The Dorset Branch education stall has recently spent four days at Moors Valley Country Park, for their ‘Butterfly, Moth and Minibeast Festival”.
More than 1200 people attended, mostly families. The star attractions were living examples including Orange Tip eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis. December moth caterpillars, all hairy and camouflaged against hawthorn twigs, were admired. Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars, chrysalis and an emerging adult came from Moors Valley. A selection of moths were on show, all described by the 10 expert volunteers.
The Buttterfly Conservation’s national Munching Caterpillars initiative also joined us, with Catherine Mason keeping young people busy potting plants to take home.
On the next weekend Winterborne Whitechurch Farm Open Day saw the stall have another 200 plus visitors looking at Poplar Hawk moths and their caterpillars, plus red, white and black Knot Grass caterpillars.
Knot Grass Caterpillar. Photo: Lyn Pullen
Most amazing was an Orange tip caterpillar changing into a chrysalis as we watched. Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars were also making this wonderful change.
This farm has been surveyed by Butterfly Conservation volunteers and has 31 species of butterfly on its ‘managed for conservation’ areas. Eighty moths have also been seen on the farm, and our display included Privet Hawk Moth, Lobster Moth and the stunning Green silver lines. Our picture displays showed the link between food production and conservation.
You too can volunteer for stall help, it is wonderful to look up and see 4 pairs of eyes riveted on you!
Contact Bridget via our Contact Form.