Have you visited the corner of Southdown road and Chyngton road lately?
This corner of the adjacent golf course, has been managed by the groundsmen to leave the grass left longer in large swathes. This means that wild flowers can flourish.
As the months go past, different wild flowers have taken their turn to shine, but it is predominately grasses as you would expect from an area that has always been mown.
The best thing about this area in Summer is the noise. Make your way past the long grass and you will hear the happy chirping of grasshoppers. Walk close to the path edge, and you’ll almost certainly spot some grasshoppers leaping back from the warm edge, into the cover of the long grass.
The grasshoppers make the noise by rubbing the pegs on the hind legs against stout veins on their forewings, to make a “song” for the females (known as stridulation). The leg looks like a comb with missing teeth!
By the middle of August, knapweed and yarrow is pushing through too. This is hugely attractive to bees and other pollinators. I recently did a pollinator FIT count, which recorded nine insects visiting a 50cm patch of knapweed in a ten minute count, though this included more honey bees than bumble bees. Several different butterflies are also enjoying the meadows, and the increase in insect life and seed heads is attracting birds to the area.
I love what’s been done here. Together with the trees planted by Trees for Seaford, this corner has become a more diverse habitat, is attracting more wildlife, and is enjoyable and interesting for people to visit. Do let the golf club know, if you support what they are doing here, or let us know if you have ideas about how this could be improved further.
There is a handy bench at the top right, do come along, sit down, enjoy the views, and those chirpy grasshoppers for yourself!