The annual bat walk and talk at the Clergy House took place this weekend on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August, led by Dr Sarah Yarwood-Lovett from the Sussex Bat Group, and Principal Ecologist at the Ecology Consultancy. The walk meandered around the glorious gardens of the Clergy House, the nearby churchyard and along the Cuckmere River, making good use of the bridge as a vantage point. The walks were fully booked and attendees using bat detectors were fortunate to hear four species of bat – common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, serotine and Daubenton’s bats – and see some impressive aerial acrobatics, including a serotine flying directly overhead!
First sign of the poppies in the garden today. I love how delicate and papery their petals look. I think this is the start of many beautiful colours to come in the garden as suddenly things seem to be bursting into life. More than ever I am seeing blues and purples and a sea of greenery, and every time I am here there is something new to see. I can’t help but photograph as many of these new sights as possible. One of these days I’ll choose one to paint a picture of!
Last week on thursday and friday, we had our chalk and sour milk floor cleaned and the holes filled in. You can see the huge difference this has made when looking at these two images. The first image shows David, our conservation cleaner, and Mike, one of our visitor services assistants cleaning the house during our closed period in January. You can see just how green the floor looks and can see the holes that have appeared over time through wear and tear. The last time the floor was relaid was around 13 years ago, but this time it was luckily only in need of a clean and some light repair work – I hear that the resurfacing using chalk and sour milk didn’t smell particularly nice! It certainly looks so much better now that it has been redone! Chalk and sour milk floors are quite rare; the combination of the two components are an early form of concrete commonly found in wealden hall houses.
Well here I am writing our first ever blog post. Exciting! Today is a rainy day so an ideal one to be in the office at the computer, whereas yesterday was the exact opposite. As it was so lovely yesterday I was able to be out and about in the gardens taking some photographs of some of the plants that are starting to come into bloom. I noticed a peony next to the wall of the house and really liked the look of how it was just starting to open out and wished I’d started photographing it sooner so that I could have made some kind of sequence of photographs to show it from bud to bloom! The colour of this variety is spectacular, a beautiful deep crimson red. Gardener Pete has just informed me that these plants can even live to be 100 years old and will just keep coming back each year! I will try to take some more photos when it is out in full bloom.