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Wednesday 16 July 2014

Brickfield Meadow Nature Reserve; an unimproved meadow in Fairwarp, in the High Weald of Sussex

 This 1.5ha meadow, managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust, is a fine example of a traditional Wealden meadow: one that has been managed traditionally for many, many years - without chemical fertilisers or other agricultural improvement.
William Coleman and I enjoyed a gentle stroll through this meadow yesterday with scores of Meadow Brown and Small Skipper butterflies, Meadow Grasshoppers, a Goldfinch and hosts of other insects.
Above and below, the Musk-mallow, Malva moschata.

A Meadow Brown on Knapweed.

Lots of Meadow Grasshoppers hiding in the long grass.

Along the side of the meadow is an overgrown Hornbeam hedge with its seed clusters hanging like lanterns.

And on the Hogweed flowers... Hogweed Bonking Beetles bonking.

Also at the field edge was a spider Agelena labyrinthica, which makes a sheet web leading into a retreat from which the spider quickly pounces on its prey insects.

The web was littered with discarded insects limbs and bodies after their juices had been sucked out.
This is a jewel of a meadow, full of interest to nature lovers.

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