Posted by: lhct | November 12, 2021

Discoveries on the Friends’ fungi walk ’21

Every season it is a lucky dip as to what we will see fungi-wise on the farm. Visitors on this year’s fungi walk, led as in past years by local enthusiast Jonathan Simons, recorded nearly 20 species. We had four brand new ones to add to the farm’s running total of 211. These were Yellowing Knight, Angel’s Bonnet, Purplepore Bracket and Fairy Ring Mushrooms. The most dramatic was a hefty Giant Puff Ball. At the other end of the scale were some tiny – and virtually unidentifiable – specimens, mostly found on rotting timber. Plus the distraction of a splendid Sabre Ichneumon Wasp, the longest species of parasitoid wasp in the UK.  

If you would like to see the full list of this year’s November sightings, please find the full report on our Resources page. With thanks to Jonathan Simons, supported by David Verrall and Tim Thomas.

Photographs (clockwise from top left): Deceiver (Samantha Verrall) , Fairy Ring Mushroom, Giant Puff Ball, Sabre Ichneumon Wasp (Samantha Verrall), tiny unidentified species, Angel’s Bonnet, Purplepore Bracket (all remaining photos David Verrall)

Posted by: lhct | October 19, 2021

Cattle return to farm

The council’s grazing herd of British White cattle has returned to the farm, starting its residence in the enclosed Riverside fields. We hear this unexpected arrival is due to a severed water supply pipe at Chennels Brook Castle, which should have been the cattle’s next scheduled stop. We will share more grazing details when they are finalised by Horsham District Council.

Cattle return to enclosed Riverside fields (photo: Ryan Allison)
Posted by: lhct | September 26, 2021

Restoring Nature: key speakers at free talk Mon 27 Sept

Restoring Nature: free local talk Monday 27 Sept at 7.30pm

Posted by: lhct | September 8, 2021

Look out for bridleway works

Attention! The works on the “Arun Way” bridleway 1670 could start from Wednesday 8 September, and are scheduled to last up to three weeks, it was formally announced on 7 September. See details below.

These West Sussex County Council contracted works, to re-align the bridleway closer to its “legal line” and surface it, will be closely monitored by Forest Neighbourhood Council, as reported by them after their August meeting. Look out for closures, diversions and machinery of course.

Posted by: lhct | August 6, 2021

Horsham Green Gym tackle summer tasks

Our friends at Horsham Green Gym (HGG) have again proved they are ready for any wet, muddy and downright awkward task on the farm. Recently it was invasive balsam-pulling and removing aging chicken-wire from the wetland boardwalk.

Team member Matthew Garner reports: “We were pulling up the staples from the boardwalk where it had got a bit dangerous. A never-ending job… It was very sticky and damp this morning and luckily we stopped when we did as it poured down out of nowhere for a good 20 minutes! I was soaked through when I returned home.”

Brilliant work and hopefully worth the drenching. We know Chesworth visitors will appreciate it and join us in thanking you all!

With thanks to members of HGG for the pictures (from top left, clockwise): orange balsam, team at work on boardwalk (Ryan Allison), Luke and Mike “checking out” the observation hide (David Casey), in the wetland (Matthew Garner), wetland nest (David Casey) and orange balsam root (Matthew Garner).

Posted by: lhct | June 8, 2021

Join our volunteers

We have some brilliant volunteers who help us run the Friends group. So, to boost their efforts, we’d like to fill some key vacancies.

Chairperson: a dynamic and outgoing individual, ideally who knows and values Chesworth Farm, to head up the group

Secretary: can you organise and minute our formal meetings, monitor our actions and generally keep volunteer communications flowing?

Events co-ordinator: help us set up our conservation tasks and our educational events

To find out more, contact us via chesworthfarm@hotmail.co.uk or tel 07512 966174 (answer machine) or via Horsham District Council Volunteer Sector Support.

Female orange tip butterfly on garlic mustard, by David Verrall, May 2021

Posted by: lhct | June 7, 2021

Thank you to our volunteers

As the district celebrates its volunteers through #volunteer week, the Friends of Chesworth Farm are so grateful to everyone who helps maintain the farm – whether you do this on organised tasks, on administration or informally on your own visits.
This can be by sending in your wildlife sightings and fabulous photos or by reporting items lost or in need of repair, or litter-picking.

Whatever you do, the natural fabric and beauty of the farm benefits from every moment of your enthusiasm, care and time!

Thank you to our volunteers

Posted by: lhct | April 21, 2021

HDC shares news of Local Wildlife Site status

Great Horsham Hill by David Tombling

The Friends of Chesworth Farm are delighted that HDC has published the following news release today:


Chesworth Farm receives Local Wildlife Site accolade (21 April 2021)

Horsham District Council has recently received the very exciting news that Chesworth Farm has been awarded Local Wildlife Site status for nature conservation in the Horsham District.

Chesworth Farm has officially been designated as a Local Wildlife Site, joining other council owned sites such as Leechpool & Owlbeech Woods, Monkmead Woods and Southwater Country Park.

Local Wildlife Sites are non-statutory sites that contain features of substantive nature conservation value. In Chesworth Farm’s case these are the extensive high quality hedgerows and wildflower meadows.

Local Wildlife Sites such as Chesworth Farm play a critical role in the conservation of the UK’s natural heritage. They each provide essential wildlife refuges in their own right as well as acting as stepping stones, corridors and buffer zones to link and protect other site networks and the open spaces of our towns and countryside.

The Parks & Countryside team at the Council, in partnership with the Friends of Chesworth Farm and Horsham Green Gym, have been putting in many hours of practical conservation management, as well as wildlife recording, which have all contributed to achieving conservation protection for the Farm.

Careful management of the hedgerows and grasslands, provision of sacrificial crops for farmland birds, regular dormouse monitoring, wildflower surveys and breeding bird surveys have all proved how important the Farm is for wildlife.

For media queries please email press@horsham.gov.uk

Posted by: lhct | April 19, 2021

AGM by Zoom Mon 26 April 7.30pm

Posted by: lhct | April 16, 2021

Surveyor at work Sat 17 Apr

Surveying underway on the farm, Saturday 17 April. In the first of three surveys this year, local entomologist, ecologist and botanist, Graeme Lyons, will be taking samples from several fields.


The species Graeme locates and records will form the site’s first comprehensive survey of invertebrates (animals without a backbone or bony skeleton) and a lot more besides.


Funded by the Friends of Chesworth Farm, we hope the results will create a fascinating record and be a benchmark for the future. If you spot Graeme at work in public fields, please give him some working space.

Picture by Tony Cook, April 2021

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