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Earles Meadow Conservation Group

A Site for all Seasons

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Adjoining Earles Meadow in North Horsham is a compact and diverse area of maturing natural open space. Thirteen acres in total of which ten are maintained as a conservation area offering a mixture of parkland, meadows, woodland and streams, rich in flora and fauna and a wide variety of habitats. The woodland has areas left wild with some wetland and the meadows have natural springs.


  Maintained pathways and boardwalks and bridges give easy access to many parts, so that the natural environment can be enjoyed by the general public, families, dog walkers and youth groups like Guides, Brownies and a Forest School.


 Several streams flow through the site providing interest and these watercourses terminate at a culvert running beneath the railway line to ultimately join up with the Chennells Brook.


  Around the site there are many examples of fine native trees plus several specimen trees. In the conservation area a wide variety of wildflowers are recorded each year as well as sightings of many and varied visiting and nesting birds, butterflies, small, medium and large mammals, you may well be likely to see grazing deer and red foxes,  invertebrates and reptiles and amphibians around the wet land.


  This Public Open Space is owned and maintained by the North Horsham Parish Council as a valuable community asset and the Volunteers of the Earles Meadow Conservation Group meet regularly throughout the year to help to maintain and improve the ten acre conservation area.


Explore our Open Spaces

This site can be approached easily from different directions, preferably on foot as parking is very limited

Natural pathways meander through the woodland, meadows, alongside the streams and boardwalks cross the wetlands.  Keep a look out for a rich variety of flora and fauna through the seasons.


  Dog walkers are welcome providing dogs are kept under control and excrement is bagged and binned in receptacles provided or taken home.


  A word of warning, the ground is uneven and can become seasonally wet and slippery.  The space is to be enjoyed by all, so please leave it as you find it, refrain from picking the wildflowers, and the lighting of fires is strictly prohibited.



Our Wildlife

The EMCG was formed in 2010 and with the help of others ,with specialised expertise, has attempted to record as much wildlife as it was able. It freely admits that there is much more to be discovered particularly so that it can put more effort to provide a better environment and habitats.



The site contains some fine Oaks a few probably between 100-150 years old, the most special of all being the veteran Oak (English/Sessile hybrid) now fenced off in the Parkland area. This tree, probably over 200 years old, has had surgery and bracing over the years and is currently in recovery with its condition being carefully monitored.


Ash dieback has taken its toll and in 2023 ninety-two trees were felled in the main wooded area. Some replanting with native trees has been undertaken by EMCG as well as a project to preserve the current stock of self-seeded saplings.


There is a fine Alder carr adjacent to the streams, as well as a variety of Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Willow, Hazel, Field Maple, Silver Birch and Cherry.

Also discretely hidden Spindle, Italian Alder, Amelanchier and Alder Buckthorn. With an understorey of Holly, Elder, Rowan, Dogwood, Blackthorn and Guelder Rose.  Even a couple of Conifers.


Over 100 different varieties of wildflowers are recorded each year. Over recent years Yellow rattle has been successfully introduced to reduce the influence of the more robust grasses in the meadows and now a project to increase the wildflower seed bank in the soil is being developed.


Wildlife photographers have been able to capture a small proportion of the rich birdlife recorded in, over and nesting on the site. From raptors e.g. Buzzards, Red Kite and Sparrowhawks to Song Thrush, Bullfinch, blue and long-tailed Tits, Grey Wagtails, down to the little Wrens. Plus many more.



Autumn in particular produces some excellent examples of fungi, not yet fully recorded, as well as mosses and lichen



Annual surveys have been carried out by a specialist, recording from 2021, an array of small creatures that have been photographed and identified.



Annual records have been maintained with at least 20 different variety of butterfly, regularly seen, plus some dragon and damsel flies.


Small/Medium/Large Mammals

Roe Deer, rabbits and foxes are frequently seen. Other small rodents including the Hazel dormouse have been recorded when opportunities have arisen to use traps.


Common lizards once frequently seen appear to have disappeared and slow-worms are occasionally seen. An abundance of frogs, newts and tadpoles are regularly found in and near the water.



We are immensely grateful to those photographers who have kindly provided us with some of their shots of wildlife taken on the site and have given us permission to reproduce them here for the benefit of the work of the EMCG. These include: Dave Verall, Barry Clough, Peter Simpson and Nasrin Etemadi. Please respect their generosity by not reproducing these images for any other purpose without their specific consent.

About Us

Our Awards Cupboard

The EMCG was formed and commenced working on the Earles Meadow Open Space in the Autumn of 2000.  To help us know how we are doing, periodically, we enter our work for Awards where our work is independently assessed.


We, as a Volunteer Group, are very proud that our progress over the years has been marked by the following awards and would express our gratitude to the organisation involved and the sponsors.

2012 North Horsham Parish Cup

2013 RHS and South & South-east in Bloom

“It’s your Neighbourhood” Level 3 (Developing)

2014 RHS and South & South-east in Bloom

“It’s your Neighbourhood” Level 5 (Outstanding)

2015 RHS and South & South-east in Bloom

“It’s your Neighbourhood” Level 5 (Outstanding)

2015 South & South-east in Bloom Conservation Area

of the year <10 acres –Silver-gilt Award

2015 Horsham in Bloom Best Community Project –

Gold Award

2016 North Horsham Parish Cup

2016 Horsham in Bloom Best Community Project -

Silver Award

2016 Horsham in Bloom Volunteers of the Year Award

2017 South & South-east in Bloom Conservation Area of the year <10 acres –Silver-gilt Award

2019 South & South-east in Bloom Conservation Area of the year <10 acres –Gold Award


New Volunteers are welcomed

If you are interested in joining us for our work sessions they are currently held each week throughout the year usually on a Thursday morning between 10.00 hrs and 13.00 hrs. You would not necessarily be required to commit to every week but ideally at least half the sessions.

You would need to be at least 18years old (see Note below) with no upper limit providing you are generally fit and active and in relatively good health.

No particular skills or knowledge are necessary as you will be guided through the work to be carried out and the use of the hand tools. Your health and safety and that of your fellow workers and other users of the site are very important.

Note. If you are under 18 and on a DofE programme, from time to time, we accept a limited number as volunteers, subject to conditions and parental consent.

Alternatively there is a category of membership for anyone who has a good knowledge of any aspect of the natural environment and/or wildlife that could be beneficial to the advancement of the work we do.

Keep in touch

If you would like to discuss anything or have any questions please email Robert at

If you are a visitor to our open space please submit sightings of any interesting birds, butterflies or animals that you see.


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This Public Open Space is approached from the Earles Meadow entrance road and the conservation area is on its North side with all boardwalks leading into the Meadow areas

If you are not distracted by the streams, flora or fauna or the seat or the bench in the Meadows, to admire the views, a gentle walk around the conservation area will take around 30 minutes.

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