Next week join me and the volunteers as we plant native Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) part of the Sheepdrove Rare Butterfly Project – and we’re helping moths too.
We ordered locally-grown trees from Murray Maclean at Frilford, tel: 01865 391242.
Hawthorn will provide shade and shelter in years to come. I’ve seen small bushes make a big difference for some butterflies on a windy day. Cowslips already grow in our target areas, and with a little bit of scrub cover, we might just see the endangered Duke of Burgundy at Sheepdrove one day.
Barberry is the caterpillar food plant for the cute Barberry Carpet moth – probably locally extinct because barberry shrubs were ripped out of England’s hedges. It harbours a rust fungus that affects cereal, but modern varieties are resistant to the disease, so we’re bringing this bush back. Hopefully the moths will find it one day – Barberry Carpet has been found in western Oxfordshire. Meanwhile the Barberry is a wonderful food source for bees and birds.
Your spade work could leave a lasting legacy for wildlife! Please join us on a task, we’d love you to be part of the project.
Manager for Biodiversity and Alternative Energy
These latest volunteer tasks are in association with the local branch of Butterfly Conservation. Coming soon, the 2011 event list for the Lambourn Valley Barn Owl Group.
Contact us: Please tell us if you wish to attend a task – it is vital to our preparation. Please email me or call me on 01488 674727.
What to bring: Please bring a packed lunch – we will picnic on the farm! Bring clothes ready for any weather and sensible boots or wellies.
Meet here: The farm office, at Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, Berkshire. Map and directions here…
Saturday 27 Nov 2010
Scrub up for Butterflies! 10am – 3pm
Join us for some scrub planting & woodland edge cutting. We aim to create scrubby edge habitat to benefit butterflies and moths. They love the shelter effect as well as the nectar – and some species will eat the trees at caterpillar stage.
In association with Butterfly Conservation’s Upper Thames branch. Be sure to bring a packed lunch and wrap up warm with outdoor clothes and boots. Bring garden gloves if you have them – we have spares too. We will provide tools and tea – so please tell us if you’re coming. Call us on 01488 674727.
(PLEASE NOTE – some steep slopes and uneven ground).
Monday 29 Nov 2010
Scrub up for Butterflies! (session two) 10am – 3pm
Scrub planting & woodland edge cutting. Details as per Saturday’s task.