Natural Environment



For nature lovers, the South Downs Way passes thorough an extraordinary range of diverse habitats from ancient woodlands, river valleys, chalk grassland to mixed farmland and coastal habitats.  The floodplain of the River Arun  forms part of the Arun Valley Special Protection Area for its wintering wildfowl, particularly large numbers of wigeon and teal. It also has important breeding populations of lapwings, redshanks, and in particular snipe, for which this is the only reliable Sussex population. There is considerable biodiversity interest, especially as it is the main UK site for the Biodiversity Action Plan species cut-grass (Leesprsia oryzoides). There are more than 28 species of plant, including the Pride of Sussex Rampion.

See RSPB centres and local walks 


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Changing landscapes

Nestled at the foothills of the new South Downs National Park, the approach to Amberley is stunning and the colours of the landscape change constantly. 

The tidal plain of the River Arun extends to the north of the village and is known as Amberley Wildbrooks. It is a broad sweep of undisturbed wet grassland, intersected with wildlife-rich ditches, surrounded by woodlands, and overlooked by the South Downs. This wetland site, which often floods in the winter, is of special scientific interest and over half of all the British species of aquatic plants, wildfowl and invertebrates can be found here.



John Ireland, composer, wrote this piece called Amberley Wild Brooks in 1921. Listen

Wild deer roam on the brooks

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The wild brooks in summer


The wild brooks in winter