Tag Archives: lankham bottom

Ponies move to Lankham

Our four Dartmoor ponies have gone on their winter holiday to our Butterfly Reserve at Lankham Bottom, where the ground is less muddy and where there is more grass and a change of scenery!

Dartmoor ponies

Dartmoor ponies

This is the first time they have been moved since their arrival at Alners Gorse in November 2012, and despite our anxieties, the loading up and journey went very smoothly with a minimum of bickering between them.

The corral and gate system at Alners Gorse proved itself to be very workable. The four immediately made themselves at home, running the entire perimeter of the reserve then across the middle, obviously carrying out a quick assessment of their new quarters.

We are having to replace some of the fencing along the southern and western borders of the reserve as it is barely stock-proof and a team of nine branch volunteers spent a bright sunny day on February 16th clearing the gorse and bramble from the old fence and getting it ready for the contractor to start the job. A Peacock butterfly flew past, tempted out of its slumbers by the warmth of the day.


Fenceline clearance

The new fence has been now been installed by local contractor David Wareham and completed in record time with the help of local BC volunteers and members of the EuCAN CIC Cerne Valley group (see http://www.eucan.org.uk )

Completed fence

Completed fence

We are very grateful to Wessex Water for agreeing to fund the new fencing.

The ponies are checked daily by our team of pony ‘lookers’ – if you would like to be involved, please contact Kathy Henderson on 01963 23559.

Work on Lankham Bottom Butterfly Reserve

A team of 10 BC volunteers spent a beautiful still autumn day on Sunday November 17th at Lankham Bottom Reserve continuing the clearance work on the gorse and bramble scrub at the top of the south-facing slope.

Conservation work and bonfire

Lankham Bottom Conservation Work November 2013. Photo: Ann Evans

The bushes have been extending inexorably over the downland for over 40 years (according to local sources) but with all the efforts of volunteers and contractors in recent seasons, the large blocks of scrub are being broken up.

This will provide not only a greater area of valuable habitat for butterflies, moths and other wildlife that favour open grassland, but also more agricultural land for our tenant’s cattle to graze.

The next scheduled event at Lankham Bottom is on Sunday January 19. See the Events page for more information.

Lankham Bottom camp and mothing session August 9/10 2013

Over 35 people attended the Open Day and moth trapping session at Lankham Bottom Butterfly Reserve on August 9th and 10th – ranging in age from five to… well, shall we say over 50?

It was a cool clear night for the BBQ (with a great view of the International Space Station going over) and the moth numbers were reasonable – well over 500 moths of 80 different species, with plenty of large colourful macros to satisfy everyone.

Grateful thanks to Jack Oughton and Vince Giavarini for his help with the identification of the tricky micros.

Pebble Hook-tip moth

Pebble Hook-tip moth. Photo: Lyn Pullen

Read the full list of moths trapped.

The highlights of the guided walk were the discovery of very good numbers of Marsh Fritillary larval webs on the eastern slopes of the reserve, and a view of a Redstart presumably moving through on its southward migration.

Great day of conservation work at Lankham Bottom

Nigel Spring writes:

“On a beautiful sunny winter’s day, 13 people took part in the January work party at Lankham Bottom: Butterfly Consevation’s Reserve above Cattistock, continuing the programme of scrub clearance and management. Three chainsaws, two brushcutters, a lot of energy and a huge bonfire combined to eliminate a sizeable block of thorn, gorse and bramble on the southern slope, which we hope will over the years revert to herb-rich chalk grassland.

Some people clearing scrub on a hillside

Lankham Bottom work party. Photo: Maurice Budden

Lankham Bottom work party. Photo: Maurice Budden

The group exposed a nest on the ground containing a hibernating dormouse – a delightful but very vulnerable little bundle and possibly a new record for the reserve. It was carefully translocated to another nearby block of scrub and left asleep in a bundle of moss inside one of our cosy workgloves! The team of 13 volunteers ranged in age from early 20’s to over 70 and were sustained by baked potatoes, cake and hot drinks.

Our next scheduled meeting at Lankham reserve will be on Sunday March 3rd – why not come and join the fun?”