Guide and Illustrated Natural History
Walks & Talks
Walks & Talks
I'm out and about in nature almost every day, as I live
right next to Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve in Sussex UK
It's the perfect starting point for a walk along the river, through the woods or over the South Downs National Park.
There's easy access for all and it is full of surprises!
(Public liability insured, 1st aider certified, and DBS checked)
Scroll down to find out more...
One of my favourite subjects is teaching young and old some cool natural history tips and tricks.
Like how to hold a fox in view for a few seconds or more after it spots you and where it will reappear shortly after it trots off.
Please contact me if you would like to come out with me.
If you can't for some reason, why not book a virtual Talk & Talk.
Simply call me via video link from your phone or laptop,
One to One or as part or a group.
You can come with me nature watching, or specifically to see butterflies settle to sleep in the late afternoon on the Downs.
Learn all about foraging, or to reconnect with nature?
Walks don't need to be themed by the way, if you like
just come out with me for a stroll and a chat if you like?
On all walks you will have laminated photo packs
of the years events to see what you can expect
through all the seasons.
Scroll down to see just some of my 'Calendar of Events'
but remember that on these walks & talks
have the whole year's action to view in your photo packs
so that we can go out at any time of year.
Gift vouchers are available
and are valid for 12 months
My guided walks and illustrated slideshow talks became popular after I appeared
on the BBC TV program ' Springwatch' in 2016
having discovered and filmed an annual, previously unrecorded
Natural History spectacle of a thousand Thin lipped Mullet returning to the
Sussex River Ouse. After spawning at sea in the winter, they come here to heal their wounds and infections in the ice cold spring water of the Lewes Winterbourne stream. The event is now known a 'A Murmuration of Mullet.'
Follow the link below to watch the piece on and take a look at my own spectacular underwater pictures in the slide show below and on the GALLERY page.
To request a one to one, small group guided walk or an illustrated talk at your venue or function, perhaps a home visit and a fireside laptop slideshow for the family,
on this or any of the other subjects listed below, then please email me on the 'CONTACT' page.
*Scroll down for a slideshow of photos linked to the current walks & talks
and follow this link for a review of 'The Living Shoreline' talk to learn more:
Current illustrated Walks & talks.
-The Living Shoreline
Reconnect to Nature
Responsible Sustainable Foraging
Nature Photography - Top tips & secret tricks
After a very successful combination of all these subjects
at the Railway Land Trust Lewes Annual General Meeting
I have been asked to do repeats outside in the reserve
with the slideshow in individual laminated photo packs
as I have done for Newhaven Festival along the shore.
New for 2022/3
Salmon & Sea Trout
(The spawning story)
This will be a local to Lewes, Sussex slide show talk
(when Covid restrictions are lifted)
or as an online webinar available to a worldwide audience.
Follow me on Instagram this spring for updates and
meanwhile have a peak at this pair of sea trout below filmed
on Christmas eve 2021
Taking a break from filming BBC Springwatch
A Murmuration of Mullet
A pair of Ducks look on in amazement as the shoal fill the inlet of springwater entering the tidal river in the centre of Lewes town
River Lamprey on a mullet
This ancient creature hitches a ride and takes a meal from it's host on it's way to spawn upstream
Into the Spa
This image of the fish, entering what the BBC described as 'the spa', won Photo of the month in Viva Lewes magazine
Ancient & Modern
The contrasting scene here says it all. The ancient unchanged world underwater and the ever changing modern world above.
Ravens & Kittiwake
Ravens hunting for Kittiwake's eggs & Chicks
The Living Shoreline
The spectacular interface of land, sea & air
Octypus Barrel Jellyfish
This photo was featured in Brighton's Evening Argus newspaper and lead to me being repeatedly invited to speak on BBC Radio Sussex on all matters natural history relevant, including teaching roving reporter Simon Jenkins to catch a mackerel on a live broadcast from Seaford beach.
Dive of Death
Walks and Talks Like a ballerina the Gannet pirouettes.. but this is no dance, it,s a dive of death for the fish below. Steve's illustrated talk of the extraordinary interface between land, sea and air 'The Living Shoreline' might well have been entitled life and death along the shoreline! Follow the link below for a review... https://thelivingcoast.org.uk/news/the-living-shoreline-in-pictures
Shingle bank habitat
The rare and protected area of beach above the tideline
Something is about to happen!
Learn other anima'ls sign languge
Reconnect to nature
The story of Joe the crow says it all.
Why does he stare at my camera?
He sees himself in my lens, not me. Think like the creatures you meet.
Don't just look, 'see'
This Swan may attack you, first it will warn you by standing to reveal the reason, it's eggs.
Butterfly eaten by a mouse
Be a nature detective
Whitethroat at dawn
Naturally in sepia
The Art of Flight
How to create art with a camera and flying creatures
Southern Emerald Damselfly
Deliberately filmed to create patterns
Dance of the Red Admirels
The Annual arrival of Migrant Butterflies on the Sussex coast
Fabulous flash fried in Bacon fat with a scattering of wild Gooseberries
Responsible Sustainable Foraging
Mackerel & Fennel
Wild Fennel grows at the top of the beach where I fish and so, is the perfect accompaniment
The wonderful peppery sweet nut like tubers under the most delicate little white umbellifer.
Beech leaf Gin
10 days to make, one day to drink... or it will turn the colour of dead beech leaves and loose it's magic.
Snap a Reedwarbler without long lens
Learn how to get close by walking backwards!
Nature Photography Tricks and Tips
Read the signs
Gain a few seconds with a Fox
Be calm, don't panic, if a fox has just one leaf in front of one eye, it thinks you can't see it.
Learn how to get up close to a Heron
I can't give away too many secrets, you'll have to come to one of my talks...
Stop a Swan attack instantly
Just whistle like a signet,... I will teach you.
Calendar of Events
There are way too many Natural History spectacles to list here but
I wanted to let you know or a few regular favourites so you might plan ahead.
Mullet should all be back from spawning and in the river for all to see.
Herons & Egrets nesting together in the trees on Egrets Way path.
Best month for fossil Hunting after winter rock falls
Fennel is sprouting and Mackerel pass Sussex close to the shore.
The Dance of the Red Admirals on Itford Hill.
Grass snakes emerge from hibernation
and the Cuckoos arrive with their hosts the Reed warblers.
There are all sorts to see and do in May but it's mainly Birds singing, migrants returning, eggs and chicks.
Dawn Chorus at it's best...and in the evenings too!
I like to take a few risks with my photography in June,
'The Art of Flight'
Is a slideshow talk I'm planning but feel free to book a walk with me, bring your camera or borrow one of mine if you like?
A great month for Butterflies and I teach folk to find where they sleep in late afternoon to get cool close-ups and to return in the morning to catch them
in a different light.
At night there are glow worms not 100m from my home in July.
I'm lucky enough to know of a place where once a year I can take a few
Horse Mushrooms and I have decided to take just one person per year to see this spectacle and perhaps take a few home to eat.
They are arguably the tastiest of all mushrooms*.
*The photo in the middle shows Field Mushrooms by comparison.
This month's main attraction is an annual daily spectacle when millions of whitebait are herded close to shore and attacked by the migrating Mackerel. The food chain frenzy that follows is such a sight that in 2014
BBC Radio Sussex asked me to go live with roving reporter
Simon Jenkins to describe what was happen to the listeners.
With rising sea levels and increase in water temperature perhaps to blame, the annual spectacle along the Southern English coast was late this year but it was indeed spectacular and I was lucky enough to be there on the day when the wind turned and the waves revealed what was beneath them!
The 'surfing' Mackerel above with the scattering Whitebait in a rolling wave was probably the the most exciting shot I got but there were many other fabulous sights that weren't able to be caught by camera so I do hope and cannot wait to take more folk out to see this next year. Do keep in touch.
The above are just some highlights of some months in the year,
more will be added as the year progresses, and for daily news as things unfold
please follow me on Instagram (@homewoodsteve) and revisit this site.