This is the stunning view for the beginning of November as we bask in some late warm and sunny weather. The Rathfinny Trail incorporates many habitats and many people forget the wonderful part farming has to play. The vast majority of the South Downs is farmed and its this rich habitat mosaic that enhances the diversity of wildlife. In the foreground is the specially sown mixture we have grown to benefit wild birds and insects. In the background we have our undulating fields which form our western boundary and will be under vines over the coming years.
Our downland slopes are peppered with scrub species like this hawthorn which are vital as a food source, shelter and breeding site for many species. We need to get the balance right of grassland to scrub species so we will be grazing the site again with sheep and hopefully continuing our programme of targeted clearance.
As you can see this hawthorn is holding on to its fruit as a final larder for those birds coming on to our Estate at this time and in the background you can see our vines which are rapidly changing in to their post harvest colours and dropping their leaves.
Enjoy the Trail and let me know what you see, hear and find.