• The build up to #BigGardenBirdWatch - woodpeckers in the garden

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his article, photos and videos...

    Big Garden Birdwatch - Woodpeckers in the Garden?

    Certainly you can see woodpeckers in the garden but they probably won’t be pecking wood unless you have some dead trees or logs. All birds will go where they can find food and gardens can provide suitable resources for all sorts of birds including some larger ones too. I don’t routinely see woodpeckers in my…

    • 27 Jan 2021
  • The build up to Big Garden Birdwatch - winter blackcaps

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his article on changes in blackcap behaviour which explains why you may now see a blackcap during your Big Garden Birdwatch.

    The blackcap is a relatively common bird in Britain during the summer when many migrate here from Africa to breed. There are estimated to be 1.2 million territories during the breeding season and several can be found at Pulborough Brooks. However blackcaps are also becomingly…

    • 25 Jan 2021
  • The build up to #BigGardenBirdWatch - flummoxed by finches?

    With thanks to volunteer Phil for this focus on finches and for his photos.

    With the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch coming up on 29th to 31st January this article discusses some of the finches you might see. Finches are a class of small birds with notched tails and triangular shaped bills well adapted to breaking open seed cases. Some of these species are very likely to be found on or near bird feeders or in gardens and may…

    • 22 Jan 2021
  • The build up to #BigGardenBirdWatch - robin redbreast

     Anne Harwood

    As I wander down the nature trail I pause to scan for winter visitors and then I spot movement on the branch just next to me and up pops a robin eyeing me hopefully; perhaps I have some tasty mealworms to offer him?

    You will all be familiar with this little character, indeed you could scarcely avoid him at this time of year as he is probably following you around the garden! I say him, but the robin could…

    • 19 Jan 2021
  • Update on visitor facilities during lockdown 3

    In line with Government guidance for #lockdown, the following facilities are OPEN for local, essential, daily exercise only

    Car park: dawn-dusk

    Trails: dawn-dusk

    w/c 18 January - Toilets CLOSED due to changes in staff availability

    The following facilities are CLOSED:

    Visitor Centre



    Café / Refreshments


    We strongly urge you to follow the legislation around non-essential travel and please…

    • 16 Jan 2021
  • A special sighting during wildlife survey work

    Volunteer Phil has written about a sighting of a rather special bird, seen and photographed whilst helping with essential wildlife monitoring work on the reserve.

    Recent Sightings Thursday 7th January – A Marsh Tit in Fattengates Courtyard

    Having been invited to help with the annual brown hairstreak egg survey I took advantage of free time on what may now become a rare visit to Pulborough Brooks in Lockdown 3 to…

    • 12 Jan 2021
  • 2020 at Pulborough Brooks – The Strangest of Years

    2020 at Pulborough Brooks – The Strangest of Years - a review of the year from volunteer Phil.

    It is that traditional time of year when the media and bloggers throughout the world write reviews of the year, something I’ve never thought of doing before. The reason I have decided to write this review is of course because of the unusual situation we have all found ourselves in. But it is not just that.  As well…

    • 1 Jan 2021
  • Update on Information for visitors over the Christmas period and Tier 4 restrictions

    All of our visitor centre facilities (outdoor welcome point, toilets, takeaway cafe and shop) will be closed on 24, 25 & 26 Dec and again on 4 & 5 Jan. The car park & reserve will remain open.


    As Sussex will go into Tier 4 on Boxing Day the hides and tea terrace have been closed and we will not be able to re-open the shop after the Christmas break.


    On 27 Dec and thereafter (with the exception of 4 & 5 Jan…

    • 23 Dec 2020
  • Wildlife sightings update

    The wetlands are certainly busy with geese, ducks and waders at the moment, the meadow feeding station is popular and bullfinches are showing well around the hedgerows.

    This sightings list was provided by a lovely group of our regular visitors (thanks Chris, Juliet, Alan & Warren), supplemented by some goodies from volunteer Phil and some photos from our library!

    Black-headed gull

    Black-tailed godwit

    Photo by Graham…

    • 19 Dec 2020
  • Information for visitors over the Christmas period

    Robin by Chris Prince
    Information for visitors over the Christmas period.
    We are currently open daily with the visitor facilities being available 10 - 4. Our welcome point, shop, cafe and toilets will be closed on 24, 25 & 26 Dec and again on 4 & 5 Jan. The car park & trails will remain open.
    Other than the closure dates above, our outdoor welcome point is staffed daily, our shop and toilets are open…
    • 19 Dec 2020
  • 'In the trenches' - a guest blog from our wardening intern

    In The Trenches - thanks to Mark McManus, one of our wardening interns, for his update on the habitat management work that's been undertaken over the past month.


    Over the last few weeks the reserve wardens have been busy completing a number of varied tasks. First up was the job of moving the herd of eleven remaining highland cattle on to the heath, which will be their home for a few more weeks until the new year.…

    • 18 Dec 2020
  • Update on reserve opening from 5 November 2020

    We know that for many of you, Pulborough Brooks provides enjoyment and solace in the natural world throughout these challenging times. In line with Government guidance on essential, daily exercise outdoors, during #SecondLockdown, our car park, trails and toilets remain open for you to visit.

    Please follow all current Government guidance around social distancing, who you can visit with, hygiene and follow all signage…

    • 4 Nov 2020
  • Latest update on reserve facilities - 2 November 2020

    Following the Government announcement of a #SecondLockdown beginning this Thursday, we are looking into the details of the Government guidance, our staffing levels to safely manage our sites and which facilities it might be possible for us to keep open on our reserves.

    We are open for visits until then and we will update you on here as soon as we know more. Thank you for your continued support and patience in these challenging…

    • 2 Nov 2020
  • The magnificent six!

    A guest blog from one of our interns, Mark McManus, who has been working as part of our team of wardens...

    During the last month, the 6 members of the Pulborough Brooks wardening team have been busy making the most of some good weather in order to get a number of important jobs done, whilst observing COVID precautions. Our first priorities were several 'stretch gates' which urgently needed repairs on both the north and south…

    • 27 Oct 2020
  • The Good, That Bad and The Fungi!

    When did you last eat Marmite on toast, drink a pint of beer or even indulge in the ‘double whammy’ of a mushroom-topped pizza?

    If you enjoy any of these then you need to say ‘Thank you’ to fungi, without which we wouldn’t have bread or beer. In many respects, from a human perspective, fungi is ‘good’. Not only does it provide us with food, but some of our medicines originate from fungi too. The Turkeytail…

    • 26 Oct 2020
  • Autumn colour

    The second in our series of blogs on our fascinating fungi.

    With thousands of species of fungi in the UK there is a huge variety of weird and wonderful shapes and whilst there are of course plenty of ‘little brown jobs’ (as there are whatever branch of wildlife you specialise in) you really can find a fungi for every colour of the rainbow.


    We’ll begin with red and the classic fairy tale fungi – Fly Agaric…

    • 20 Oct 2020
  • Recent wildlife sightings 19 October

    A good selection of wildlife spotted over the past few days. Highlights include great white egret, merlin and these white-fronted geese.

    Photo by Graham Osborne.

    The meadow feeding station is now back in action and is popular with great-spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, greenfinch, great tits, blue tits, coal tits, house sparrows and, I suspect, grey squirrels.

    The fungi trail is up and running around the wooded heath …

    • 19 Oct 2020
  • Fungi Trail - Get to know your parasols and puffballs this autumn

    Our fungi trail is now up and running. we've marked up a suggested route around the wooded-heath and labelled some of the fungi to get you started....

    Appearing mysteriously overnight in the dank and dark places of the earth, it’s no wonder that there are so many magical tales about fungi. In Britain we’ve always been a bit suspicious of mushrooms and toadstools (there is no difference between the two), associating…

    • 15 Oct 2020
  • Recent Sightings Friday 9th October – Autumn Hobbies

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his latest sightings update....

    Sometime in the morning of this day a visitor asked if she might see a hobby. I thought about this, having not seen one for a few weeks and replied that these birds were most likely to have set off for winter quarters in Africa. This is perhaps strictly correct but does not really tell the whole story, and later that day I learned something about hobbies that…

    • 14 Oct 2020
  • Last Hurrah of the Strangest Summer

    Thanks to our volunteer Phil for his report and photos. 

    I am writing this with another very warm spell of weather at an end and an autumnal chill in the air and while out walking earlier in the week I couldn’t help noticing that some seasonal colour was starting to appear in the trees. Visiting Pulborough Brooks earlier today (Friday 25th September) strong north westerly wind made it impossible to stay too long at the Hanger …

    • 1 Oct 2020
  • Wiggonholt Cricket

    Discover the historical tales and hidden gems of the South Downs heaths while exploring the Secrets of The Heath sculpture trail. The trail links seven heathland sites in the National Park and one of the sculptures is the Wiggonholt Cricket based here at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. 

    The field cricket is an extremely rare, declining and threatened insect in the UK which depends solely on heathland habitat. It is classified as…

    • 4 Sep 2020
  • Introduction to Photography Part 2: Camera modes and metering

    Thanks to wildlife and landscape photographer John Dominick for his lesson and photos. 

    In the previous article I touched on what are generally accepted to be the more advanced modes on a camera. In many respects and situations, they will certainly give you more control over the look of the final image and therefore offer more creative control.

    The three modes are shutter priority, aperture priority and manual, often represented…

    • 27 Aug 2020
  • Moths and ditches

    Thank you to our assistant warden intern Mark for his update.  

    The pasts few weeks we have been concentrating on our regular weekly moth trapping and also completing the 'ditch scoring' of the whole of the Pulborough and Amberley Brooks reserves. One evening each week our moth trap lamp is positioned overnight in the visitors centre courtyard and the following morning at 08.00 we carefully unplug it and pour through…

    • 18 Aug 2020
  • Butteflies Part 3

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his wonderful report and photos featuring just some of our lovely butterflies.

    This is the final article in a series about butterflies to be seen on the reserve. Part 1 gives some summary information about where to see butterflies on the reserve and the types of flowers used.

    When starting this series I hadn’t intended to feature our resident hairstreaks but they are starting to emerge for…

    • 7 Aug 2020
  • Introduction to Photography Part 1: Understanding the Exposure Triangle

    Thanks to wildlife and landscape photographer John Dominick for his lesson and photos. 

    Along with volunteer warden Andy Jones I have been co-leading photography workshops at Pulborough Brooks for four years. They have proved to be very popular with all levels of photographers, especially because of the abundance of subject matter that the surrounding habitats have to offer. They are founded on a desire to bring participants…

    • 5 Aug 2020