Wednesday, 14 November 2018

How Exmoor ponies can save butterflies in Sussex

Butterfly Conservation are celebrating half a century over the weekend:
50th Anniversary Annual General Meeting and Members’ Day 2018 and Celebratory Dinner

And they do very important work...

Last month's news from Butterfly Conservation was what we learnt from this year's survey:
Futures Forum: The Big Butterfly Count results are out

This month's looks at how the Exmoor Ponny can help:
Exmoor ponies saving butterflies in Sussex - butterfly conservation

There are still butterflies on the wing this month so it is worth keeping a look out on milder days.Moths are also on the wane as the cold sets in but the aptly named November Moth is out and has plenty of company from species that camouflage well against the multi-coloured leaf litter. Our work to maintain butterfly and moth habitat continues whatever the weather. This issue reveals how animals can help with conservation tasks and the Secret Gardener suggests brightening up your wildlife garden with a Rowan tree.
Animal Magic
Over thousands of years cattle, horses and sheep have helped to shape our rural landscapes. So it’s no surprise that careful grazing is vital when it comes to conserving habitats for butterflies and moths.

Livestock control vegetation growth and prevent caterpillar foodplants from being crowded out. The movement of animals across a site shifts dead grass and leaves creating bare patches of ground where seeds can germinate, producing food and fuel for pollinators. If you are out and about this month you may come across a small herd of hardy cattle on our Myers Allotment reserve in Lancashire, or see the Belted Galloways on Rough Bank in Gloucestershire. You can find up to 100 cattle, sheep and ponies on our Magdalen Hill Down site in Hampshire, maintaining the important wildlife habitat all year round.

Dig it:  Branching Out
A tree might add fruit, flowers and foliage to your garden but if you choose carefully a tree can also bring you butterflies and moths.

Rowan, also known as Mountain Ash, will feed butterflies, moths and birds with its pretty white flowers, orange berries and serrated leaves. Hardy, versatile and relatively compact Rowan is suited to both town and countryside gardens.

In this month's blog the Secret Gardener explains why it is worth finding the space for a Rowan tree in your garden.

Look Out For...
Last Butterfly Of The Year
With the nights drawing in, shrinking sunlight hours and the arrival of morning frosts you'd be forgiven for thinking the time for spotting butterflies has long passed. Winter has landed but there are still butterflies and moths on the wing.

In mild years, it is possible to see up to 12 species of butterfly in November, including Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood and perhaps even the odd Holly Blue.

You can tell us which butterflies you are still seeing by downloading the free iRecord Butterflies app.

Join In
Get the latest news and info on our Facebook page.
Find out how you can give butterflies and moths a future.
Handy tools to identify a butterfly or day-flying moth.
Species images: Belted Galloway Calf (R Wolstenhome), Rowan Tree (Pixabay), Red Admiral  (Keith Warmington), Merveille Du Jour (Les Evans-Hill), Speckled Wood (Steve Maskell).

Butterfly Conservation: Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP, Tel: 01929 400 209 Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)

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