the railway which straddles Chiltington Lane|
Editor:- February 20, 2019 - At times this
week it seemed that the number of people working in the lane and wearing yellow
jackets adorned with Network Rail logos outnumbered the residents. The 9 day
(predicted) work is part of a major renovation project which is of historic
As described in this
bulletin ... "Major improvement work is taking place between Three
Bridges and Brighton, closing all lines. No trains will call at the following
stations:- Balcombe, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Burgess Hill, Hassocks,
Preston Park, Plumpton and Cooksbridge."
rail work alongside Chiltington Lane seemed to peak yesterday as today there
were only 5 vans parked here and a handful of people out on the tracks. The
view below is from Bridge 669 looking towards Plumpton. If you click on it
you'll see a higher resolution image.
|I walked along to the other intersection of the
railway with Chiltington Lane - which is by Bowling Green - but this morning I
couldn't see anything railway-workwise going on there. So maybe that stretch
has been finished too.|
On the way there I did see something interesting
though - a duck swimming in the ditch along the lane between 63 Hurst Barns
and Lower Burrells.
|Re - 63 Hurst Barns - and the fact that there
aren't so many houses around here... there is a story behind the numbers of
the only 2 properties in the lane which are attached to digits of the style "6X"
rather than names. |
I used to live next door to these 2 houses and
the numbers provided a variation of mystery in the tapestry of where places
are for delivery vans. I've forgotten the details of the numbers story. It's
not because there used to be more houses here in the times before the Black
Death - which was my first guess. And it's not because more houses had been
planned to be built and the developers didn't get around to building the
Going back to refurbishing the railway - the images below
are from the wider regional area of the works as
and published by Network Rail.
|whiteout in Chiltington
Editor:- February 10, 2019 - It snowed here at the start of the month
and I had intended to rush out and snap some pictures.
by the time the light was good enough to do so the pristine snow in the lane
had been muddied up by tyre tracks.
Ah well... I'll just have to wait
for another opportunity.
In the winter of 2009/2010 the lanes around
here were a sheet of ice for over a month and it was treacherous for anyone
without a 4x4 to get along.
In those days I had a small Clio which
slid backwards down the slope of Wickham Lane when I tried to exit that way -
which from memory seemed like a gentler slope than going via Beechwood Lane.
Luckily being a 2 door model powered by elastic bands my Clio was
light enough for a single person to push back onto the road when it slid
sideways onto the frozen grass verge.
After 3 attempts I took the
hint, turned back for home and not long after the ice had melted
it for a Freelander with a snow button.
I was most impressed by
the electric cart which used to collect the recycling in the lane. That
battery operated wagonload of bottles, cans and cardboard bins - seemed to
have no difficulty whatsoever getting up the icy slope in Chiltington Lane even
when many of our neighbours' conventional cars had failed.
|first duck viewings in
Editor:- January 21, 2019 - I was indoors
when I spotted 2 ducks walking up the slope in Chiltington Lane on Saturday
afternoon.When I saw them they were between Burrells and Kemps House. They
paused from time to time to dip into some of the muddy ruts by the side of the
road - but they had disappeared out of sight before I thought of going out to
warn them about the danger of meandering from side to side of the road while
being so low to the ground and not wearing high vis jackets / gilets jaunes. You
can get a murky idea of what I saw through my window below.
and a zoom view here
Memo to self - maybe the recently installed
new glass in the conservatory isn't as clean as I thought.
to these 2 ducks - I wondered if they were visiting the lane and looking for a
suitable family home.
Then on Sunday morning as I was replenishing
some bird feeders which sustain many woodpeckers and dozens of little birds (the
Robins are the bravest and usually pounce before I've even stepped away) I
was surprised by a sudden fountain of 3 ducks which sprayed up in flight
from behind a curved flint wall which sculpts around a low lying pond in the
listed property next door.
I hadn't noticed this trio of ducks
before but they had noticed me. They catapulted over the lane - a bit like
startled pheasants but aiming as if they knew where they were going -
towards the South Downs - where there is indeed a bigger pond a few hundred
yards away. These ducks were intentionally scrambling like WW2 Spitfires -
unlike pheasants who like a wonky V1 rocket (to continue with the WW2 analogy)
aim at the tallest random trees. Webbed feet may somewhat limit your
roosting options but they don't stop you having more sense than a pheasant in
an English countryside context.
I hope the ducks be back soon. I got
used to seeing ducks sun bathing on that wall last summer from my kitchen
window - which is at the other end of the house.
I have been meaning
to write a note about ducks and Chiltington Lane.
Unlike the crowds
of institutionalized ducks which you see in public parks and stately ponds -
the open range ducks which grace our lane tend to settle in smaller numbers
in hidden quiet spots and don't seek humans bearing breadcrumbs or
Later - fishing for duckweed
A couple of days after
seeing the ducks I noticed a team of people immersing themselves in the freezing
cold water of the pond next door (it was the end of January) doing what appeared
to be an eccentric form of gardening.
On speaking to one of them I
learned they had come by prior arrangement to clean out the duckweed and to
ensure that the inflow and outflow of rainwater were clear.
think that in England cats and dogs are pampered but it appears that no effort
is spared in some places to ensure the wellbeing of ducks too.
I said I
assumed that the removed duckweed would make a good mix for compost - but was
told that - better than that - the intrepid pond cleaning team knew of another
larger pond whose carp would most likely be the beneficiaries of this freshly
picked duckweed takeway.
Later - Feb 20, 2019 - the dawn chorus this
morning (perhaps a little earlier than usual due to a full moon beaming brightly
at the opposite end of the sky compared to the rising sun) was dominated at
Burrells by ducks quacking,
Sure enough when I looked out of the window
at the pond next door I could see two ducks swimming around and testing out the
Will they stay and hatch ducklings?
Last year there
were two overlapping families in this pond.
Editor:- December 2, 2018 - I recently
noticed a sign in Chiltington Lane - at the entrance to the farm track up on
the right as you go between Lower Burrells and Bowling Green. The sign said
something about a property to let. Wow! - what's this about? I looked it up when
I got home.
The links are
(Stanley and Partners - letting agents) and
It's a 3 bedroom cottage (Stable Cottage East) which
is being offered at £1,100 p.c.m.
The photos must have been taken
recently - because the outlook depicted is grey and dreary. But as anyone who
has walked around here knows - this location has fantastic views of the
countryside looking down over Chiltington Lane and across to the South Downs.
(Although you will get a fair share of occasional mud and agricultural ambience
We look forward to having new neighbours in the lane soon.
Stepping off the lane near
Southover Cottage and looking westward towards the South Downs. Photo by Laura
Huggett (September 2016). Laura was born in nearby Clayton and has been
walking through Chiltington Lane to visit relatives in the lane for 10
|Even before you saw this web site you may already
have been thinking - what a charming and delightful place Chiltington Lane is.
How can I spend more time looking around the area if I don't live nearby or know
someone who does? Well - you don't have to compromise by staying as far away as
|B&B's in and about
|In Chiltington East in '16
the strangest idea we had seen
caused much alarm
a planned caviar farm
(There was a happy ending.)
|Wrong thing, wrong place |