Wildlife Outing Testimonial
Extract from an account of a recent wildlife and Badger watching outing on the Cowdray Estate, Midhurst, West Sussex.
After meeting in the Golf Club car park we were met by our guide, Barry, and set off in a 4×4 on our wildlife experience.
The intention was to see wildlife in its natural environment, no parks, no cages and no staging.
The intention was to see wildlife in its natural environment, no parks, no cages and no staging. This added to the excitement of not knowing what we would see so we were all keen to listen and learn and concentrate on spotting wildlife – as it would not come looking for us.
Our first journey was through parts of the Cowdray estate we would otherwise not have the pleasure of seeing, whilst Barry told us all about the forestry work on the estate. We spotted numerous pheasants and learnt all about the tenant farmers and their work on the estate.
Getting closer to nature …
We popped out at Cocking and then took a journey up on the South Downs Way to a meadow area left fallow where we could spot hare. Once a species whose natural habitat had been jeopardised by modern farming techniques, we were fortunate enough to see a number sitting quietly in the grass, thriving in a habitat and unhindered by the Cowdray organic/sustainable methods of farming. Expecting to see and looking for hare, we were amazed to also see a large roe deer buck in the distance which stood still for plenty of time to allow us to look closely at it through binoculars before disappearing into woodland.
Continuing our drive in the meadow field a keen eye in the car spotted a hare very close, hiding low in the grass hoping we had not spotted it. We sat still and continued to watch it until it finally pricked its large ears up, stretched its legs and moved away uncertain about this strange creature with 4 wheels and 10 pairs of eyes!
Next, we ventured into the woods where we saw numerous roe deer and learnt how to determine the difference between the roe and fallow deer on the estate. We saw female roe deer with their kids/fawns but as luck would have it there were no fallow deer to be seen.
Our drive around the estate continued across fields and through woodland where we spotted green woodpecker and learnt about the nightjar so we could keep a keen eye out for it.
Written by Emma Rea