BIGCATSINSUSSEX

big cat research in Sussex

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Big cat filmed crossing road nr Battle

Posted on December 12, 2016 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (0)

A big cat was seen crossing a road in the Battle area East Sussex on the 30th november. Dash cam footage by the witness showed a very large black shape moving fast and although blurred due to the speed it moved it's difficult to account for the animal being anything else. Said to be larger than the labrador sized cat often reported the sighting concurs with the size of animal usually reported from this area. I investigated the area shortly after the sighting however the ground was quite dry and not helpful in finding any paw prints, deer slots were seen but cats leave a much lighter impression and need a much softer mud to give a more visible print. The area is interlaced with deer trails and it was supposed that the cat was using these trails to move about. The witness, who has a lifetime of experience with animals and the area, described seeing a large and very dark cat taking up almost the width of the lane including tail when crossing, that is some size indeed and matches previous reports from other witnesses. The animal had the appearance of a black leopard and ran smoothly quite unlike a dog or deer and was much shorter legged than a deer. Although the sighting was very short the visibility was excellent and close range at 20 metres. Investigations continue.

Summer sightings

Posted on October 1, 2016 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Most of the summer big cat activity has been spread over the middle of Sussex stretching from Lewes and Ashdown forest into the north of Sussex like Balcombe and Horsham. There have been the odd sighting elsewhere but in these places clusters of sightings have shown a high degree of activity which interestingly have no time overlaps. All bar 2 have been of a medium sized black cat( typical size comparisons from witnesses were labrador,large spaniel) although it would be presumptive to think it was one big cat responsible it is very doubtful it could be 3 different animals including the sightings coming in from the Midhurst area earlier in the year. If we take the low incidence of big cat reports coming in over the last 3 years meaning that there is a corresponding drop in the local big cat population then it should be easier to track a single cats movements . If this were true and we only have 2 or 3 cats at best in the county then 1 cat started off the year on the Hampshire borders moving steadily east to spend the spring in Mid Sussex then june, july and august in the  Ashdown forest area near where also a seemingly smaller,snipier looking cat was also seen especially around Lewes. If we had 4 seperate cats on the go then they were only being active and being seen in these 4 general areas briefly to then dissapear completely off the radar which must be very doubtful. Of course, however many cats there are, just because sightings are not coming in from certain areas only means people are not seeing/reporting them. Clusters of sightings are of more value because it naturally reduces the chances of human error in witness reports providing local big cat ( beast of somewhere ) hysteria hasn't developed.

Summer sightings

Posted on October 1, 2016 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Most of the summer big cat activity has been spread over the middle of Sussex stretching from Lewes and Ashdown forest, Mid Sussex, Petworth and Petersfield. There have been the odd sighting elsewhere but in these places clusters of sightings have shown a high degree of activity which interestingly have no time overlaps. All bar 4 have been of a medium sized cat( typical size comparisons from witnesses were labrador,large spaniel) although it would be presumptive to think it was one big cat responsible it is very doubtful it could be 4 different animals. If we take the low incidence of big cat reports coming in over the last 3 years meaning that there is a corresponding drop in the local big cat population then it should be easier to track a single cats movements. If this were true and we only have 2 or 3 cats at best in the county then 1 cat started off the year on the Hampshire borders moving steadily east to spend the spring in Mid Sussex then june, july and august in the  Ashdown forest area near where also a seemingly smaller,snipier looking cat was also seen especially around Lewes. If we had 4 seperate cats on the go then they were only being active and being seen in these 4 general areas briefly to then dissapear completely off the radar which must be very doubtful. Of course, however many cats there are, just because sightings are not coming in from certain areas only means people are not seeing/reporting them. Clusters of sightings are of more value because it naturally reduces the chances of human error in witness reports providing local big cat ( beast of somewhere ) hysteria hasn't developed.

Sightings concentrated in West Sussex

Posted on April 24, 2016 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (2)

There were not a lot of sightings coming in over the winter months, the few that did were concentrated on the Hampshire and Surrey borders. Mostly of a dark brown big cat that appeared now and then and also of a labrador sized black big cat all sightings of which were well west of Petersfield. The vey wet winter we had contributed to the lack of reports coming in as people would spend less time outside and also the general visibilty was poor. The usual winter evidence searches were carried out with interesting clusters of fallow deer bones were found  in the Ashdown forest by a fisherman and also by myself in the Hurst green area and Sedlescombe the last of which held 3 different fallow deer all apparently youngish animals judging by the small leg bone sizes. Intensive secondary scavenging was noted by foxes etc. however the mystery as to how up to 3 deer carcases ended up within 50 feet of each other well away from a main road in some pretty thick cover is a mystery that leads the mind to think of predation by a large carnivore. No big cat paw prints or other possible  evidence were found despite some intensive searches carried out although the kills were well over 2 weeks old when found as it can take this long for scavengers to strip the bones away from each other.

The latest sighting has been last week at Mill hill on the downs as reported to this website and coincidentely there was a report of a big cat at this time last year from near here  at Thunder barrow on the downs north of Hangleton.

Sighting at Staplefield

Posted on October 11, 2015 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

There was sighting of a big cat in the Staplefield area recently. It was said to of been black in colour and the size of a large dog it ran off when seen and fits the profile of the other sighting a few days before from not too far away leading to presumptions of it being the same cat. Other witness reports have come in sporadically from the far east of the county and also the far west but no clusters of sightings. 

Winter sightings coming in.

Posted on December 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)
Sightings are coming in from the usual winter areas of the large forestry blocks in the north of the county like Balcombe and the well drained soil areas of far West Sussex like Bepton and Petworth. Absent now are the Wealden clay places and tge downs. This could change with an extended dry and cold period allowing the cats to move around more easily on pre

Polegate big cat sighting

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (1)

A big cat with a long slender body and  the characteristic long slightly curved tail was seen last week in the Polegate area walking nonchalantly amongst rabbits in a field who ignored the predator in their presence. At this time of year rabbits are feeding increasingly in daylight and becoming braver by the day when many rabbit sentries posted will give advance warning of impending doom (Lockley) I feel sure the big cats are targeting rabbits very much at this time of year but much earlier in the morning than this sighting undoubtedly was...The cat seen was not the Eastbourne puma type brown cat seen very much last year but was of the sleeker,black variety most often seen in this part of East Sussex...

Cluster of sightings in West Sussex

Posted on March 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

A cluster of sightings is starting to develop in West Sussex in a block of country that has historically seen high big cat activity but has been very quiet for the last couple of years.The first one reported on febuary 15th was in the general area of Fittleworth when a witness described seeing a large black cat the size of a Labrador run across a field into some woodland.The area is noted for it`s sandy soil and so adds weight to the theory that in times of wet winters big cats stick mostly to free draining soils and big woodlands. A week and another eye-witness saw a similarly described black big cat crossing a woodland path in the general area of Plaistow again on free draining ground.The morning of the 14th march and a car driver reported seeing a large black animal crossing the road in front of them at speed which they could only think of being a big cat while the following Tuesday in the rough area of Billingshurst/Coolham on the18th saw 2 witnesses at 9am watch a big black cat leap across the track in front of them in one bound, a distance of maybe 12ft.They were sitting in a vehicle at the time and were no more than 20ft away from the animal so there is no doubt on their identification that it was a big black cat around 22" tall.

Clusters of sightings in early spring, possibly from the same animal, mostly at between 8 to 10 am could possibly denote a cat that is heavily engaged in hunting rabbits. This is because so long as they are not disturbed rabbits will continue feeding well into the morning to make the most of the run of fresh spring grass. Foxes have been increasingly observed hunting rabbits at this time of day when light to aid speed rather then nightime stealth will catch more prey. As rabbits are the principal prey of big cats in spring it would be reasonable to suggest the same reasons for the increased observance of them in the morning hours.Sightings data collected over the past few years particularly has affirmed this and just about every spring has clusters of big cat sightings cropping up in one area of the county or another with a similar stamp to them. Last year was noted for it`s late start due to the cold spring but even so a big brown cat was seen a little later in spring on the Eastbourne downs at precisely these times of day in areas of high rabbit numbers. 2012 saw the downs north of Brighton experience a number of similarly described sightings,2011 was the Lancing downs up to Dial Post and Cowfold when a massive 26 sightings of a similarly described big black cat were reported as well the Robertsbridge and Bexhill areas of the county.2010 and Telscombe and Peacehaven residents reported numerous sightings of a large black cat seen often in the mornings in the area in spring and so it goes on back through the years... 

All quiet on the sightings front

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been very quiet on the sightings front since at least the mid of last December which was when these rains of biblically epic proportions started after a very dry autumn. This is usual for when there is no let up in rainy weather and boggy ground fewer people are around to see these big cats and the cats themselves appear to stick to the better drained and more wooded areas of the county where they are that much harder to be seen. This has been echoed in previous very wet winters most notably in "97-98 when virtually all of the whole winters sightings in West Sussex were along the downland escarpement between Greatham and Cocking most probably of the same big cat. What was different then to now was that clusters of sightings were showing up fairly well spread out across the county throughout the year whereas in the past couple of years the sightings seem to of been concentrated in the warmer months. The past couple of very wet years has coincided with a deep trough in rabbit numbers since the population crash in autumn 2012. Like voles rabbits rise and fall in their fortunes which creates a knock on effect for their predators or at least those who rely heavily on them. Foxes do not, they have a wide selection of food sources unlike stoats who concentrate their efforts on rabbits and face high litter mortality when rabbits are hard to get. Big cats are thought to prey heavily on rabbits and the lack of yearly total sightings is thought by many to reflect their reliance. Cub mortality would appear to of been high judging by the lack of sightings of larger cats accompanied by much smaller ones and whilst most years there is only only the odd report of this type of thing I am the first to admit that the case for wild big cats to be breeding in Sussex is sketchy at best if only the reports of mothers with cubs are to be relied upon....

Possible wild cat nr Crowborough

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)
29th of august around midnight,a vehicle driving past Herons Gyll near Crowborough and 2 witnesses reported to this website seeing what they could only describe as a large wild cat closely resembling a Scottish wild cat. Much larger than a domestic of a tabby colour they described seeing a clubby tail with distinctive black stripes just like a Scottish wild cat however they could make out a white tip on the tail. I have been reliably informed by members of the Scottish wild cat society that numbers of these cats are dangerously dwindling to less than 300 and only in their heartlands of Scotland, this is due, in part, to breeding with domestic in origin cats and it is beyond the realms of possibility for A Scottish wild cat to be wandering around in Sussex but where have we heard that before?! Although it is entirely possible that the witnesses did see an over large domestic on the prowl the sighting is interesting as it`s in an area where exceedingly large wild/feral/cross-bred cats of all sorts of different shapes have been reported over a very long period of time. Multiple witnesses have described seeing cats that in no way could of been able to fit through a standard cat flap. One of the most interesting was near Mayfield in February 2012 when a witness described seeing a cat larger than a fox of a sandy colour with white stripes and a long tail eating what appeared to be a small animal or bird on the ground. I investigated the report at the time and did indeed find some rabbit fur where the witness said they had saw it but not much else. On the way back to the vehicle another witness told me about seeing a similarly described cat only much closer and said it was not like any cat they had seen before and having worked at the cat centre on the Ashdown forest had certainly come across most breeds of cat. Truly feral cats domestic in origin are quite common in Sussex and in certain areas one or two can appear huge, a couple of years ago a trail camera I had set up in a feral hot spot produced clear pictures of a sandy cat with a thick rudder-like tail of the size of a vixen, having blogged the pictures a forestry worker got in contact and said he had a seen a similar sized and looking cat with 2 kittens so a much larger tom cat perhaps would of been around. The species origin of the usually reported to this website big cats is still very much up for debate seeing as DNA evidence is still maddingly not available. If and this is a very big if, the species turns out to be domestic in origin and not leopard then these over large feral/wild cats could well prove to be the logical missing link...

Uckfield puma sighting

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)
18th august at 7:30 and a lady walking her dog along a country lane to the west of Uckfield saw an extremely large cat best described as a mountain lion or puma around 50 yards in front just in the field. It was of a tan colour with a long tail curled up at the end tapered off and walked in a slow, relaxed way pausing to stretch. It was described as looking very muscular and healthy looking and at ease with it`s surroundings. Coming from the direction of a nearby wood and hadn`t seen either the witness or her dog who hastily retraced their steps. Estimated weight of twice the witnesses dog at 80 kilos plus. Could this be the Eastbourne big cat? (locally called the Eastbourne puma) Which was sighted the day previously off the A27 at Folkington (report gratefully received from British Big Cat Research) at 7:20am and possibly also at Polegate on the 14th.(thanks to Neil Arnold of Kent Big Cat Research for this report) The territory range seems to fit in and the 12 miles or so distance would be easily covered. Big brown cat sightings account for less than than 20% of records year on year and as such are more easily traceable than their black `cousins` even so we shouldn`t necessarily assume it is the same cat without taking in account other facts drawn in from witnesses. These are: In all sightings the cat was observed with the same gait and walking habits-a slow ambling walk. The colour has been reported to of been a rich tan with broadly similar descriptions of the way it was moving across country. Lewes downs/Ashdown forest area have historically produced more sightings to me than other areas of Sussex. What is needed now are more sightings in of this puma-like large cat or at least one fitting the same description. Also more time given over to tracking efforts in order to gather possible evidence in the form of fur samples or the hard to find at this time of year paw prints...

Has the Eastbourne big cat moved on?

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)
Little has been heard of the big cat of a brown colour seen on the South downs recently, commonly called the Eastbourne big cat, since the 17th july when a witness out walking on the downs behind Seaford reported to this website a sighting of a very large cat, tan or reddy brown in colour, pointed ears, long tail...we all know the description by now...has to be the same cat. Once again this mystery cat was seen in the mid-morning time, at a distance and the witness reporting seeing a slow moving, sometimes stopping animal that was at first unsure what had been seen until it was seen in near full view and it`s cat-like features clearly made out... No other sightings in from witnesses which is surprising as this time last year the old favourite the Ashdown forest big cat was regularly being seen up and down the forest. This doesn`t mean of course that this very large black cat is still not in the Ashdown forest area, it only means that it is not being seen or, probably more accurate, not being reported to me through this website. It could be said that when a big cat is being sighted fairly regularly at daylight hours that one of the reasons could be the hunting is poor and the cat is forced to go after it`s prey in less desirable hours rather than nocturnally which is it`s favoured working hours. This might explain why the Eastbourne big cat was being seen in broad daylight during the last june and july but doesn`t explain why it didn`t move on which would be more logical if the food had been running low...

Another Eastbourne South downs big cat sighting

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)
Yet another sighting in from the South downs in the Eastbourne area of a brown big cat, this is the third report with matching descriptions. This time the witness mentioned mottled small spots under the fur similar to leopards but more spread out. The overall brown colour of the fur had an almost gingery hue to it as the sun caught the fur. The face was said to of been more angular than a mountain lion and not as stocky or muscular, the tail was long. Height said to be just shy of 2ft at the shoulder.The witness, an American lady out walking on the downs, had a good knowledge of mountain lions or pumas and said this large cat was unlike one of those something repeatedly said over the years by witnesses. Something is strange here as this is the third sighting in 6 weeks from this area and all in daylight and not at dusk. It can be unusual to get 3 sightings of most likely the same animal in such a short period of time in the same area. Also, as I have posted before, it would appear that these brown cats bear little resemblance to mountain lions and have even been seen together with the black big cats something that a puma and a black leopard would be very unlikely to do. The brown colouration is unknown in leopards and so it would be reasonable to assume with some evidence and a certain degree of accuracy that both the black and brown cats are one and the same species. Exactly what species/sub-species remains to be confirmed...

Poss.sighting of big brown cat in from Eastbourne area

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A sighting from the South downs in the Eastbourne area has just come in of a very large animal that was at first partially hidden from view in the long grass.Described by the witnesses as being of an almost gingery colour(often brown cats are said it give off a gingery hue when the sun catches their sleek coats in summer) it then got up and loped off unlike any dog and more cat-like.It had a smooth coat and the nearby sheep with lambs in tow paid no notice to it.Although not 100% sure that what was seen was a big cat it is difficult to think what else it could of been. On open downland, today at 8:45 in bright light often these cats with brown coats appear to have a colour not what we would expect a wild animal to have but roe deer in july have a very rich reddy/orange brown colour. The field in question has had a sighting reported from it before. As always in these cases enquiries will be made in order to eliminate other possible candidates for the sighting but at this time it sounds very likely to of been a big cat...

Big cat sighting near Lewes

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

A sighting of a big cat has come in from the Lewes area on the 7th June. Seen  at 1:45pm near Kingston,East Sussex which nestles in the South Downs, it moved slowly along a hedge then into bushes.Described by the 2 witnesses as being 65cm tall,of a sandy(puma) colour having long legs and a very slim body. Could this be a long legged cat?Or is it just a very young and athletic looking British big cat but just of the not often seen brown colour instead of black.Sightings of large wild cats that have very long legs do crop up from time to time and my own observations of a black one of these  do point to a distinctly different type of cat not in colour but by form of body.

One of the witnesses did wonder if it may of been one of these Savannah cat hybrids that are becoming quite popular as pets.Local enquiries are continuing as to whether the cat seen was one of these but at time of this post none barely resembling the above description could remotely of been responsible for this sighting.In any case these new hybrids are fairly expensive to buy and I would of thought most owners would keep closer tabs on their charges and not let them wander around too much.Strangely happy on leads they would be very visible in a locality but with a human on tow.

What is frustrating is that sightings of large cats with very long legs usually occur only during the summer months and are so infrequent that little knowledge can be sieved from such thin material like if they are a different sub-species and what are they up to ?

Numbers of big cats in Sussex

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Clearly only an estimate but the numbers of big cats in Sussex does seem to of fallen drastically in the last year or so or rather more accurately the areas where they are being seen has fallen.In 2010/2011 I surveyed Sussex by sightings and other evidence gathering to come up with a figure of around a dozen big cats that were being seen or leaving evidence behind in the form of kills and/or paw prints and could possibly group that data to specific areas where I believed certain cats were.Of course some of it was guesswork and would have had  to of been confirmed by other data but although most are of a uniform black they exhibit visual differences like size, body conformation etc. and also exhibit different behaviour when being seen like running straight away,creeping,looking etc.At the time I admitted that one or two cats might of been the same but didn`t realise how this could be interpreted in the results.3 years down the line and some areas are not producing any evidence of big cat activity at all.This can be due to change of land use like encroachment of development on hunting and laying up areas or reductions in prey numbers especially rabbits however where none of the above are accountable then it must be reasonable to assume that previously the cat that was responsible for the sightings or whatever has either moved on or died.

What is clear from the last year of data collection that fewer areas are producing signs of cat activity but this is accounted for by the widely reported crash in rabbit numbers in the past year countywide probably accelerated by the remarkably wet weather bring on more fatal diseases but rabbits were heading for a crash anyway.Just about all herbivorous small mammal populations show a helter skelter trough, peak, trough in numbers roughly every 7 years like voles ,mice, lemmings famously and rabbits are no exception with their numbers climbing up to critical mass over a number of years for them to plummet , the last time was in the mid `90.s if I remember .Seeing as rabbits make up for a large proportion of a big cats  diet then this failure of a food source could point to a drop in overall cat numbers or at least a lower cub birth or survival rate.

Another interesting point uncovered  is that some big cats are moving from one area to another on a much wider scale than previously thought, the same cat might not be seen in an area for quite some time where it had previously been seen regularly only for it to reappear back on the radar back in it`s old haunts and so nowadays the previous estimate of numbers of big cats in Sussex should be reduced a little..

Big cat paw print found

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

A very big leopard-like big cat paw print was found recently in East Sussex that looks just the job,I have only seen a photo of a plaster cast to date but it is hoped to be able to see it first hand when time permits and visit the area found.Last year in march and also in the autumn there were unconfirmed(3rd hand i.e.someone knows someone who saw one) reports of a very large big cat beeing in the very vicinity as well as confirmed reports coming in from nearby.Big cat sightings of a leopard size are seen in Hastings and Bexhill (in the country north of these towns)regularly.First examination of the paw print bears a resemblance in size to the Robertsbridge big cat (just over 11cm)but as I don,t have a complete paw print to compare I have to go on size alone which is 12.2cm or 5" wide(if running or exerting pressure a big cats paw print will increase slightly in size)truly massive seeing as the Ashdown forest big cat weighs in at 10cm wide (see evidence page)and the Offham big cat(Lewes) a tiny 8cm,The old Horsham big cat which dipped into Surrey a lot was also huge but still shy of 11cm but as the Steyning big cat showed paw size is not strictly relative to body mass though all reports of the Robertsbridge big cat do tell of a really huge cat standing at least 25" at the shoulder.I have been sure that the Robertsbridge big cat ventured in the Hastings area but just how east it goes is unsure.This was found north of Hastings by a chap who also came across others in the clay patch and prints were found up a bank also.The photo of the plaster cast of the print has been Tweeted and will appear on this website as soon as I am able...

In other news an unconfirmed(not able to contact the witness) report last month came in from the Ditchling area of a large black leopard sized cat being seen and another witness contacted to report an alsation sized black cat crossing the road in the East Grinstead area,could this be the Ashdown forest big cat in the northern most reaches of it,s territory?

The only news coming in this year from West Sussex is from the Horsham big cat with a sighting on the 30th april at St.Leonards forest.No news of either the Midhurst big cat or the Milland big cat but then this doesn,t mean they aren`t around it just means the reports aren`t coming in whether they are just not being seen by witnesses or people are not doing the reporting!Time will tell...

Brown big cat at St.Leonards Forest

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

A very large brown big cat,the size of a big dog,was seen recently (30.3.2013) in St.Leonards Forest near Horsham,West Sussex.A local man was walking his Jack Russell which was running about in and out of view as they do when he caught sight of a clump of deer staring ahead of them through the trees.Looking ahead of them the witness caught sight of a very large sandy brown cat that dissapeared over the brow of the low hill there.The little dog came back to him earlier than usual looking quite shaken.Although fairly quiet on the sightings front in the past 12 months the vast public forest of St.Leonards saw many sightings previous to this of both black and brown big cats and on more than one occasion fairly near to each other in the space of a few days....

Ashdown Forest big cat seen,,,

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The Ashdown Forest big cat was seen recently in the Chelwood Gate area by 2 witnesses driving home early in the evening.They were doing sub 40mph,necessary to safely avoid a collision with one of the large number of fallow deer that cross the roads and saw a very large black animal that "had all the appearances of being feline" lope across the road in front of them.Once on the grassy verge it paused for a second before being lost to sight in the gathering darkness.Although not having seen a big cat in the area before despite being local the witnesses thought the animal was a big cat as described by other people they knew who had seen it elsewhere on the Forest.This is the first sighting from this area of Sussex this year that has been reported to this website,last year there was barely a month when there wasn`t a report in and all statements described a similar sized big cat of around 22" tall not much bigger than a labrador but far longer and sleeker with a tail often stretched outwards when in motion.Paw prints found a couple of years ago or so and published on the evidence page of this website were thought to of come from this big cat and it is hoped that fresh prints will turn up that could be compared as there are no 2 prints the same.A freshly dead fox was also found elsewhere on the Forest this month which bore some of the signs of being predated on whether by a dog or big cat....

Robertsbridge big cat shows up

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A fresh sighting of the Robertsbridge big cat has cropped up this time by 2 witnesses who had a very close encounter.They were walking the dog at 9:30 pm last thursday 21st feb.and the dog ran into a thickly wooded gulley whereupon they heard a deep,intense growling noise,definitely not a dog-like growl,then their dog re-emerged from the wood cowering and shining their light to the left of it saw a very large black cat no more than 15 yards away staring at their dog without any side ways glances at them,which was a shame because no colour of the eyeshine was visible which is always useful data to know.The was for perhaps 15 seconds whereupon the cat sloped off back into the wood not to be seen again that night.Height was estimated at being around 26"tall,far bigger than the 20"tall dog and had a long tail that was pointed groundwards most of the time,the body was sleek,deep chested with a head out of proportion to the body and pointed forwards,domestic cat-like ears.A large paw print was found the next morning by the witness and on inspection looks very interesting and so a copy has been requested.Moonlit nights such as this one usually find sightings appear at night whether by car drivers seeing a cat cross the road in front of them or in similar cases as this,on the dark nights sightings are often twilight ones or even in the middle of the day and it is thought that harder hunting for the cats without the help of the moon results in them concentrating their efforts at(usually)dusk with them re-doubling their hunting efforts on into the morning.This country here is comprised of mostly grazing fields intersperced with an, in places, equal amount of deciduous woodland often having an understory of chesnut and hazel coppice or even rhodadendron-ideal big cat habitat and prey numbers are high comprising of reasonable numbers of rabbits,pheasants and other birds with deer of all shapes and sizes such as fallow,sika,roe and a few muntjac.People traffic is also low and so the threat of daytime disturbance for a big cat is minimal,another reason for daytime sightings.The area that the Robertsbridge big cat takes in as it`s territory is difficult to fathom due to the smaller numbers of sightings because of the lower human density(less eyes to see it) however it`s larger size than the Ashdown forest big cat,the neighbour to the west means that the Heathfield and Mayfield areas belong to it`s neighbour.It could well be the same big cat seen occasionally around Battle but whether it`s the same one as seen around the Tunbridge Wells area is anyones guess as size estimates from eye witness reports here have been hard to determine...