Posted 14 May 2011 by Andrew Gardner
Having lived in Sussex all my life, there are still places to visit that I haven't seen before, some of which are not too far from my own doorstep! No excuses then, but to the visitor here is another reason to come and see our stunning county or for those of you shortly en route, add this to the agenda!
I took a trip to Kingley Vale just four miles from Chichester this week. It's just great for walking and is one of England's National Nature Reserves. It is home to one of Europe's most impressive yew forests. The forest contains yews as much as 2000 years old. Their survival is remarkable because most ancient yew forests were felled prior to the 14th Century as their wood was the preferred material for the staves of English longbows.
There are a good number of footpaths leading up through the woodland and from the top of Kingley Vale there is a large area of grass downland offering outstanding views over Sussex and to the south coast.
This area is rich in flowers and herbs, and there are well over 50 species of birds, while mammals include deer down to water shrew and doormouse.
Yes there is certainly plenty of history here and on a visit to see these trees you realise we are collectively just the current custodians!