Wild flowers – News & updates

May 2018 – A new ‘discovery’ of a wild flower was made during a visit to Battle Cemetery. Battle Mayor, David Furness, accompanied by wild flower expert Keith Datchler OBE, were showing visitors from Lewes Town Council and their volunteers what we have achieved and hope to achieve in the future.

Many wild flower sites were visited, including the wonderful wild flower meadows at Battle Cemetery. There the keen eyed expert Keith was amazed to find Adders Tongue Fern, a small scarce fern of old grassland. Once valued because of its odd appearance by herbalists, it was believed to be a cure for snake bite. They are still magical and mysterious tiny plants, hardly visible in the spring grass. Previously unrecorded on this site the Adders Tongue Fern is growing in abundance together with many orchids and other species.

This fern has never been recorded in the cemetery and is one of many dozens of wild flowers that can be seen there, see gallery below for images.

Background and setting verges

East Sussex County Council have selected verges across the county to be wildlife verges, these areas have been identified as having rare species of wildflowers and mammals.  Roadside verges can provide a habitat for many rare species of wildflowers and mammals, which need to be protected. Battle Town Council are working with East Sussex County Council on these areas and additionally wild flower areas can be seen in Battle Cemetery and wildflower turf being laid on the Memorial Statue roundabout.

To help maintain these habitats East Sussex do not cut the identified wildlife verges between 1 March and 31 August.  This allows for bird nesting season and for the wildflowers to seed.

The wildlife verges are marked with small yellow indicators.  These help the grass cutting team to know what time of year to carry out their cuts.

How does East Sussex Highways look after wildlife verges? Selected verges have been chosen across the county known as wildlife verges, which have been identified as having rare species of wildflowers and mammals.

How do I request for a verge to become a wildlife verge?

Let East Sussex County Council know the specific location and types of wild flower and/or the wildlife that are using the habitat.  The Ecological Officer for East Sussex County Council will then assess the location to decide whether it is suitable to become a designated wildflower verge.

You can suggest a location for a wildlife verge via the East Sussex Wildlife Verges Survey Form.

For views of the wildlife verges can be seen via google maps.

For spring views of the wildlife verges can also be seen via google maps.

Using the map: Clicking on a title in the left hand panel  (map legend) or a camera icon on the map will bring up a thumbnail of the picture at the top of the left hand panel. Clicking on that thumbnail photo will render the full size image. Higher resolution images are available for flower identification etc but there’s obviously not at lot to see at present.

Clicking on a red icon in the left panel (map legend) will zoom the map to the conservation area associated with the chosen title.

As this is a first try and therefore a bit experimental, any suggestion for improvement are welcome of course. I know there are a few proposed conservation areas not photographed for example although a fair amount of them have been ‘improved’ and will likely never be of interest.