Lewes, East Sussex, BN7, England, UK.
W: Blackcap website 

Exmoor Pony

Equus ferus caballus

Family: Equidae

Habitat: Grasslands, woodland and woodland clearings and edges.

Size: Height 11.1-12.3 hands, 114-130 cm (45-51 in).

Food: Grass.

Season: All year round.

A study of morphological characteristics indicates that the Exmoor Pony has an extremely close resemblance to the Tarpan (Equus ferus ferus), also known as the Eurasian Wild Horse, which is an extinct subspecies of wild horse.

Exmoor Pony (Equus ferus caballus) ♀ ♂ © Tom Lee cc


Oryctolagus cuniculus

Family: Leporidae (Hares and Rabbits)

Habitat: Farmland, gardens and parks, grasslands, meadows and orchards.

Food: Mainly grasses but also leaves, buds, tree bark, roots, lettuce, cabbage, root vegetables, and grains.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Sociable mammals, they dig a network of burrows, called warrens, where they live in medium sized colonies safe from some predators such as birds of prey. Although mainly crepuscular they are also active during the day.

Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) © MTM MVP arr

Roe Deer

Capreolus capreolus

Family: Cervidae (Deer)

Habitat: Grasslands and woodland.

Size: Length of 95-135 cm (3.1-4.4 ft).

Food: Grass, leaves, berries, and young shoots.

Sound: ♂ Bark and a low grunting.♀ Bark and pheep.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Roe deer are crepuscular, very quick and graceful. They have a lifespan of 10 years.

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) © Kumweni cc


Buteo buteo

Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Coastal, farmland, grassland, heathland and woodland.

Size: Length 40-58 cm (16-23 in). Wingspan 109-136 cm (43-54 in).

Food: Small mammals, birds, carrion, earthworms and large insects.

Voice: Cat like mewing.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Takes off with distinctive slow wing beats, often circling or hovering. Frequently uses fence posts or similar as look-outs.

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) © Aviceda cc

Blue Tit

Cyanistes caeruleus

Family: Paridae (Tits)

Habitat: Woodland, gardens and parks and hedgerows.

Size: Length 12 cm (4.7 in) Wingspan 18 cm (7.1 in).

Food: Insects, caterpillars, seeds and nuts.

Voice: Tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee-sit. Scolding churr.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Frequently family flocks join up with other tits in the search for food. Acrobatic feeders. They usually nest in tree holes.

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) ♂ © MTM MVP arr


Fringilla coelebs

Family: Fringillidae (Finches)

Habitat: Gardens and parks, grasslands, woodland and hedgerows.

Food: Insects and seeds.

Voice: The fink call of the chaffinch gives the finch family its name.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Prefers open woodland and spends a lot of time foraging on the ground. One of the most colourful of the finches.

Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) © Andreas Trepte cc

Duke of Burgandy

Hamearis lucina

Family: Riodinidae (metalmarks)

Habitat: Woodland and lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: Length 14 mm (0.6 in).

Food: Cowslip (Helianthemum nummularium) and Primrose (Erodium cicutarium).

Flight: Early May to late September.

Two white bands on the underside of the hind wing.

Duke of Burgandy ♂ (Hamearis lucina) © Hectonichus cc

Brown Argus

Aricia agestis

Family: Lycaenidae (Blue)

Habitat: Grasslands, heathlands, woodland and lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: 14 mm (0.6 in).

Food: CommonRock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium), Dove's-foot Cranesbill(Geranium molle) and Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium).

Flight: Early May to late September.

Both male and female are brown in colour.

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) © Hectonicus cc

Chalkhill Blue

Polyommatus coridon

Family: Lycaenidae (Blue)

Habitat: Lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: Length 18 mm (0.7 in). Wingspan 33-40 mm (1.3- 1.6 in).

Food: Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa).

Flight: Early July to late September.

Females are dark brown. Both male and female have black and white borders.

Chalkhill Blue ♂ (Polyommatus coridon) © Gail Hampshire cc

White Admiral

Limenitis camilla

Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Woodland.

Size: Length 30 mm (1.2 in)

Food: Bramble blossom, honeydew and honeysuckle (Lonicera).

Flight: Early June to late August.

Underside of wings are orange brown. Glides elegantly and basks in dappled shade.

White Admiral (Limenitis camilla) © D. Gordon E. Robertson cc

Common Spotted Orchid

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)

Habitat: Gardens and parks, marsh, meadows, woodland, sand dunes and hedgerows.

Size: Height 15 to 60 cm.

Flowering Period: Early July to late August.

Very variable plant height andflower colour, morphology and scent.

The flower colour varies from white to pale purple with purple spots, a symmetrical pattern of dark purple loops or dots and dashes.

Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) © MTM MVP arr
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Blackcap occupies over 600 acres along the ridge of the South Downs. From its peak there are spectacular views over the village of Plumpton and across The Weald to the north, and south to the coast.

A short walk to the south of Blackcap, is Ashcombe bottom, known locally as Bracky Bottom, because of the bracken growing in the coombe. Of all the bottoms over the South Downs, and this is truly one of the finest.

The area has Bronze Age and Saxon burial mounds, battle grounds and ancient trackways. It is believed that Simon de Montfort marched his army along this way to fight in the Battle of Lewes in 1264.

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, known as the National Trust, conserves over 500 properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, such as historic houses, gardens, mills, coastline, forests, farmland, moorland, islands, castles, nature reserves, and even entire villages. It was established in 1895 and its first property was Alfriston Clergy House in East Sussex.

Many sites are in the countryside. When visiting please follow the Countryside Code. Leave only your footprints, take away only memories. If dogs are allowed, please keep them under control. Leave gates and property as you find them. Respect people, wildlife and property.

The National Trust is a registered charity and donations are gratefully received to fund important work. You may donate by clicking the Charity Link below.

Access to Blackcap is free.

Blackcap consists of several designated areas - National Park and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Charity link

Places to visit nearby
Anne of Cleves House   2.65 miles (4.26 km)
52, Southover High St, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1JA, England, UK.

Anne of Cleves House is a 15th century timber-framed Wealden hall house that formed part of Queen Anne's annulment settlement from King Henry VIII in 1541, although she ...

Anne of Cleves House ©

Lewes Castle   2.73 miles (4.39 km)
Lewes Castle, High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YE, England, UK.

Lewes Castle, originally called Bray castle, is a Norman castle built over a 1000 years ago, soon after the battle of Hastings in 1066, on an artificial mound constructed ...

Lewes Castle © MTM MVP arr

Ditchling Beacon   2.91 miles (4.68 km)
Ditchling Beacon, Ditchling Road, Ditchling, Brighton, East Sussex, BN6 8XG, England, UK.

Ditchling Beacon, has to be the jewel of East Sussex.

Ditchling Beacon © MTM MVP arr

Malling Down   2.95 miles (4.75 km)
Malling Down, Mill Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2RU, England, UK.

Malling Down is a nature reserve cared for and maintained by Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Please follow the

Malling Down © Tom Lee cc

Spring Barn Farm   3.25 miles (5.23 km)
Kingston Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 3ND, England, UK.

Spring Barn Farm is a family orientated visitor attraction where children can pet animals and play on indoor slides.

Spring Barn Farm © Tomi Taplo K cc

Markstakes Common   3.56 miles (5.73 km)
Markstakes Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 4BS, England.

Markstakes Common is an area of common land made up of woodland and ...

Markstakes Common © Ron Knight cc

Monk's House   4.92 miles (7.92 km)
Monk's House, Rodmell, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 3HF, England, UK.

Monk’s House is a 17th-century weatherboarded cottage that was the country home of the writer and novelist Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard a political activist, ...

Monk's House © MTM MVP arr

Places to stay nearby
Premier Inn Burgess Hill   6.02 miles (9.69 km)
Burgess Hill Premier Inn, Charles Avenue, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9RY, England, UK.

The Premier Inn Burgess Hill is part of the Premier Inn group.

Premier Inn Burgess Hill

BEST WESTERN The Birch Hotel   6.60 miles (10.61 km)
Lewes Rd RH17 7SF
BEST WESTERN The Birch Hotel

Ibis Brighton City Centre   6.66 miles (10.72 km)
Ibis Brighton City Centre, 92 Queens Rd, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XE, England, UK.
Ibis Brighton City Centre

Premier Inn Brighton City Centre   6.90 miles (11.10 km)
Brighton City Centre Premier Inn North Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1RE, England, UK.

The Premier Inn Brighton City Centre is part of the Premier Inn group.

Premier Inn Brighton City Centre

Queens Hotel Brighton   7.04 miles (11.33 km)
3 King's Rd, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NS, England, UK.
Queens Hotel Brighton

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