Monday 14th February saw the volunteers make our spring visit to the slopes of Common Wood, an important site for Pearl Bordered and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterflies. It seemed a bad day for car breakdowns with both the land owner, one of the DPA trustees, and our mentor from Butterfly Conservation unable to join us. Fortunately, the rest of us had a good idea of what needed to be done and we set about clearing gorse regrowth and cutting more access paths.
We cleared so many gorse bushes that one of our volunteers felt he was turning into one (see photo)! We left a nice, open slope for violets, the food plant of the butterflies, to grow. Last year, our count recorded good numbers of these, increasingly rare, butterflies. Let’s hope for another successful year. Thank you to the owner of a local cottage who allows us access through her land and provided us with an excellent tea to cap a successful day.
Sylvia Hamilton