Posts Tagged ‘Butterfly Conservation’

Butterflies in continental decline

10 December, 2010

Grassland butterflies in steep decline across Europe
Drop in 17 species’ populations indicates a catastrophic loss of flower-rich meadows in many European countries.

Martin Warren, chief executive of Butterfly Conservation (UK), said the data from 3,000 sites in 15 countries showed an urgent need for EU funding to support sustainable “high-nature-value farming”.

Flower-rich grassland created by traditional livestock-grazing and hay-making over centuries of human occupation is either being abandoned, overgrazed or ploughed up for intensive farming, particularly in eastern Europe and mountainous regions.
The Guardian (10 December, p.15)

Read about the big butterfly project at Sheepdrove >>>

Wild food crop relatives to be ‘rescued’
Scientists have announced a plan to collect and store the wild plant relatives of essential food crops, including wheat, rice, and potatoes. The project, co-ordinated by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, will collect and catalogue seeds from across the globe. The hope is that the wild relatives of food crops will help plant-breeders to “correct for”, not only a changing climate, but plant diseases and loss of viable agricultural land.
BBC News (10 December)

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Save Our Butterflies Week 2010

20 July, 2010

SOBW2010 runs from Sat 24 July to Sun 1st August. We’re doing our bit for butterflies and you can too. Search the national events listings for an activity near you.

This year’s theme is PARKS AND GARDENS FOR BUTTERFLIES. The lead charity for flutterbyes – Butterfly Conservation – has teamed up with Marks and Spencer to launch the biggest ever public butterfly count to date.

Big  Butterfly Count

BC says, “You can join in and help us track butterflies, so we know where they need our help the most. Find a sunny spot in your garden, local park or other open space and spend 15 minutes counting butterflies.”

For more information, to download an ID chart and submit your sightings please visit the big butterfly count website.

Dig for Butterflies here! 22 Sept 2009

14 September, 2009

Tuesday 22 Sept 2009, 2pm – 5pm
Butterfly conservation task at Sheepdrove

Foodplants for Marsh Fritillary toasted by Peter Kindersley, Bob Anderson, Jason Ball, Chris Blunt, Phil Robbshaw

Foodplants for Marsh Fritillary toasted by Peter Kindersley, Bob Anderson, Jason Ball, Chris Blunt, Phil Robbshaw

It’s the Autumnal Equinox on 22 September, when day length equals night, and the days shorten from now on. Make the most of the daylight! Join us on a butterfly conservation task, as part of the Sheepdrove Rare Butterfly Project.

Be part of our ambitious plans – dig for butterflies! Help to plant 40 potted Devils-bit Scabious to attract Marsh Fritillary plus 120 Horseshoe Vetch to attract Chalkhill Blue. This is the next stage of the work that volunteers have kindly helped us to achieve.

“We aim to establish the most southern colony of Marsh Fritillary in Oxfordshire and the second colony known in Berkshire!” announces Jason Ball, who devised the Sheepdrove Rare Butterfly Project.

“The Lambourn Valley is an important part of the country for rare butterflies. The habitat needed by many butterflies have been nudged to the periphery of towns and industrialised farmland. We are fortunate at Sheepdrove Organic Farm to have the chance to recover some of the numbers of species such as the Marsh Fritillary, Small Blue and Chalkhill Blue.”

marsh fritillary (c) jasonpball

Marsh Fritillary needs new colonies to escape local extinction

“The owners, Peter and Juliet Kindersley, have lived nearly 40 years in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and took to heart the cause of biodiversity conservation long ago. They restored 75 hectares of flower-rich downland which is the foundation for our latest Lepidopteran ambitions for Sheepdrove Rare Butterfly Project, funded by the Kindersleys and Natural England.”

  • Light refreshments provided.
  • Please be prepared for changing weather. Wear tough outdoor footwear and clothes. Bring gardening gloves if you have them.
  • Meet at the farm office, Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn. Map and directions at www.sheepdrove.com/153.htm

Contact Jason Ball on 01488 674727.

PRESS

As seen at the Berkshire Biodiversity newsletter 2009 in the Newbury Weekly News and on the BBC Berkshire nature pages.