Renowned Sussex naturalist and "The county's favourite writer" Richard Williamson came to Walberton in November to deliver Maves' first Winter Talk, 'The Woods and the Fields', an inspiring voyage through the wildlife and landscapes of Sussex and especially the Maves area. Afterwards Richard wrote in the Littlehampton Gazette:
Last week I gave a lecture on where to go and what to see in Sussex to yet another group that has sprung up: Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey (www.aruncountryside.org) . This is a community-based charity whose purpose is environmental protection and improvement within the beautiful landscape to the south and west of Arundel. Apparently I raised £150 as a starter for funding surveys of wildlife in those woods and fields at the heart of West Sussex. ...
After my talk to MAVES in Walberton village hall the chairperson informed us that dormice, purple emperor butterflies, jack snipe, and bluebell woods are among the wildlife treasures to be found in their patch. There are also historic trees and vital flyways for migrating wildfowl and passerines such as wheatear, ring ouzel and whinchat.
What they want to do is collect long-term data on as many species as possible in order to make this available to farmers, foresters, landowners, local communities, and for educational projects with schools and universities. The Western Arun and Rother countryside to the north is an oasis of rich and tranquil habitats and it needs to be kept like that. The proposed Arundel bypass threatens the whole of this unique Sussex treasure known as Binsted and Tortington Woods.