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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Butterflies in Caburn Bottom and The Coombe (Malling Down). 12.05.22

This was a mid afternoon/early evening walk. I took the bus to Lewes from Brighton, and then took the train to Glynde. From Glynde Station I walked up and over Mount Caburn, into Caburn bottom. I then walked through Oxtedde Bottom and Bible Bottom and then up Cliffe Hill, across the Golf Course, and then down The Coombe, back into Lewes.

Mount Caburn, Cliffe Hill and Malling Hill form an outlier from the main ridge of the South Downs and are situated immediately east of Lewes. There are good views of the Weald, the town of Lewes and the downland to its west and southwards down the Ouse Valley. Mount Caburn, which was originally a Roman fort, is a National Nature Reserve with important populations of rare orchids and Malling Hill is managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve. In the three bottoms of Caburn, Oxteddle and Bible one is able to experience tranquillity despite being close to Lewes and the road and rail network OA-map-5-Lewes-Downs-2014.pdf (

Blood Vein moth in a grazed field going up to Mount Caburn

This lamb wanted to get into the field on the other side of the turnstile

He tried to get through but couldn't do it,

Mount Caburn. Former chalk pit on left

More sheep

A Linnet on the fence

Looking back on Glynde; Firle Beacon in the background

Caburn Bottom


Crosswort / Smooth Bedstraw

Mount Caburn

The Ouse Valley from Mount Caburn

Lewes Brooks from Mount Caburn

Caburn Bottom

Wall Brown

Caburn Bottom

Small Copper

Small Blue

Crane Fly


Common Carpet Moth

Caburn Bottom

Moth of the Deltote genus

Caburn Bottom


The Dew Pond Caburn Bottom


Meadow Pipit

Linnets around the Dew Pond

Fence round the Dew Pond

Bible Bottom

The fence going up Cliffe Hill and the surrounding shrubs had many pairs of Stonechats

Bible Bottom, plantation in background

Martyrs Memorial from Golf Course

The Coombe (Malling Down)

Dingy Sipper

Common Blue

The Gate to nowhere!

The north side of the Coombe

Looking up the Coombe to "The Snout"

Sign at the bottom of the Coombe

There is a way in and out of The Coombe, Malling Down Nature Reserve from the A26, just to the north of the Cuilfoil Tunnel, which is very hidden. The road to the entrance (Wheatsheaf Gardens is opposite the now derelict Lewes Working Men's Club on the Malling Hill (A26), there is no signage on the road. Turn into Wheatsheaf Gardens, and the path is between two houses in a small housing estate (no sign!) Be warned: the path up the Coombe is VERY STEEP and it easy to fall; take care if you go this way


Lewes Working Men's Club



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