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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Butterflies, Wild Flowers, Birds, Lichens and Bryophytes. Devil's Dyke and Newtimber Hill. 20.05.23

The Devil's Dyke | Sussex | National Trust and Newtimber Hill Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill | National Trust are adjacent to each other, lying just north of Brighton in the South Downs National Park. In the Summer they can be reached on the Brighton and Hove 77 bus, from the centre of Brighton (weekends only except from 12 June to 29 August 2023 when the bus runs daily) 77 - Devil's Dyke-Brighton Pier | Brighton & Hove Buses


The photographs are in the chorological order of my walk (10.45 - 15.30)


All sections of text in italics are quotations, sources sited.


All identifications are provisional; if you note a mistake in identification please feel free to tell me, or if you want to contact me about any aspect of this blog, email me at simeon[underscore]elliott[at]gmail[dot]com.


Devil's Dyke


Sycamore Coppice/Plantation


A "love heart" obscured two liverworts and a lichen: Radula complanata, Metzgeria furcata and Phlyctis argena, on Sycamore.


On the top of the Dyke, south to north


Wall, Lasiommata megera


Cruciata laevipes, Smooth Bedstraw


Buzzard, Buteo buteo


Meadow Pippit, Anthus pratensis


Linnet, Linaria cannabina. Red List


Kidney Vetch, Anthyllis vulneraria. The only caterpillar plant of the Small Blue Butterfly; both chalk specialists.


Sheep's Sorrel, Rumex acetosella


Another Wall, Lasiommata megera


Common Vetch, Vicia sativa


Bird's-foot Trefoil, aka "Egg and Bacon", Lotus corniculatus. It’s the main food plant for a wide range of butterflies. These include the Common blue Polyommatus icarus, Dingy skipper Erynnis tages, Clouded yellow Colias croceus, Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi, Wood white Leptidea sinapis, and Silver-studded blue Plebejus argus. Bird’s-foot Trefoil: An Excellent Plant - Lizzie Harper


Burnet sp, Poterium sp.


Germander Speedwell, Veronica chmaedrys


Common Milkwort, Polygala vulgaris chalk specialist. Substantial decline in distribution since the 1960s, including in Sussex Weald as a result of loss of grassland & heath


Windblown Pendulate Oak, Quercus robur; on the top of the Devil's Dyke

Epiphytes on this Pendulate oak, Quercus robur,


Xanthoria parientina


Flavoparmelia soredians


Parmontrema perlatum


Frullania dilatata, Dilated Scalewort


Possibly, Ulota phyllantha, Frizzled Pincushion


Melanelixia subauifera



Common Twayblades, Neottia ovata. In line with Orchis anthropophora, the Man Orchid, I propose an additional, post StrangerThings, vernacular name for Neottia ovata: the Demogorgon Orchid.


Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni


Into the woods; the ancient woodland at the north of the Devils's Dyke


Lesser Celandine, Ficaria verna


Common Dodder, Cuscuta epithymum


Funarria hygrometrica, BonfireMoss, growing on area of chalk grassland with charcoal from burnt wood, on the path that descends through the wood at the north of characteristic of old bonfire sites Funaria hygrometrica - British Bryological Society


Jay, Garrulus glandarius. In the woods, with oaks, to the north-east of Devil's Dyke. It's good for our oak woods that Jays haven't got perfect spatial memory for the acorns they bury.


Wild garlic, Allium ursinum


Forked veilwort, Metzgeria furcata on an Oak


Possibly Leskea poycarpa, Many-fruited Leskea


Worn Peacock Aglais io; probably a butterfly that overwintered in a dormant state


Silene dioica, Red Campion, growing on/with Thamnobryum alopercurum, Fox-tail Feather-Moss (?), on dead oak (?) trunk. I see S. dioica in woods a lot, but not seen it growing on moss/dead wood before.


Heart's tongue Fern, Asplenium scolpendrium


Walking along the bottom of the Dyke


Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus


Male Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus


Green Hairstreak, Callophrys rubi


Common Heath Moth, Ematurga atomaria


Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages


Tyme-leaved Sandwort, Arenaria serphyllifolia


Hound's Tongue,Cynoglossum officinale


Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus


Newtimber Hill


Common Sorrel, Rumex acetosa


A Pendulate Oak, Quercus robur, leaf from 2022


Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages


Another Dingy Skipper


White Dead Nettle, Lamium album


Water Crowfoot, Ranunculus aquatilis in the pond at Sedlescombe Farm


Germander Speedwell,Veronica chamaedrys


Male Taleporia tubulosa moth on gorse


Common Milkwort, Polygala vulgaris


Bottom of Devil's Dyke, with Newtimber Hill in the background



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