• A new dragonfly hotspot

    The British Dragonfly Society certainly picked a good week for 'Dragonfly Week' this year with lots of dragonflies and damselflies emerging, perching and hunting around the ponds and ditches on the reserve.  

    We can also announce a new species for Pulborough Brooks - a Southern Migrant Hawker dragonfly, found and photographed by Graham who is one of our volunteers.

    Southern migrant hawker by Graham Osborne

    This…

    • 25 Jul 2021
  • Facilities update - shop and cafe now open daily

    Gatekeeper butterfly - photo by Gareth Hughes

    Welcome back! As restrictions have eased further in England, we’re excited to continue to have many of our facilities OPEN for your visit! Here’s a summary of what’s available  

    Open daily, dawn til dusk:

    • Car park
    • Nature reserve trails 
    •  Hides - all 4 of our hides are now open

     Open daily 10 am – 4 pm 

    • Outdoor, staffed Welcome Point 
    • Toilets 
    • Café - take…
    • 25 Jul 2021
  • Habitat management work update - mid July

    We have a busy few months ahead out on the wet grassland with two significant projects being delivered on top of the annual habitat management work.   Whilst this work is being undertaken there will inevitably be some disturbance so we thought you’d like to know what we’re up to…

    Our first project the ‘wetland enhancement’ project will kick off next week and has been designed to improve the wet grassland…

    • 10 Jul 2021
  • This is the blog to look at if you ever need cheering up...lovely wader chicks

    I'm not going to write much this morning but will simply let you indulge in this lovely series of photos from our volunteer Graham Osborne...

    Enjoy 

    Avocet chasing off redshank

    Avocet chasing off mallard

    And this is why the avocet is being rather over-protective!

    Our avocet pair have 3 chicks who are getting bolder as they explore West Mead pool, but who do still retreat for cover and warmth.

    Joining the West…

    • 29 Jun 2021
  • Great news! West Mead hide is open.

    Great news! West Mead hide is open.
    Thanks to our volunteers for doing the repairs and cleaning.
    Even better news! You can see avocet, lapwing and redshank chicks from the hide (and mallard ducklings).

    Photo by volunteer Phil Thornton
     
    Please follow all guidance on hides doors regarding face masks, maximum capacity and social distancing.
     
    The vegetation alongside the path on the approach to the hide is…
    • 26 Jun 2021
  • Would you or someone you know like to be a warden at Pulborough Brooks nature reserve?

    Would you or someone you know like to be a warden at Pulborough Brooks nature reserve?

    The RSPB team in Sussex are seeking a dynamic, resourceful and motivated warden to join a reserves team managing four natures reserves totalling over 500 hectares of nature reserves in the South Downs National Park, including Pulborough Brooks, one of the most visited RSPB reserves in the UK. These diverse nature reserves comprise of…

    • 24 Jun 2021
  • Car park & nature trail closures during evening events

    We'll be closing our car park and nature trails at 7 pm on the evenings when we are holding night-time safari events. This is to ensure that numbers are limited to those who have booked places and so that social distancing can be maintained at our key viewpoints. 

    If you are visiting the reserve on these dates please make sure that you are off site by 7 pm as the gate will be closed to all visitors other than event…

    • 8 Jun 2021
  • Fast and fierce – the four-spotted chaser dragonfly

    Four-spotted chaser dragonfly by Graham Osborne

    Much of the four-spotted chaser’s life is spent hidden in the murky depths of the heathland pond. Around four weeks the after the female has laid her eggs the larvae hatch taking a minimum of two years in larval form to complete their development. The larvae are ambush predators, covered in numerous hair-like structures which trap debris, they are well camouflaged hiding…

    • 7 Jun 2021
  • Nightingale news and other sightings...

    I am delighted to report that we've had a great year for nightingales on the reserve with at least 10 males singing around the nature trails.

    Our first nightingale was reported very early on 4 April ( I usually predict they will arrive between the 10th and the 12th) but there was very little singing for the first couple of weeks.  Perhaps the males who had arrived first realised that the females would be unlikely to…

    • 1 Jun 2021
  • Poor man's buttonholes and pixie flowers

    An introduction to one of our prettiest spring flowers – Greater Stitchwort

    This pretty starry white springtime flower growing to calf height is often found thriving alongside red campion and bluebells on our woodland floors and grass verges.

    Greater Stitchwort by Chris Prince

    The plant’s name ‘Stitchwort’ refers to it ability to cure the pain associated with runners stitch. However there are many more documented…

    • 29 May 2021
  • We're excited to be able to open some of our hides again from Monday (17 May)

    Nightingale by Graham Osborne

    We’re excited to be able to open some of our hides again for your visit! Here’s a summary:

    Winpenny hide and Nettley’s hide will be open from Monday (17 May) from 10 am. West Mead hide and Little Hanger hide remain closed for now.

    You’ll notice we’ve made a few changes to keep everyone safe:

    • Seating is spaced out at 2m intervals, to allow for social distancing…
    • 13 May 2021
  • Current opening arrangements May 2021

    Treecreeper nest building by Graham Osborne

    In line with Government guidance the following facilities are OPEN

    Car park: dawn-dusk

    Trails: dawn-dusk (Entry charges apply)

    Toilets: 10 am – 4 pm daily

    Playground: open daily

    Shop: 10 am - 4 pm Wednesday – Sunday

    *Change in opening arrangements*

    Café takeaway: 10 am - 4 pm Wednesday - Sunday

    Our shop and cafe are both closed on Mondays and Tuesdays…

    • 5 May 2021
  • The return of the eagles - white-tailed eagle visits Amberley Wildbrooks

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos

    In 2010 on an annual holiday to the Scottish Highlands I was walking with friends near the coast of Wester Ross when we saw a very large bird of prey drifting into to land in a conifer tree.  The bird was head on in silhouette and left a powerful impression on my memory.  We wondered what this could be, with discussion centring on golden eagle and osprey, but without more…

    • 3 May 2021
  • When gorse is in bloom, kissing’s in fashion…

    Our Visitor Experience Officer Paula introduces you to gorse; one of the key plant species on our heathland.

    This green, spiny, evergreen densely packed shrub from the pea family thrives well on the sandy soils of our heath. Its bright yellow flowers appear early in the year, but there is normally some gorse in bloom every month of the year, hence the saying ‘when gorse is in bloom, kissing’s in fashion’.…

    • 20 Apr 2021
  • Meet the bravest creature on the heath...the spider hunting wasp

     I must admit to being a little bit scared of spiders, so finding out that there was a creature who actively seeks them out filled me with awe. I was keen to see one of these brave and fearless insects so took to the sunny, sandy slopes on the heath.

    The spider-hunting wasp is a long-legged restless insect that spends much of the time running over the sand, antennae constantly twitching as they explore any holes and…

    • 20 Apr 2021
  • Tramper mobility vehicles now available - pre-booking only

    Our two 'tramper' mobility vehicles have been fully serviced and are now ready for use again!

    Pre-booking is essential - this is to ensure that a member of our team is available to sanitise the vehicle and get everything prepared for you.

    To book one of our vehicles, please get in touch by email to pulborough.brooks@b.org.uk at least couple of days in advance, and let us know when you would like to borrow the…

    • 17 Apr 2021
  • Dawn Chorus Weekends - find out about our early opening to celebrate magical birdsong.

    Listening to the dawn chorus is a truly incredible experience and we'll be opening up early over two weekends to help you enjoy it.

    Saturday 24 April & Sunday 25 April from 5 am

    Saturday 1 May & Sunday 2 May from 5 am

    Come along and enjoy the dawn chorus at Pulborough Brooks. We’ll be hoping that our premier songster, the nightingale, will be joined by a choir of brilliant birds as the sun rises.  Whilst…

    • 12 Apr 2021
  • Highlight of the Easter Week - the pied flycatcher

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos.

    In days gone by on summer family holidays in Wales I sometimes came across pied flycatchers in the woodlands where they breed but I have never seen one since. And yet in most years there is at least one report at Pulborough Brooks and all the ones I’ve heard about have been in the autumn when birds are more likely to linger as there is no imperative to find a mate and…

    • 10 Apr 2021
  • Spring arrivals and facilities update

    Blackcap by Gareth Hughes

    It has been lovely to see and hear some new arrivals on the reserve this last week; blackcaps are now singing from every blackthorn bush on the reserve, swallows and sand martins have been seen dashing overhead and our first nightingale has been heard.

    Our lapwings are on nests and we have 6 avocets on the North Brooks. The avocets bred here for the first time in 2020 so we are hoping for a…

    • 8 Apr 2021
  • Meet the emperor

    Photo by Anna Allum

    Heathland is one of the important habitats for the Emperor moth – one of our largest and most spectacular moths, who has peacock-like spots on its wings.

    Female Emperor moths are large, with a wingspan up to 10cm, and are fluffy grey-brown moths with big peacock-like eyespots on all four wings and pinky-red markings at the wingtips. The females are active at night, but rest low-down in vegetation…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • The Nuthacker

    Photo by Chris Prince

    The nuthatch is a particularly noisy character; his song is a loud series of piping notes; a rapid ‘twit-twit-twit-twit’. His call has been likened to the sound of a typewriter with an uneven rhythm, or morse code.

    He is a handsome fellow with his lovely slate blue-grey back and a black eye stripe that elongates the appearance of his already long bill. The long beak is ideal for prising…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • The woodlark...January's joy

    The woodlark can be seen all year round. It is a similar size to a robin, streaky brown above, pale below with a long pale stripe that runs above each eye.       

            

    Woodlark by Gareth Hughes

    The real joy of this bird is how early breeding starts, with territories being established as early as January. During these drab months, this unassuming bird fills the air with its melodious fluting song, often delivered during flight…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Meet one of the fastest animals on earth…the Green Tiger Beetle

    Tiger beetles are fierce and active predators who will hunt by sight, helped by their large eyes, and then run down their quarry on their long legs. At full pelt, a tiger beetle has been clocked at 5 miles per hour. Now that might not sound super speedy, but scaled up, it would be one of the fastest animals on earth!

    Not only is this beetle fast, it’s fierce too and armed with impressive secateur-like jaws that can…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Like the Minotaur of Greek legends, the Minotaur beetle spends much of its time underground in a maze of tunnels!

    Photo: Adrian Holloway

    Your beetle appears to be hauling its ‘victim’ back to its lair, but on closer inspection, its prey is in fact a rabbit dropping…

    This creature is not a monster, far from it, he is an incredibly helpful recycler of dung!

    You may see one, or its close relative the Dor beetle, lumbering into sight on one of the sandy heathland paths. Both share a glossy black dome of a body and…

    • 19 Mar 2021
  • Signs of spring - search for the fallen stars of lesser celandine

    Did you know that today is ‘Celandine Day’? The brilliant yellow star-shaped flowers of lesser celandine brighten up the woodland floor and certainly deserve to be celebrated.

    One of the folk names is ‘spring messenger’ and as the bright flowers, surrounded by glossy dark-green, heart-shaped leaves are one of the first flowers to appear after winter that certainly seems fitting. They are a sign of hope, but…

    • 21 Feb 2021