Bepton residents expressed concern at the recent Annual Parish Assembly about the management of the Sight of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on Bepton Down; and, in particular, the loss of a number of species such as orchids and cowslips. To follow this up, Beatrice Potter and Howard Ewing (Chairman of the Parish Council) met the SDNPA Ranger Ian McConnell this morning on Bepton Down.
Beatrice has been monitoring the plant life on, amongst other places, Bepton Down for some time. And she and Howard had been in touch with both the SDNPA and Natural England. The meeting was very helpful in that the SDNPA were able to update them on the development of a management plan, which they are working on with Natural England, Chichester District Council and the Cowdray Estate, for that part of the Down They hope to have it signed off by the Summer.
The SDNPA were very grateful for the interest which local Bepton residents were showing in this SSSI and, specifically, to Beatrice for the work she has been doing in monitoring and surveying it.
While they were there, Howard took a photo of a greater butterfly orchid (see below). It was unusual in that it was on its own and Beatrice had never encountered one in her many years of walking on the Down. But there must be others around. We would be interested if anyone else can spot them. And we are always keen to see photos of Bepton and its wildlife, flora and fauna.