Bobservation No. 12

The Dyke from Newtimber Hill

Newtimber Hill

Owned by the National Trust, Newtimber Hill is a delight for walkers at all times of the year. Access is from a number of points, the best known, and most accessible, is from the farm at Saddlescombe.

Over the year it is possible to see many varieties of wild flowers including bluebell, pyramid spotted and bee orchid, campion, hare bell, thyme and cowslip. The fauna includes roe deer, badger, fox, rabbit, weasel and stoat. Birdlife is abundant, the more interesting include buzzard, red kite, kestrel, swallow, house martin, yellowhammer, wryneck, spotted flycatcher, linnet, skylark, meadow pipit and redstart. Butterflies, including several different blues are often present.

Cattle graze here at certain times of year and walking a dog requires strict observance of the regulations, however, when there are no cattle it is a great joy to see a dog running free across the Downland. The views across the South Downs looking west towards Chanctonbury are some of the finest in Sussex. At times, cloud will envelope the top of the Downs giving a ‘tablecloth’ effect and if you are lucky enough to be walking above the cloud, it is a memorable sight.

How fortunate we residents of Fulking parish are to have such a treasure so near our village. At the end of your walk the ‘Hikers Rest’ offers very acceptable food, drinks and ice cream.

The National Trust do a splendid job maintaining this gem and it is up to us to respect and cherish it. One piece of advice, if your dog poops on the hill, either put  it in a polybag or leave it to be disbursed by the rain, never leave the polybag on the hill, take it home with you.