TQ4003 : Dew Pond on Telscombe Tye

taken 9 years ago, near to Telscombe, East Sussex, Great Britain

Dew Pond on Telscombe Tye
Dew Pond on Telscombe Tye
The site is managed by the Friends of Telscombe Tye and is within a prominent chalk grassland area popular with walkers and grazed by the local farmers sheep.

The dewpond is the only natural source of water in the vicinity and therefore forms an important part of the ecology of this area of the downs. Having been re-lined some decades before, erosion and wear and tear had exposed shredded the old liner system causing the pond to dry out.

The pond was successfully rebuilt using a flexible butyl liner sandwiched between heavy duty geotextile membranes. The entire system was then covered and clay lined with locally sourced material to protect the liner and maintain a natural effect. LinkExternal link

Telscombe is a parish that is wholly made up of downland. It is bounded by the coastline to the south, Rottingdean to the west, Rodmell to the north west, Southease to the north east and Piddinghoe to the east, the latter changing to Peacehaven during the 1920s. Today the parish has three distinct settlements; the old village of Telscombe, and the two modern suburbs of Telscombe Cliffs which is attached to the western end of Peacehaven, and the eastern part of Saltdean, the latter separated by a common called Telscombe Tye. The old village lies nestled in a coombe that provided shelter from the south westerly gales that blow in off the coast and has changed little. This is due to it being an estate village owned from Saxon times to the dissolution by Hyde Abbey in Winchester, much like neighbouring Southease. From the 16th century ownership passed through a number of families and little changed until the arrival of two men who were to shape the current landscape of the parish.

The first was Ambrose Gorham, who became lord of the manor around 1898 and used the local commons to train his racehorses, one of which triumphed in the 1902 Grand National. The other was Charles Neville, a developer who had made his money building new towns in Australia and Canada. Gorham was very much the paternal squire who loved the local downland whereas Nevilel was the businessman who saw potential in the open landscape. The former provided local amenities though he refused to sanction a pub and eventually funded the village's electricity supply in 1930. The latter founded Peacehaven during the First World War and went on to develop neighbouring Saltdean. He also completed the development of Telscombe Cliffs which had been started by the Cavendish Land Company to little effect in the first decade of the 20th century. However, his attempt to join the two settlements together foundered on Gorham's refusal to sanction the sale of what became known as Telscombe Tye. When he died in 1933 he bequeathed the land to Brighton borough council with the stipulation that it should remain undeveloped in perpetuity. As a consequence the Tye remains a common today grazed by a couple of local farms and used as an open space by local residents.

The old village is no longer accessible from the two newer settlements unless by horse or foot, motor vehicles requiring a detour to a long winding land from Southease as the only way in and out. Prior to the construction of Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs the old Dover road ran along the cliff top with he only buildings being the Lifeboat Inn and a few coastguard cottages.

Dew Ponds

A Dew pond is an artificial pond usually sited on the top of a hill, intended for watering livestock. Dew ponds are used in areas where a natural supply of surface water may not be readily available.

They are usually shallow, saucer-shaped and lined with puddled clay, chalk or marl on an insulating straw layer over a bottom layer of chalk or lime.

Despite the name, their primary source of water is believed to be rainfall rather than dew or mist.

LinkExternal link

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TQ4003, 127 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 23 May, 2013   (more nearby)
Thursday, 23 May, 2013
Geographical Context
Place (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 40175 03039 [1m precision]
WGS84: 50:48.5971N 0:0.7081W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 40149 03041
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Dew Pond  Downland 

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