|Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina|
Saturday was a busy day. In the morning I assisted with a first aid course for Sussex Search and Rescue unit held at Burgess Hill. Then I drive three miles south to attend the AGM of Sussex Butterfly Conservation at Hassocks. This was an excellent event as usual. Our new chairman, Nigel Symington, progressed through the AGM agenda in 20 minutes, an SBC tradition. We were then treated to three very good talks.
The first was titled "Dukes on the Edge" given by Dr Dan Hoare, BC's Senior Regional Officer - South East. Dan gave an overview of the distribution of one of Britain's most endangered butterflies over the past few years. The news was bad and good. The butterfly has disappeared from many of its haunts during the past five years. Fortunately the work of several conservation organisations and estates and many volunteers has enabled some key colonies to grow. It is hoped that this work will, in conjunction with strategically placed new projects, enable the Duke of Burgundy to recolonise old territory lost due to unsuitable habitat management.
The second talk was by Dr Dan Danahar who has pioneered the acclaimed chalk based butterfly reserves established and planned in Brighton. Dan discussed his 50th birthday project to see 50 of Brtiain’s 59 species of butterflies in one year. This was done in a very interesting and amusing way.
Which left Michael Blencowe to give his report on the state of Sussex Butterflies and the 2010-14 mapping project. which was done in his usual hilariously entertaining style.
All three speakers were suited, booted and tied, but Nigel’s introduction to each meant we were able to recognise them in spite of their uncharacteristic attire.
Thanks to the refreshments team and the raffle prize providers (my numbers were not sticky enough).