Posted by: lhct | August 9, 2019

Dormice have new Chesworth homes

Hazel dormice are a declining species in Britain, with most of them found in the southern counties of England. The reduction of managed woodland and the loss of hedgerows that used to link them has severely affected the national population. But Chesworth’s ancient, well-managed hedge lines, with their wide variety of shrubs and trees, provide the perfect alternative habitat.

Click to watch a short video of setting up the first nest box

A survey last year along some of the farm’s field boundaries proved the presence of these delightful nocturnal animals. And this summer we have put up a number of boxes in the hope that they will provide ideal nesting places later this season, thanks to a generous donation and plenty of volunteers.

The young dormice are born in late July and August and after four weeks in the nest they will emerge and begin to disperse. Once independent, they will continue to feed on the berries, nuts and flowers of trees and climbing shrubs – and the occasional caterpillar and aphid or two – in preparation for hibernation. They will then prepare a tight hibernaculum of grass, leaves and honeysuckle bark at the base of a hedge and seal the entrance. Here they will sleep, from late October or November, right through to spring the next year.

Checking the boxes will now be restricted to specially trained and licensed people as hazel dormice and their nests are well protected by UK law.

 

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Posted by: lhct | July 27, 2019

Hay cut soon

Posted by: lhct | July 17, 2019

Owl news from Chesworth Farm

Posted by: lhct | July 12, 2019

New look for favourite Chesworth view

Are you ready for a very different view from Great Horsham Hill? Sarah Duffield has revealed her commissioned painting of the farm for Horsham District Year of Culture 2019.

This glorious picture, joined by three more featuring other local views, will be exhibited in Sarah’s solo exhibition, ‘Be Surprised – The Multi-Coloured District’, from the end of September at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery. More details as autumn approaches! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our preview.

Posted by: lhct | July 9, 2019

6th Annual Riverside Walk a winner

Around 300 entrants arrive at Chesworth Farm as the first stop on the 6th annual Horsham Riverside Walk: heat sky high, enthusiasm too. Many finished the whole 13-mile route, everyone achieved new goals and saw summery Horsham sights on the way. Plenty of funds raised for QEII School – Horsham too. Well done everyone, see you at Chesworth Farm next year, we are sure!

Posted by: lhct | July 4, 2019

Farm busy on Saturday 6 July morning

Visitors this coming Saturday morning: please note the farm is once again the first water stop (at the volunteer centre) for entrants on the 2019 Annual Riverside Walk – and we have been advised to expect around 300 people (biggest ever entry) following the route below between approximately 10.15 and 11.15am, entering from Kerves Lane end and heading westwards to Chesworth Lane across the farm.

So if crowds will bother you, the Friends suggest you choose alternative access and other fields/routes or avoid that hectic hour or so. And of course, good luck to all entrants, have a great day – and thank you to those raising funds for Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School.

Posted by: lhct | June 24, 2019

UK Power Networks team help out

Some of the eight-strong team of volunteers at work earlier this month, helping with a variety of Chesworth Farm projects: siting dormouse nesting boxes, repairing the wetland boardwalk, post-fixing, blackboard-painting and more.

Many thanks to UK Power Networks who released the energetic employees, from East and West Sussex and Surrey, to join us on the farm on a two-day company involvement project. Classic 1950s tractor was team’s own, courtesy of the local organiser, Paul Maynard.

With thanks to Ryan Allison, HDC countryside warden – volunteer support and Pat Dancy (refreshments).

Posted by: lhct | June 1, 2019

Scouts mega litter pick

Prepare for a mega task force today from 10am by members of local the 5th 10th Horsham Scouts and Europa Explorer Scout Unit. The beavers, cubs and scouts will be litter picking for challenge badges. This task is organised by Holly Longdon, working towards her Queen’s Scout award (the highest award in Scouting). Give them a warm Chesworth welcome and dog walkers please give the teams a wider berth as you see fit.

Plus the Friends volunteers will find any off-limits litter hotspots in their monthly event from 2.00pm!

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