Gravel Bank, Ashburnham
Gravel Bank - part of Ashburnham Estates Deer Park (SSSI), is an historic piece of grassland with the Deer Park celebrating its 300 year anniversary back in 2015. The site lies on the 1066 Country Walk and this is thought to be in the general area where William the Conqueror set up camp on Tent Hill prior to the Battle of Hastings, where he defeated Harold Godwinsson .
Gravel Bank has an altitude of 350 feet and amazing views both West and North across a large area of the county and the enhanced area is south east of the historic coach road which divides the wildflower restoration from the wider field. It is tenanted from the private owner, who manages the areas traditionally using an annual hay cut and aftermath grazing, currently with Romney Sheep. However in 2017, traditional Sussex Cattle will also graze across the Deer Park.
Restoration of the 3ha (part of the wider 12.97ha field), as the second East Sussex Coronation Meadows receptor commenced with support from Weald Meadows Partnership in 2014. In total the site has now been enhanced with 35 kg of seed and two applications of bailed green hay (up to 2016).
Using seed and green hay from Coach Road Field, the Coronation Meadow for East Sussex, has boosted target wildflowers such as; Black Knapweed - Centaurea nigra, Bird’s-foot trefoil - Lotus corniculatus, Rough Hawkbit - Leontodon hispidus, Oxeye Daisy - Leuanthemum vulgare and annual wildflowers such as Yellow Rattle - Rhinanthus minor.