Rotherfield home for nature showcases work

Children and volunteers at the Beech Estate
Children and volunteers at the Beech Estate

Children and grown ups from Rotherfield are hosting an open day on Saturday, September 20 to showcase nature-based activities that have been taking place in the village.

Meadows in the Weald is a Heritage Lottery funded projct which worked with 32 children from Rotherfield Primary School and volunteers from the local community.

They aimed to research the history of the Green and learn more about farming in the Weald.

So far people taking part have enjoyed a visit to the Beech Estate near Battle to see one of the South East’s largest expanses of wild flower meadows. They have also taken part in research and oral history sessions, visited the records office at the Keep in Lewes to view ancient maps and uncover information about the Green and Rotherfield village.

Project organisers would now like to share what they have learnt at the open day which showcases wildlife organisations, conservation groups, and rural crafts.

It will also offer guided tours of the Green. Amongst those taking part are Rotherfield-based rescue organisation, Wildlife A & E; The High Weald Beekeepers, Friends of Argos Hill Windmill, a bat rescue group, and the Powdermill Trust for Nature Conservation. The Powdermill Trust was formed in 1980 by a group of local naturalists which has nature reserves in Rotherfield, Powdermill Wood and Crowhurst, all carefully managed for nature conservation.

The range of activities on offer on September 20 include seeing and handling wild creatures close up, trying your hand at willow weaving, pond dipping, identifying different species of moths and even taking the reins of traditional working Shire horses.

All are welcome, entry is free and includes a presentation from Rotherfield School children about their participation in the project.

Ahead of the Open Day there’s an opportunity for volunteers to take part in introductory work party sessions to learn about conservation work. Anyone over the age of 18 can join a friendly group of volunteers from the Millennium Green Trust on Sunday, September 7, such as clearing bulrushes from the pond, hedge cutting, repairs to the boardwalk and preparing for wild flower planting.

Old clothing is required but tools and training will be provided. For more information, or to express an interest in helping, phone Richard Mann on: 01892 852470.

Later in the year volunteers will get the chance to join a willow weaving workshop to produce a living willow structure on the Green.