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Herts loses 17 butterfly species

A female Gatekeeper (sometimes called Hedge Brown), one species still surviving in the area.  (c) Brookmans Park Newsletter
A female Gatekeeper (sometimes called Hedge Brown), one species still surviving in the area
A charity, set up to monitor the butterfly population, says that Hertfordshire has lost the most species of butterflies over the past century than any other part of the UK.

The Butterfly Conservation says 17 species of butterflies have disappeared from Hertfordshire’s gardens, fields and woodland.

The charity blames urban sprawl, modern farming techniques and the lack of woodland management.

In all, it’s claimed there are only 56 species left in the UK. The list has been released to mark the first ‘Save Our Butterflies’ week.

This site has a number of pages listing the butterflies seen locally over recent years. Click here for the 1999 survey and click here for the 1998 survey.

Local events during Save Our Butterflies Week includes events at Bricket Wood, Trent Park and Smallford.

Birds, Butterflies & Wildlife at Trent Park, Enfield, Middlesex

A morning walk with plenty of stops. Meet 11.30 at Cockfosters underground station. Map ref: TQ 281 963, or you can join the walk at 12.00pm as it passes the cafe in Trent Park, map ref: TQ 281 696. Organisers say it takes around three hours with a stop for a snack or lunch at the cafe in the park.

Contact: Robert Callf, 0208 882 5487. This is a joint event with the London Natural History Society. Organisers say "This beautiful woodland edge and meadow area is one of the best sites in the area for a number of butterflies, Small Health Fritillary, Small Copper, White Letter Hairstreak and Purple Hairsteak, plus many varieties of moth including the Chimney Sweeper moth, and Oak Egger Moth. You will also be able to see many different types of birds including bullfinches, kestrels and sparrow hawks."

Save Our Butterflies at Notcutts Garden Centre

An all-weekend event on Saturday, 29 July, where Butterfly Conservation will be running butterfly gardening events and workshops as well as activities for children, including badge-making and colouring competitions and a bug-hunt.

Notcutts is on the A1057/ Hatfield Road, which is between Hatfield and St Albans. Opening hours are between 9.00 - 6.00 on Saturday and 10.30 - 4.30 on Sunday. Contact is Liz Goodyear.

There was also an evening meeting with the London Natural History Society to look for Purple Hairstreak on Saturday, 22 July.

You can discuss this issue in this site's forum.

22 July 2006

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