Wildlife is thriving at Castle Hill Nature Reserve in Newhaven

Castle Hill nature reserve, Newhaven
Castle Hill nature reserve, Newhaven

WILDLIFE is thriving at Castle Hill Nature Reserve in Newhaven where more than several hundred species of moths and 30 species of butterfly have been recorded this year.

Numerous bird species have been spotted at the nature reserve too, including the rare rosy starling and the European bee eater.

The beautiful cliff-top wildlife haven is next to Newhaven Fort and boasts a mixture of gorse, hawthorn and slow scrub, providing habitat for woodland birds.

Castle Hill Group chairman Graham Amy said: “Castle Hill has benefited from the hard work of the Castle Hill Group, other volunteer groups, and the Lewes District Council Rangers.

“There is an ever increasing diversity of flora and fauna found there and with its magnificent views, Castle Hill really is a jewel in the Sussex countryside.”

More than a third of the bird nesting boxes have been used this year and more would be put up next year.

The boxes were made by Searchlight residents, a charity for the disabled in Newhaven.

Graham said on a recent walk, an amazing 35 species of birds were seen, including kestrel and great black backed gull. The rare adonis ladybird and very rare tufted button moth were spotted this year too.

The Castle Hill Group was formed 12 years ago and has won numerous awards including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee award for Voluntary Service, the Green Flag award, and the South East in Bloom award for the best Nature Reserve.

Members of all ages and abilities help maintain the reserve, carry out surveys, litter pick, repair paths and steps.

They meet at 10pm on the first Sunday in the month at the top Fort car park. Membership is free and open to anyone interested in wildlife and the preservation of the countryside.

Call Graham on 01273 514942 or secretary Jill Allen at footprints@tesco.net.