Sunday, 22 November 2009

Butterfly Conservation AGM & Members Day

We headed to Winchester yesterday for a day of interesting talks by scientists and experts in the field of Butterflies and Moths. The keynote speaker was Stephen Moss, a BBC Series Producer with the Natural History Unit. His insights into program making and the politics of Natural History productions gave cause for thought. Dr Kate Dent has been with the Tytherley Woods Project for three years and gave presentation about how the project has mapped woodland important for butterflies in Hampshire including the famous Bentley Wood. Using grants the project has created the woodland pathways needed to maintain good butterfly habitat to enable species to recolonize areas where they have disappeared. Dr Jason Chapman told us how his studies of Lepidoptera migration has been enhanced by the use of two vertical looking radar sites which are able to plot the direction of an insect’s travel, the direction the insect was oriented, its size and height from 200 to 1200 meters. Dr Owen Lewis spoke about the decline of the Small Tortoiseshell, using the Peacock which has similar biology as a control, and attempted to determine if the recent immigrant parasitic fly Sturmia bella has a role. Dave Green of the local BC branch talked about moths of the area. There were interesting stalls, and we spent plenty on books, kiddy pressies, BC polo shirts and raffles. We will attend the Nov 20, 2010 event in Peterborough.

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