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Castle Hill Geography Local history Nature reserve Newmarket Hill Photographs South Downs SSSI

Some pictures of Castle Hill Nature Reserve

Just visited the picture website Geograph. It has lots of wonderful pictures people have taken of geographical locations all over the UK. I thought I would load all those that people have taken of Castle Hill Nature Reserve.

Taken in 2010…

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegetation investigations, Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster Vegetation investigations, Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster.
Within the enclosure are many 1 m square areas marked out with green string. Castle Hill itself is the hill straight ahead – this part of the reserve is on the slopes of Newmarket Hill. (27 February, 2010)[/caption]

Just visited the picture website Geograph. It has lots of wonderful pictures people have taken of geographical locations all over the UK. I thought I would load all those that people have taken of Castle Hill Nature Reserve.

Taken in 2005…

Falmer Bottom by Simon Carey
Falmer Bottom by Simon Carey.
Looking north towards Castle Hill. (10 September, 2005)
Newmarket Bottom by Simon Carey
Newmarket Bottom by Simon Carey.
Looking east towards Castle Hill. (10 September, 2005)

Taken in 2009…

Castle Hill by Paul Gillett
Castle Hill by Paul Gillett.
(23 June, 2009)
Castle Hill plantation by Paul Gillett
Castle Hill plantation by Paul Gillett.
(23 June, 2009)
Castle Hill looking SW by Paul Gillett
Castle Hill looking SW by Paul Gillett.
Castle Hill is located 1 mile from Woodingdean, north east of Brighton. It comprises a series of valley-side slopes and is a good example of ancient, traditionally managed chalk downland. (23 June, 2009)

Taken in 2010…

Old well - Falmer Bottom by Robin Webster
Old well – Falmer Bottom by Robin Webster.
All very knocked about, but the part on the right looks like a wellhead, the central part like a pump, and the other part like a winch. All very perplexing. Made by F.E. Myers & Bro., Ashlan…. [?] U.S.A. The pump-like part has also cast on it “Self-oiling bulldozer”. A little further research found that the two brothers Francis and Philip set up the company in 1870 in Ashland, Ohio, and the company is still there, producing pumps and trading as Myers, although now part of the Pentair group. (27 February, 2010)
Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster
Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster.
The public bridleway through the reserve curves round the slope to the left, although the rather hypothetical legal line is somewhat to the right at first. (27 February, 2010)
Castle Hill NNR - scrub clearance by Robin Webster
Castle Hill NNR – scrub clearance by Robin Webster.
One of two bonfire sites seen on this shoulder of the hill. (27 February, 2010)
Falmer Bottom by Robin Webster
Falmer Bottom by Robin Webster.
A good view to illustrate the vagaries of the selection of CROW public access land. The criterion should be down: unimproved grassland. The foreground fields up to the fence with the single tree are public – but certainly rather improved. The near shoulder on the right is not CROW-public but is unimproved (although possibly partly ploughed in the past). The far shoulder on the right is correctly public and unimproved. Both shoulders are in the Castle Hill NNR. The slopes on the left are correctly selected as public access unimproved downland. However, the non-CROW part of the NNR is now mapped as access land under some other non-CROW arrangement. (27 February, 2010)
Vegetation investigations, Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster
Vegetation investigations, Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster.
Within the enclosure are many 1 m square areas marked out with green string. Castle Hill itself is the hill straight ahead – this part of the reserve is on the slopes of Newmarket Hill. (27 February, 2010)
Welcome to Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster
Welcome to Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Robin Webster.
The Natural England website still says “Access to the reserve is limited to public rights of way”. This is at variance both with this sign and with OS maps which show the reserve as public access land. In any case, the lower bridleway gate, just to the left of this sign, is away from the legal line which is well to the right and blocked by the fence. (27 February, 2010)

The information on the Natural England website is very out of date and, as far as I know, there are plans to update it sometime soon.

Industrial artefacts in Falmer Bottom (1) by Dave Spicer
Industrial artefacts in Falmer Bottom (1) by Dave Spicer.
Robin Webster’s explanation TQ3706 : Old well – Falmer Bottom is feasible bearing in mind there has to be water down there somewhere. (14 May, 2010)

Taken in 2012…

Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett
Newmarket Bottom (30 July, 2012) by Paul Gillett.
(30 July, 2012)
Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett
Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett.
(30 July, 2012)
Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett
Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett.
(30 July, 2012)
Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett
Newmarket Bottom by Paul Gillett.
(30 July, 2012)
Castle Hill by Paul Gillett
Castle Hill by Paul Gillett.
(30 July, 2012)
Entrance to Castle Hill Plantation by Paul Gillett
Entrance to Castle Hill Plantation by Paul Gillett.
(30 July, 2012)

[I think Paul was thinking of the nearby Newmarket Plantation, tried writing Castle Hill and so made his mistake – for there is no plantation on Castle Hill.]

Newmarket Bottom by Simon Carey
Newmarket Bottom by Simon Carey.
Beginning at the end of Falmer Bottom before climbing Newmarket Hill to the left. (15 September, 2012)
Bridleway, Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Simon Carey
Bridleway, Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Simon Carey.
Climbing up from Falmer Bottom to meet Juggs Road to the east of Newmarket Hill. (15 September, 2012)
Remains of a Pump, Balsdean by Simon Carey
Remains of a Pump, Balsdean by Simon Carey.
The only remnant of Norton Farm which originally lay out of shot to the left. The farm was apparently vacant by the early 20th century and was commandeered by the military during the Second World War used for target practice. The machinery was used to pump water from a well. Beyond is the southern slope of Castle Hill which is largely open access as evident by the gate in the fence. (15 September, 2012)
Site of Norton Farm by Simon Carey
Site of Norton Farm by Simon Carey.
Other than TQ3706 : Remains of a Pump, Balsdean the only other clues to the site of the former farm is the depression to the left where the farmhouse was once located. Originally part of the small hamlet of Balsdean which originally included Sutton Farm which later became Balsdean Farm, the farm survived into the 20th century but had become uninhabited by the First World War. The buildings remained and were commandeered by the military during the Second who used it and the neighbouring buildings in Balsdean for target practice. Any remains were cleared after the war with the farm reborn a mile to the south and TQ3706 : Ruined Barns, Balsdean erected to service it. What was once a populous valley is now thoroughly deserted. Beyond is Falmer Bottom. (15 September, 2012)
Falmer Bottom by Simon Carey
Falmer Bottom by Simon Carey.
Running northwards from TQ3706 : Site of Norton Farm to Newmarket Hill. (15 September, 2012)
Falmer Bottom by Simon Carey
Falmer Bottom by Simon Carey.
The continuation of TQ3706 : Falmer Bottom as it rounds the corner to head towards Newmarket Bottom. (15 September, 2012)
Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Simon Carey
Castle Hill National Nature Reserve by Simon Carey.
A small nature reserve above Falmer Bottom that has been managed as chalk grassland. It was set up in 1975. (15 September, 2012)

A big thank-you to Simon Carey, Paul Gillett, Dave Spicer, and Robin Webster.

2 replies on “Some pictures of Castle Hill Nature Reserve”

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