Walk on the South Downs and you will come across dew ponds. You can find these small ponds wherever sheep and cattle traditionally went for summer grazing. Surviving ponds probably number at least 500 across England. Today they are often overgrown with their banks badly trampled by livestock. They have become picturesque havens for butterflies and romantic spots for ramblers enjoying a picnic.
They still have a magical and highly significant property. ‘People have noticed that they rarely run dry, even in the hottest summer, and it is apparent that, during the night, they receive a supply of water sufficient to counter-balance the great drags that are made upon them by cattle and evaporation,’ notes Edward Martin, in a research paper entitled Dew Ponds: History, Observation and Experiment.
The great mystery is where the water that fills them up at night can come from. These ponds – also known as ‘mist ponds’ or ‘fog ponds’ lie on the downs far above the level at which streams begin to form, nor does any piped-water supply reach them. The name ‘dew pond’ is the clue. According to folklore, it is the overnight dew itself, that keeps them full, whatever the weather …
Standen House – A Wonderful Arts and Crafts family home!
Designed in the 1890’s, Standen House is decorated with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers.It still has its original electric light fittings! This National Trust property is near East Grinstead and within easy reach of Steyning.
Saturday 24 November 2018– Sunday 6 January, 11am-3pm
Go into the house past the lit fireplace in the hall. You will find each room dressed for a different decade in which the family celebrated Christmas at Standen. Once you have enjoyed the festivities in the house, check out the Arts and Crafts inspired gifts in the shop. After that enjoy a warming drink and Christmas treat in Barn Café.
Enjoy the authentic Italian taste of their handmade-to-order wood-fired pizzas. They use locally sourced ingredients whenever they can.. Choose from their menu or build your own pizza from their extensive extras board.
You’ll find them in Steyning High Street car park every Fri evening from 6 to 9. Just a 5 minute walk away from Rosebud Cottage
Many Sussex Gardens open for charity each year. I recommend a visit to the gardens in Bignor Park.
You will find 11 acres of gardens to explore, with fantastic views of the South Downs. You’ll see interesting trees, shrubs, and wild flower areas. The walled flower garden has wonderful herbaceous borders. Wander and admire the temple, Greek loggia, Zen pond and unusual sculptures.
Bignor Park is in West Sussex, RH20 1HG. It is 5 miles south of Petworth & Pulborough. It is well sign posted from the B2138. The nearest villages are Sutton, Bignor & West Burton. It’s just a 30 minute drive from Rosebud Holiday Cottage in Steyning!