Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Oliver's Battery Conservation & Butterflies
I had a really interesting afternoon on Sunday. It was the official opening of the Oliver's Battery Conservation Area, followed by a guided walk to Butterfly Conservation's nature reserve on top of Yew Hill. The work done by the Oliver's Battery Countryside Group (http://www.bfobrca.com/OBPC/activities/countryside.htm) and the Parish Council in setting up the Conservation Area is truly impressive and, over the next 5 to 10 years, as the trees and shrubs mature and the wild flowers take hold, we're going to see a transformation on this piece of land by the Recreation Ground.
The butterfly reserve was fascinating. I've been up there before of course, but this was the first time I'd met the Reserve Manager and Warden. There's more information at their website: http://www.hantsiow-butterflies.org.uk/reserves/yew_hill.html and the reserve is well worth a visit, particularly in July and August for the maximum number of butterflies, or in June for the wild orchids. The photo is of a pair of Chalkhill Blues and was taken on Yew Hill by John May (reproduced here with his permission). Chalkhill Blues are one of the key species of butterfly at Yew Hill. They breed on horseshoe vetch, and Butterfly Conservation manages the habitat with this in mind.