National Moth Night – A Tale of Four Orchards

On Saturday night, four moth traps were run across the Rother Woods Project area. One in Brede High Woods, another at Great Dixter, a third at Iden and a fourth between Cripps Corner and Robertsbridge. The last of these was my responsibility. All were with the kind permission of the landowners.

Other than the occasional light drizzle that I experienced, the weather was mild, overcast and dry. We all met at Great Dixter at 8.30 on Saturday evening and then went our separate ways… I went off towards Robertsbridge to meet the landowner and then drive out into his marvellous organic orchards. We finally turned the trap off at 00:40 and I headed home, more than a little weary, with a full trap ready to be evaluated by folk more expert than I on Sunday morning.

We all met up at 8am on Sunday, back at Great Dixter to compare results and identify the contents of the traps. Full details of all catches will appear at www.rotherwoods.org – highlights from my trap, which contained 30 species, included a Small Elephant Hawkmoth and a Spectacle.

The stunning Small Elephant Hawkmoth
Small Elephant Hawkmoth

The obviously named Spectacle!Spectacle moth

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Rother Woods Project – Official Launch – 24th May

The Rother Woods Project will be officially launched at Beckley Woods, at 10am on Saturday 24th May.

The event will be a get-together for project volunteers and supporters and I’d be really pleased if any branch members/web visitors could come along. There’s also the chance we’ll see some Grizzled Skippers (possibly aberration taras or aberration intermedia) and some other lovely butterflies. Visitors can also have a walk around Beckley Woods to see the challenge ahead or they can head off to a different site to record butterflies or just enjoy the start of the Bank Holiday weekend.

– Steve Wheatley (Rother Woods Project Officer)

Butterfly Recording Workshop at Great Dixter

From Michael Blencowe:

“I spent an enjoyable morning today delivering a butterfly recording workshop to 15 people at Great Dixter house. The owners of this amazing building kindly allowed us use of a rather grand room and I gave a presentation (while sat amid the antiques and giant rubber plants) about the importance of recording butterflies in this area of the county.

After the presentation it was time to put our i.d skills to the test and we took a walk around Great Dixter House and nearby Weights Wood where I talked about the panic that sets in when I see a white butterfly in the distance, the love life of the Peacock and the importance of woodland management for butterflies.

It was great to meet an enthusiastic bunch of folk who were all very keen on getting out and recording butterflies.”

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.