The Big Butterfly Count 2020 takes place between Friday 17th July and Sunday 9th August 2020. Full Guidance on how to prepare and take part is available from the dedicated website: https://bigbutterflycount.org/
The identification chart used in the survey is available from the website and is also linked here.
The site at Newton underwent extensive restoration work to benefit the local wildlife. This of course also makes it a very spectacular site for us humans to visit. It was a project run by Butterfly Conservation in partnership with Newton and Biggin Parish Council. You can read about the grand re-opening of the site here.
The gallery shows some recent pictures of some of the wild flowers species that are currently in bloom
The bank opposite the railway station entrance has a marvellous presence of Bee Orchid (Ophrys Apifera). Many thanks go to the station staff, who ensure that the area is clearly marked to alert the public to leave the ground undisturbed.
Your own garden is a great place to observe wildlife, especially if there is reason for the birds to visit, i.e. good food! It also helps to have some native wildflowers and a little “untidiness” to draw in the invertebrate life.
The male of the species is that most noticeable bright yellow butterfly, that is typically one of the earliest species to be observed in spring. The less glamorous female is still readily identifiable with a closer view.
This is peak season for their egg laying. This species is a very good example of native plant dependency. The foodplant for the larvae is the Purging Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) or the closely related Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus). Nothing else will do! In our gardens and surrounding countryside, the Purging Buckthorn is more common, as the Alder variety prefers a damper and acidic soil.
Tony Penycate, a local wildlife enthusiast, has kindly provided some hedgehog observations from his garden. where the hogs visit his feeding station. The pictures show two visiting hogs together, There is some sign of posturing and submission over who gets to the food first.
The smaller hog is standing tall to increase its presence. This is actually revealing the softer underside. The tactic seemiingly did not work, as it has then curled up into its defensive mode.