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.
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.
Manager for Biodiversity and Alternative Energy