The third sunday in January means that it must be sheep poo collecting day on Bevendean Down. This is one of our annual rituals to help manage the chalk grass land in Hogtrough Bottom. The 150 or so sheep which were on the Reserve before christmas have eaten off a lot of the taller vegetation leaving a short sward so plenty of light can get to the new growth of many of the chalk loving plant species such as horseshoe vetch and pink centuary. After all that eating they did quite a lot of pooing but they helpfully do this mainly in one area. A group of us raked up and collected as much of this as possible and then Garry-the-ranger drove it down the valley in the council truck where we unloaded it onto the compost heaps of the Bevendean Community Garden. Hopefully this all adds to our aim of removing soil nutrients from the chalk grass land areas and adding to the soil nutrients in the community garden vegetable beds. A most enjoyable morning out on the downs, good company, fresh air and exercise and the satisfaction of a job well done.