Veronica Carter is at it again, bringing to Rottingdean Whiteway Center a wonderful range of speakers for the autumn and winter terms. Tonight she introduced us to Dr Sarah McKenzie who took us on a whistle stop tour of Spain to explore it’s wild life. Birds, butterflies as well as a lynx and some ibex
The amazing range of climate and different habitation in the many areas of Spain meant that at one point we were on a mountain walk, looking at the Iberian Ibex (mountain goat) at another learning about ancient pastureland which went back thousands of years. Here we saw the Holm Oak managed for timber and pollarding as well as the current ways of working with cork. While the vast areas of natural meadows ensured that a host of wild flowers, including the snake tongue orchid, would be safe from developers.
There were so many lovely anecdotes in Sarah’s talk as well as facts and figures. She told us about the Iberian pigs and just how much a slice of pork might cost when it has been salted for over a year and air dried for another. A whole ham cost £300 to £400.
We loved hearing too about the revival of the ‘Right of Transhumance’ which is where long established paths were left available so that sheep might be moved to higher ground and graze in better pasture, One such path goes right through Madrid, so this is obviously the time to visit Spain if one wants to see something really unique.
But come on Rottingdean, this talk was not as well attended as it deserved and these things take a lot of organising! Why not come and join a happy group of people next time, those who are interested in a whole range of topics. It costs £7.00 at the door and you get a lovely glass of wine in the interval!
Sarah McKensie, will be giving talks starting on Wednesday 25th September, from 10.00 to 12.00 at Linklater Pavilion, Railway Land and Nature Reserve in Lewes. Sussex Wildlife Trust 01273 497561 or wwwsussex wildlifetrustorg.uk.whatson.
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