We have started to explore the countryside around us here in West Sussex and have come to the conclusion that we are very fortunate to have ended up here in Findon. Findon is a delightful village and everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. There are two shops here selling basic foodstuffs for our daily needs, plus a post office/newsagents/general store, and also several pubs which offer food, and an excellent Bangladeshi restaurant and take-away. Our new home is in the South Downs National Park and very near Cissbury Ring, which is an iron-age hillfort, with the remains of Neolithic flint mines.
This is a view over the Downs from the base of Cissbury Ring.
The above two pictures show some of the local vegetation. It’s interesting to find so many shrubs and flowers here that are not familiar to us from Bedfordshire and we are beginning to identify some of them. Among those we’ve identified so far, I think we’ve found wild parsnip, hemp agrimony and the wayfaring tree, Viburnum lanterna. Apparently the latter was named the “wayfaring tree” by John Gerard, the 16th century herbalist, because it was such a common roadside tree and therefore very familiar to wayfarers.
This is another view over the downs, taken on a rather dull day. If you look very closely you should be able to see some sheep in the distance, just in front of the trees. Each year in September, Findon village has a Sheep Fair, which is held on Nepcote Green, just at the end of our lane. Apparently this fair dates back to 1261, but nowadays sheep are no longer auctioned at the fair. However, this year there will be sheep judging in two categories, Downland and Rare Breeds, and sheepdogs showing their skills, so there should be plenty of sheep on show.