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Park and Shepherd Meadows
Butterfly Walk through Meadows near Sandhurst Memorial Park on 4th July 2012
The Butterfly walk is one of a series of monthly events organised by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust each year. Last year a number of butterfly surveys were carried out in the Blackwater Valley and one survey was at the Sandhurst Memorial Park. The Sandhurst Memorial Park has a great variety of habitats to attract wildlife. The butterflies love the grassy meadows, the nettles, brambles, the warm woodland edges, and access to water in the ditches and the river.
This time last year 145 butterflies were recorded in one hour; on 4th July we recorded 33. The amazingly wet weather this year has obviously taken its toll.
However, we were very lucky, despite a few early showers, the temperature rose and the butterflies came out. The most spectacular were the newly hatched Red Admirals who were pumping up their wings in the warm sunshine. We saw 6 on the site and that is a new record.
The butterfly spotting started in the large meadow and there we saw our first butterflies.
Meadow Browns and Ringlets flying low at the top of the grasses.
Three Commas, a Speckled Wood and a Large Skipper completed our count. There is also evidence of Peacock butterflies as two broods of their caterpillars were found in their favourite nettles.
The meadows are a great place for butterflies so, when it is next warm and sunny, go and see how many you can spot. You can also help Butterfly Conservation by joining the Big Butterfly Count www.bigbutterflycount.org. See their website for a butterfly identification chart.
Sue Cload - Walk Leader and BVCT Trustee
The Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust always welcomes new members. Our membership is growing fast, and we are confident that we can play an important role in ensuring conservation is safeguarded within the Blackwater Valley. The Trust also raises funds for conservation projects in the Blackwater Valley. Our website www.bvct.org.uk has additional information on the Trust, including our varied programme of walks & talks which are free to members.
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