Sunday, 11 April 2010

Butterfly weekend, tetrads and clearing the rides at Rowlands Wood

Saturday was spent at Clare Hall, Haywards Heath for the launch of the Butterfly Atlas of Sussex, a five year project organised by Clare Jeffers of the Sussex branch of Butterfly Conservation Organisation. The conference was well organised and the speakers varied, all with interesting subjects relevant to this massive task.
The one hundred volunteers were well informed and motivated about the task ahead. We have two kilometre squares to survey called tetrads (4 one km squares).
I set off early this morning for Rowlands Wood off the A22 north of Eastbourne. This was purchased this year by the BCO and is in a neglected state. Volunteers are assisting Michael Blencowe with the ongoing task of creating suitable habitat for the violets, the food plant of the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. One of the few colonies left in the country is based in a small woodland clearing in the original BCO reserve at this location. The rides are being widened to create violet habitat. Tree cutters had brought down the trees and we hauled the branches into piles.
There is a picturesque lake in the old reserve where we rested mid morning. A satisfying morning’s work at a tranquil location on a lovely Spring day…

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