Field meeting at Amberley, Sussex August 1962

Nine members and friends met at Amberley Station and were transported to the Wildbrooks in one squashed load by Dr. Llewellyn Jones.

Amberley Wildbrooks is a stretch of marshy country lying beside the River Arun which is flooded for 6 to 12 weeks every year. Before the days of enclosures it was an impassible swamp but by a system of intersecting dykes and sluices most of it has been drained to give rich water meadows used for fattening stock in summer. Small portions have been left uncleared and are almost impenetrable. Many species of freshwater shells were collected, Planorbis, Limnaea, Bythinia tentaculata,Physa fontinalis, faludestrina .jenkinsi being common. Sphaerium comeum was present and several species of Pisidium were found including the beautifully marked P. amnicum and P. pulchellum.

In most of the area land snails and slugs were conspicuously absent, but on very slightly higher ground carrying the main cart track a few species of wet loving shells were found. They included Cochlicopa lubrica s.s., Zonitoides nitidus, Vitrea crystallinas.s., Vallcnia pulchella and the slugs Agriolimax reticulatus, A. laevis, Arion fasciatusA. hortensis and A. subfuscus.

After tea at Houghton Bridge, the party visited Arundel Park in pouring rain. Five dead shells of Abida secale were found but many other chalk loving species were abundant. The meeting was brought to a close by failing light at 7.30 p.m. and members dispersed homewards.

M. Goodchild