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Ploughing the downs?

On 27 Mar 2013 at 9:02pm Tim Wilkins real name wrote:
Hi everyone. Went for a walk over to Black Cap this afernoon/evening (got cold around 6:30) and was a little shocked by what we saw. Does anyone know why the farmer is ploughing up the fields above the chalk pits or why they have put yet more fences around the woods?
On 28 Mar 2013 at 9:48am Country Boy wrote:
Er, is the farmer not allowed to plough?
On 28 Mar 2013 at 10:10am Slarty wrote:
I guess that the farmer is ploughing so crops can be grown and the fence may be to stop animal and people from getting to the crops and damaging them.
Just a thought
On 28 Mar 2013 at 10:27am bazm wrote:
Also, off road motorcycling is becoming a regular 'event' on Sunday mornings at Southerham. Is this legal?
On 28 Mar 2013 at 10:46am Tim Wilkins real name wrote:
Country Boy. It's never been ploughed before and is a haven for nesting birds and reptiles. It has also cut off a very lovely walk.
On 28 Mar 2013 at 10:57am Old Cynic wrote:
It probably was ploughed before - you were just not around to remeber it! If you are fussed contact Natural England - if the site is not an SAC or an SSSI I doubt they will eb worried
On 28 Mar 2013 at 11:09am Nixon Scraypes wrote:
A lot of the Downs behind the Offham chalk pits was ploughed up some time around the late sixties.There's about 1 inch(that shows my age) of soil over the chalk and I remember wondering how anything could grow in a mess of stones and a bit of dirt.That was in the days when I didn't know about artificial fertilizers and agricultural subsidies.They grew wheat that was about a foot high and probably dumped it-there was a lot of that going on then-food mountains,wine lakes,the local dairy pouring milk into the sea.Unfortunately the insanity hasn't stopped.
On 28 Mar 2013 at 11:54am GhostBike wrote:
I think the area might be within the Clayton-Offham Escarpment SSSI

Check it out here »
On 28 Mar 2013 at 1:06pm Old Cynic wrote:
If its an SSSi then the farmer would need permission / an agreement from NE
On 28 Mar 2013 at 2:42pm brixtonbelle wrote:
Sussex Express reported that parts of the downs are being cleared of woodland scrub that has grown up near Landport Bottom. Personally I like a bit of woodland, but seems this area was just too overgrown for creating the unique grass habitat for wildlife

Check it out here »
On 28 Mar 2013 at 3:59pm grant d wrote:
bazm ,they have been riding there with the farmers permision for years.
On 28 Mar 2013 at 4:22pm Nevil Rook wrote:
No ghostbike its the square patch just to the South of the sssi. Not sure why there doing it but the soil looked great and the Rooks were loving it !
On 30 Mar 2013 at 12:53pm Stephen Watson wrote:
This damage inflicted on a large area of downland turf is not the same as the scrub clearance at Landport Bottom, which is a conservation excercise by the local ranger and volunteers. What has just happened it that turf has been ripped on two large fields to the north and west, going towards Mount Harry, which has been for many years a species rich meadow, and an excellent place to see butteflies including Common Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Marbled white and others. Butterflies had a terrible year last year so it's incredibly sad to see them hit by further habitat destruction. Walkers and cyclists will also be dismayed that the path along the hill top, which afforded panoramic views, is now longer accessible. There will be an economic impact too, because the beautiful local downland is an important visitor attraction to both Lewes and Offham. The wonderful sweep of continuous turf from Blackcap to Lewes has now been broken. What a waste.
On 30 Mar 2013 at 7:46pm Local wrote:
You might be right with some of that Stephen, but you're risking ridicule by claiming that fields of swaying wheat or flax are a poor substitute for grass from a 'visitor attraction' perspective!
On 30 Mar 2013 at 8:09pm Tim Wilkins real name wrote:
Stephen Watson has got it absolutely right, it is a disaster. I was hoping that the farmer was acting illegally and something could be done about it.
On 31 Mar 2013 at 8:53am Me, Myself and wrote:
Farmer Harmer does what he wants, when he wants it. He's always been angered by people having the temerity to walk across a field that he rents. Wouldn't surprise me to GM crops planted there

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