The highlights of my week are stock checking of the ponies and the sheep and my weekly visit to the stables where I help to get the horses ready for the evening lessons and have a ride myself. As I left home for the stables last week the sky was very red giving a lovely rosy glow to everything. They say, 'Red sky at night, Shepperd's delight' but although the sky looked wonderful, I am not sure there would have been many happy Shepperds as the temperature plummeted. By the time I was ready to ride it was -2 and the yard was frozen solid so I gingerly led Molly to the sand school to mount up. Molly is often a bit reluctant to do things but on that night I think she just wanted to move to keep warm because she was really quite lively.
Daffodils in the snow at Petworth Park
9 hours ago