Farm Wildlife events (Nov 2010)

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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 Jason Ball or call Jason 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! (second session) 10am – 3pm
Scrub planting & woodland edge cutting. Details as per Saturday’s task.

Background

This is part of the Sheepdrove Rare Butterfly Project – and we’re helping moths too. We are planting native Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Barberry (Berberis vulgaris). 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 I hope that in future we’ll see the endangered Duke of Burgundy arrive at Sheepdrove.

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! Please join us on a task, we’d love you to be part of the project.

Jason Ball
Manager for Biodiversity and Alternative Energy
01488 674727

More wildlife events and volunteer tasks…

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