Reedbed and Fen

Filsham reedbed view
Filsham Reedbed

The Country Park contains two reedbeds; one at Bulverhythe at the Southern end of the park, and the other at Filsham at the Eastern end. Filsham Reedbed is the largest in East Sussex (19 hectares or 47 acres) and as well as lying within the Combe Haven Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) it is designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and is managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Common Reed Phragmites australis dominates both reedbeds although open water and ditches within the Filsham Reedbed are richer in plant life, supporting unusual plants like Frogbit Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, Water Violet Hottonia palustris and the insectivorous Bladderwort Utricularia. Two areas of mixed tall fen, one to the north and one to the south of Filsham reedbed, contain Common Reed, Reed Sweet Grass Glyceria maxima, Gipsywort Lycopus europaeus, Yellow Flag Iris pseudacorus and Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria.

Reedbed pool
Open water in Filsham Reedbed

Alder Alnus glutinosa and Sallow Salix cinerea fringe parts of the reed bed and the tall fen community.

The reed and fen areas are valuable for breeding, wintering and passage birds. Breeding birds include Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Bearded Tit, Water Rail, Moorhen and Coot. Filsham reedbed is an important stopping-off point for migrant flocks of warblers and swallows and also for rarer species such as Bittern and Marsh Harrier

Footpaths - 12 March

Most paths are walkable now the water level has dropped. However, many are still very muddy and a few are only really walkable in wellies.

Report overgrown rights of way to East Sussex and other paths to the Friends of Combe Valley.

Latest News

Whooper Swan

This year our usual winter-visiting wildfowl have been joined by a Whooper Swan. This unusual visitor to the park was last recorded here 12 years ago.

New on this website

April 2022 - A new section, "Nature's Calendar", has been added giving details of what to look out for around the Countryside Park at different times of the year.