Guided Walk around Brede High Woods

On Saturday 26th April, Patrick Roper led a fascinating walk around parts of Brede High Woods, organised and co-led by BC’s Steve Wheatley and accompanied by Dave Bonsall from the Woodland Trust.

This walk was an introduction both to this marvellous woodland complex, recently acquired by The Woodland Trust, and more importantly the first butterfly surveying walk for people interested in recording as part of the Rother Woods Project.

The walk was very well attended and thankfully the weather was perfect. As always, Patrick was enthusiastic and informative, with Steve managing the assembled participants and enthusing them all along the way.

Butterfies seen included Brimstone, Holly Blue, Orange Tip, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Comma and three suspected (though unconfirmed) Clouded Yellows. More details and a few pictures at the Sussex Butterflies Sightings page.

We also stumbled upon a surprisingly active Slowworm!

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Moth Trapping – 25th April

As part of the Rother Woods Project for the Brede and Udimore area, I am running a loaned Robinson Moth Trap in my garden – and in other woods and locations around the area – at every available opportunity. I am not a fully fledged (or even partially fledged!) “mother” as yet, so am double-checking my results when unsure, but I am already becoming hooked.

Results for the night of Fri 25th April
(Trap run overnight here in my garden on the outskirts of Broad Oak)

Brindled Beauty – 8
Common Quaker – 11
Great Prominent – 4
Hebrew Character – 6
Lesser Swallow Prominent – 2
Swallow Prominent – 1
Lunar Marbled Brown – 1
Coxcomb Prominent – 1
Early Thorn – 2
Early Grey – 1

Coxcomb Prominent
Coxcomb Prominent

Lesser Swallow Prominent
Lesser Swallow Prominent

The trap here was run in conjunction with six others as part of the Rother Woods Project’s first Moth Trapping Night. Here are Pat Bonham’s comments from RXWildlife:

Six of us ran five MV moth traps at Park Wood, Brede, on Friday night (25th) to kick off moth recording as part of Butterfly Conservation’s new Rother Woods Project (www.wildrye.info/files/rotherwoods.pdf). The habitat was mainly damp birch woodland with clearings. In ideal conditions – cloudy, mild and near calm – and serenaded by a singing Nightingale, we recorded about 60 moths of 32 species. Highlights included five species of Prominents (Pebble, Pale, Coxcomb, Scarce and no fewer than 5 Great Prominents), Early and Purple Thorns, Early Tooth-striped, Engrailed, 4 Lunar Marbled Browns, Water Carpet, Peacock, Sallow Kitten, Waved Umber, Knot Grass, Frosted Green, 2 Brown Silver-lines and 3 V-Pugs – a great start to the season.

There will be a public moth meeting for National Moth Night at Great Dixter from 8.30 pm on Saturday 7th June and from 8 am on 8th in what should be an extremely productive habitat – don’t miss it !

Butterfly Conservation’s Rother Woods Project… in the Brede and Tillingham Valleys

May as well begin with the longest titled post ever!

The purpose of this blog is to record sightings, propagate news and generally raise awareness of the Butterfly Conservation Rother Woods Project – with specific emphasis on the area spanning the Brede and Tillingham Valleys. These two valleys are separated by a ridge which runs from Rye (in East Sussex), through Udimore and along towards Sedlescombe.

There are plenty of sites – links provided here where possible – that are excellent resources for identification of butterflies and moths as well as recording, so there is no intention to compete with those sites. However, I intend to record my personal sightings in the area on this blog (as well as properly for BC) and post anything else of interest or potential usefulness.