Tuesday February 7th, Lankham Bottom Butterfly Reserve: a beautiful almost spring-like day and possibly the earliest recorded date for Marsh Fritillary larvae on this site sunning themselves in a cluster on the southwest facing slopes of the reserve.
14 members of Butterfly Conservation and the Somerset EuCAN Volunteers gathered to finish the work on the chalkpit, to cut and burn up more of the scrub regrowth in what were formerly heavily scrubbed over areas of the reserve and to begin to remove gorse and thorn scrub in the south-east corner of the reserve where it is encroaching on valuable Marsh Fritillary habitat.
An enormous pile of buried rubbish was pulled out of the chalkpit with the help of a digger provided by Wessex Water, the owners of the site, and taken away in one of their dumper trucks. The face of the chalkpit was scraped of vegetation and topsoil to expose bare chalk which we hope will be colonised by Birdsfoot Trefoil, Kidney Vetch and other legumes and will become an attractive habitat for some of the blue butterfly species.
The work on the SE corner will continue next Wednesday Feb 15th – please come and help! See the Events page.