Newick Common is the triangle of land located between Newick Hill and Jackies Lane (outlined in red on the map below). It was originally much larger in extent, including a lot of the land between Jackies Lane and Western Road, but development over the years has meant that it has been reduced to its current size. A lot of small trees and scrub have grown up in this area, but we know from talking to people who grew up in the village that 50-60 years ago it used to be much more open.
In conjunction with the Lewes District Council rangers, we are therefore trying to remove some of the trees and scrub, to restore a more varied habitat and increasae biodiversity. For several years, we have had a special workday in October to do this work. This is always very enjoyable and, weather permitting, we make a camp fire and enjoy a picnic lunch on site. Another useful by-product is that we produce a lot of brash that is collected by Newick Bonfire Society to contribute to our village's magnificent bonfire that we have every year.
Plants and Wildlife
We have been regularly surveying Newick Common to discover what plants grow there. As more of it has been opened up, the diversity of wild flowers has improved. As an example, we have discovered heather growing in the grassy areas, where there was none before. A number of other grassland species have increased in number.
We have also surveyed butterflies in the summer months. We have seen grassland species such as Meadow Brown and Common Blue, but also some typical woodland butterflies, such as the lovely Silver-washed Fritillary, which can be seen during late June and July in the sunny glades nectaring on flowers such as Bramble and Hemp Agrimony.
Silver-washed Fritillary (female)
To further protect Newick Common, an application has been submitted to have it designated officially as a Local Wildlife Site.