The Oak by the Rife patch covers a 2-mile radius from my front door, all within walking distance on a fine day.
I live between the South Downs and the River Rother, on the edge of the historic market town of Midhurst in West Sussex. Huge oaks stand proud where hedgerows cross the farmland fields, and from its spring somewhere amongst the rolling chalk hills, the rife flows beneath their branches to join the River Rother.
From lowland heath in the west, to the steep northern escarpment of the Downs to the South, the grand avenue of ancient chestnut trees to the north, and the birds that visit the feeders in my own back garden, this patch has been my stomping ground, wildlife observation portal and poetic inspiration since childhood.
Initially my focus for the first couple of years of writing the blog, was the area around Midhurst itself, mostly Pitsham Lane and Cowdray. During the autumn of 2016 I began exploring an area in the north-east of the patch, around the village of Stedham and including a stretch of the River Rother. This became my new patch and I am enjoying getting to know its character and wildlife through the changing seasons.
I look forward to sharing my adventures in nature, with you. So come on, let’s go for a walk. Pull on your boots, it might be a bit muddy!
If you enjoy the blog, you can also follow me on Twitter @OakByTheRife for the latest wildlife sightings, regular photos, and comments on the wonder of #EverydayNature.