Sunday, 19th. Incredibly mild over the weekend. While driving south down the M23 at about 5-15pm ‘near’ Redhill, two flocks of perhaps 15 – 20 ring-necked parakeets flew west over the motorway.
Monday, 20th. We managed today to erect most of the electric fencing at the National Trust’s Birling Gap in readiness for the arrival of 15 Exmoor ponies. Whilst working – blustery but still mild, I notice that some centaury was still in flower as was a plant of burnet rose.
Tuesday, 21st. This must be the silly week – had a second report today of a pony ill or dead, on different sites. During the afternoon, I managed to drive the 9 ponies still on the RSPB’s Broadwater Warren into a restricted area in readiness for moving off on Friday. Contractors commence work there on Thursday, felling another large swathe of conifers (and probably not shutting gates after themselves!).
Thursday, 23rd. Whilst erecting fencing at Pippingford, we saw an all white stag with a fine set of antlers. Some huge flocks of pigeons about at the moment.
Friday, 24th. We gathered and moved out the 9 ponies at Broadwater. 8 ponies have gone down to Lullington Heath NNR for the winter. The morning started off dry with even a glimpse of the sun. By the time we were arriving at Lullington, high up on the South Downs, the weather had closed in – low cloud, a steady rain and, not a human sound to be heard.