Sunday, 7 November 2010

Butterfly Conservation Coppicing volunteer day, Nov 2010

Yesterday Mike and Tracy hosted a volunteer day in their wood, near Rye, where they're coppicing as encouraged by the Butterfly Conservation Rother Woods project.

Here's a few pictures of people hard at work, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.






As you can see, it was fun for all ages, and there was also plenty of time for food and tea breaks.


Afterwards, Elise drew this great picture of the work that went on during the day. You can click on it to view it in flickr and choose a larger size.
Work Party in the Woods

There'll be another day open to volunteers who'd like to come out and get their hands dirty in early December. The plan is to widen a ride that connects the area where we were coppicing yesterday with some other rides that have already been widened. Wider rides let in more light, which encourages plant growth at ground level, resulting in flowers that are beneficial to butterflies and other insects, and therefore also the other wildlife that depends on them for food.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


One horribly wet and rainy Sunday in February 2009 the Hastings Conservation Volunteers, who do practical conservation work in the Rother area on Sundays, cleared a small, densely overgrown patch of land near in Beckley Wood for Butterfly Conservation. Thick undergrowth and young trees were removed in the pouring rain - with sodden work gloves and slippery tools.
The pay-off came 15 months later: Grizzled Skippers have now colonised this site!
(photos: Steve Wheatley)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Look – and listen - out for Green Hairstreaks

Only very few sightings of this beautiful butterfly were recorded in Rother last year. Does this mean this nationally widespread butterfly is scarce in our region or is
it simply under-recorded? Let’s try and find out! This year we are alerting everyone to look out for this elusive species, which uses the widest variety of food plants of all British butterflies and is – at least theoretically – found in a wide range of habitats where shrubs are present.
Green Hairstreak (photo: Polly Mair)

Britain’s only green butterfly pupates in August and hibernates as chrysalis. In order to keep warm and protected over winter, it has evolved an extraordinary and unique "trick": The chrysalis emits loud squeaks, audible to the human hear, to attract ants and entice them to drag the chrysalis into their nest.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Power of the Media

In 2007 Michael Blencowe discovered a Scarlet Tiger moth in a Sussex forest. This beautiful, very distinctive moth had thought to be long extinct in the county.
Scarlet Tiger (photo: Michael Blencowe)

However, after Michael excitedly published an article on his finding in his local newspaper, showing a photo of this rare moth, new sightings poured in – people in Brighton, Peacehaven and Eastbourne reported seeing the moth in their gardens. This is great news and we are now hoping that Scarlet Tiger articles in local Rother papers, timed to coincide with the flying time of the moth, will bring similar results.
Scarlet Tiger sightings (Photo and map: Steve Wheatley)