Sandgate Conservation Society currently works at two sites with occasional field days at a third site.
The main sites we work at are:
Sullington Warren is a 60 acre area of heathland and woodland owed by the National Trust. The land was saved from housing development with a continued agreement for it to be kept as open space.
Sullington Warren is part of a belt of fragmented Wealden Greensand heaths extending across West Sussex from the Hampshire/Surrey border to Washington.
It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its special ecology and the flora and fauna it supports.
It is also an area of historical interest.
The National Trust is required to manage the Warren in accordance with the requirements of English Heritage for the historical sites and the requirements of Natural England for its SSSI status – a delicate balance!
Sandgate Park is an approximately 3o acres area owned by Horsham District Council. The first 16 acres was acquired from Halls Aggregates in 1974. A further area was acquired from developers in 1982, with a final area donated by Roy Armstrong. There are restrictive covenants covering the site’s use and management and it is therefore within the terms of these covenants that the Council aims to maintain the park as a quiet countryside area managed for the benefit of wildlife, landscape and local residents, in such a way that a balance is kept between the value of the park for wildlife as well as for informal recreation.
The park comprises a number of habitats, and trees and shrubs that were originally planted as part of the ornamental gardens that once surrounded Sandgate House.
We usually meet at the bench on the path from Sandgate Lane.
Mrs A B Lloyd donated Warren Hill to the National Trust to protect it from the threat of building and quarrying.
Much of this 250 acre area is farmed. However, 70 acres are open to the public and a further area has limited public access.
Warren Hill used to be part of the heathland that stretched from Sullington Warren and further west. It is the most easterly of the remaining Wealden Greensand heaths in West Sussex.
Mixed woodland covers much of Warren Hill. Some areas were planted with dense conifer plantations which are inhospitable to wild life. The dense woodland is being gradually selectively cleared to give a more natural wooded heathland which is much richer in wild life.