News and Features
BC Fritillaries for the Future Update: Pearl-bordered Fritillaries back in Rowland Wood<
Tuesday, 22 May
I'm pleased to report that a reintroduction of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary to the Rowland Wood reserve, conducted in compliance with the ‘BC Code on Introductions and Re-introductions 2010’ (involving the necessary research, thorough preparations and implementation of a sustainable management plan, as part of a landscape scale programme), has now been completed.
We haven't posted any of the reports sent in by those who have noticed the appearance of PBF on the Sussex reserves (some have already found their way into Park Corner Heath), in order to let the butterflies get on with the job of establishing a new population, unhindered by too much attention - thank you for your patience. We will welcome any reports from next year onward.
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries are now emerging on the reserves, so you now have the happy problem of differentiating between these species (a good book on The Butterflies of Sussex will help). I would like to thank the project's captive-breeding team of Theresa Turner, Gary Norman and Mike Mullis for all their hard work, and everyone else who has supported the project in any way. (Neil Hulme)
Transition Chichester: Buckthorns for Brimstones
Sunday, 10 March
As visitors to this website will doubtless be aware, brimstone butterflies are entirely dependent on 2 species of food plant for their caterpillars: common or purging buckthorn, and alder buckthorn. In areas where these bushes are rarely found (for example on the coastal plain south of Chichester) the number of brimstone sightings also seems to be lower.
Transition Chichester is organising a project which aims to help brimstone butterflies in the Chichester area by encouraging local people to plant one or more alder buckthorn bushes in their gardens. This scheme is based on Butterfly Conservation Suffolk's very successful initiative, where since 1998 thousands of common and alder buckthorn bushes have been provided free of charge to be planted in gardens and other open spaces within the county. The scheme tried to specially target those parts of Suffolk where the brimstone was 'known to be elusive'. Since these plantings, there has been a significant increase in the number of brimstone sightings in the county.....and the initiative has introduced many people to the idea of wildlife gardening.
The Transition Chichester pilot project is on a much smaller scale. In late February this year, 100 bare rooted alder buckthorn bushes were bought from a nursery, to be sold to the public at cost price of £1 each. With minimal publicity, the first 100 went within about 10 days. Two more batches of 75 were ordered to cope with the demand, of which around 40 are left. BC Sussex members, and indeed anyone else, would be welcome to buy one or more of the remaining bushes. Please email TCbuckthornforbrimstones@gmail.com for more details - the bushes can be picked up at any time from the front garden of a house in central Chichester, and the relevant number of £1 coins pushed through the letter box. Just bring a plastic bag to put the bushes in. The postcodes of the sites of the plantings will be plotted on a map for all to see. We hope that people will send us news of any brimstones visiting the newly planted bushes.
There are plans for the scheme to continue in the winter 2019/2020 planting season, maybe in conjunction with BC Sussex. Look out for further updates! If all the alder buckthorns from the pilot project sell out before you have bought yours, we can put you on a list for more bushes, which should be available this November.
Neil Hulme BEM "Butterflies in the countryside west of Arundel", Saturday 12th January
Thursday, 03 January
Neil Hulme will be giving a talk at Arundel Museum on Saturday 12th January at 2:30pm.
The title of the talk is “Butterflies in the countryside west of Arundel" and will include a look on the work undertaken by the Fritillaries for the Future project in Rewell Wood and the surrounding area over the past few years.
Local species that will be highlighted include Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, the Duke of Burgundy, Purple Emperors, White Admirals, Silver-washed Fritillaries, Dingy Skippers and Green Hairstreaks.
The £4 fee at the door will go to support the work of the Mid Arun Environmental Survey (MAVES) who are sponsoring the event.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arundel Musuem, Mill Road, Arundel, BN18 9PA