Posted by: laurahct | 15/07/2018

Chesworth Farm first stop

Perfect weather for the 5th annual Horsham Riverside Walk on Saturday. Chesworth Farm was first stop so the Friends prepared the usual welcome cold drinks. We blinked, and the hardy Horsham walkers were gone, next venue, Warnham Local Nature Reserve. We hope lots of funds were raised for local charity Springboard. See you next year!

Photos by Dave Verrall

Posted by: laurahct | 09/07/2018

Barn Owl chicks found by HDC countryside wardens

News from the HDC countryside warden team: “We checked the owl nest box on Chesworth Farm and I am pleased to say we found five very healthy Barn Owl chicks ranging from 38 to 51 days old. 

“We were also able to establish the sex of the chicks and this year there are four females and one male which is very interesting.

“Great news for the farm as it really demonstrates how good the surrounding habitat is for small mammals.” 

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Pictures by HDC/Jacob Everitt and Stuart Card. As well as being reported by the Friends of Chesworth Farm, you can read news direct from the HDC countryside wardens on Chesworth Farm Facebook page or at Horsham Wildlife (all HDC countryside sites).

Posted by: laurahct | 11/06/2018

Hedge detectives event Sun 1 July 13.45-16.00

Whatever your age, come and be a hedge detective on Chesworth Farm for the afternoon. We’ll be measuring and aging some of the farm’s hedgerows and finding out what grows in them plus the variety of animals that visit or live in them.
For your protection, wear long sleeves and trousers and at least trainers, not sandals, please. We’d prefer it if you would book as places are limited. Some car parking can be arranged if you mention this when you book.
For bookings and any other questions, please contact us, email or tel 07512 966174.
Posted by: laurahct | 02/06/2018

Chesworth Lane closed am Sunday 3 June

Chesworth Lane is closed for vehicular access 10am-1pm, today Sunday 3 June.

It is the Horsham Cancer Research UK Race for Life at 11am. First, good luck to everyone taking part. We know you will be a strong and striking vision in pink!

Second, car users (and even cyclists) please think carefully about how you access Chesworth Farm via the Chesworth Lane/Queensway entrance from 10am-1pm as Chesworth Lane will be closed to traffic to allow the entrants the full road width. The Chesworth Farm corner is literally the turning point for the 5K run to/from Horsham Park. Queensway will be accessible (but no through route to Chesworth Lane after 10am).

Posted by: laurahct | 30/05/2018

Plenty of finds on May Walk

Our May Walk saw a group take to the enclosed Riverside fields, clutching sunhats, binoculars, magnifiers and ID books, to investigate the wetland’s flowers and insects in more depth.

Highlights close to the River Arun included Bog Stitchwort, flowering Grass Vetchling and Common Vetch. Lots of damselflies – Azure, Common Blue and Large Red and Beautiful Demoiselle. A similar number of dragonflies: Broad-bodied, Four-spotted, Emperor, and probable Hairy Dragonfly (Hairy Hawker). The latter is, if confirmed, a first for the site.

Small Yellow Underwing moths were spotted in the grass – along with an abundance of Common Frogs almost underfoot in the damper areas. A mating pair of Harlequin Ladybirds was hard to miss. After an hour or so beetling away under the sun, the keen naturalists refreshed themselves with the Friends’ afternoon tea in the Volunteer Centre.

With many thanks to Su Reed of Horsham Natural History Society for her tuition on the rarer finds and photography by Dave Verrall and Godfrey Newman.


Posted by: laurahct | 14/05/2018

May walk, Sunday 20 May, meet 13.45

The farm is first stop on the clockwise route for people taking part in the Riverside Walk 2018.  The Friends committee is delighted to introduce the video made by Silvertip Films for Springboard, the Riverside Walk’s chosen charity beneficiary this year – particularly so as the farm’s Arun bridge is the backdrop location.

For more details on donating to Springboard or joining the walk please visit the webpage of organiser Horsham District Community Project (HTCP).

At Arun bridge, Chesworth Farm, by Mick Jones

Posted by: laurahct | 02/05/2018

Chesworth Farm news features on Horsham Wildlife

Chesworth Farm Everyone loves a big red tractor! Sacrificial Crop Preparation – Chesworth Farm A very exciting time at Chesworth as this week saw the beginning of a project I have wanted to carry out on the Farm for many years. 930 more words

via Around the sites — Horsham Wildlife

Posted by: laurahct | 18/04/2018

New sacrificial crop areas to benefit wildlife

Update: ploughing completed (Thursday 26 April)  as stage two of this project. The HDC countryside wardens say: “Please approach New Town Nine Acres Field and Wheat Rick Field with caution today as we are ploughing our sacrificial crops sites today. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

More project details: a contractor will flail and then plough borders in New Town Nine Acres and Wheat Rick fields (to the left of the photo below). The fields will be accessed by the contractor via the Kerves Lane main gate.

This task is to use these fields for a sacrificial crop, to encourage wild summer flowers and later seeds for wintering migrant birds.

Wheat Rick on left over fence, with New Town Nine Acres beyond. Photo by Wendy Petersen

Posted by: laurahct | 08/04/2018

“Hedge Detectives” on the farm

Most of Chesworth Farm’s hedges have been here for a very long time – how do we know this? By using historical maps and information from written records.

Can we show this “on-the-ground”? Recently our “Hedge Detectives” task group set off to age the hedge running alongside Occupation Road- featuring the Llama Lookout half way along and bordering enclosed Back Field.

They identified and counted trees and shrubs along a specified length and used a simple sum to estimate age. Their sums and the records approximately matched at about 1000 years old (give or take 300 years either side).

Many of our longer-established hedges are also beginning to show their age by the some of the flowering plants at their bases. For instance, we can find Dog’s Mercury – it loves shady conditions, making it an indicator of ancient woods and hedges.

Another couple of things the group found on their “rummage”: discarded hazelnut kernels gave an indicator of their predator by the way they had been opened and nibbled. A useful clue to mammal species on the farm. The detectives also found the microscopic eggs of rare Brown Hairstreak butterflies in the crook of Blackthorn twigs – the favourite food source for the caterpillars later in the year. And once spotted it became easier to see more.

There is a plan for a summer trip to look deeper into what our hedges have to offer in terms of flowering plants.

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