The Sheepleas Nature Reserve Surrey UK

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Terry 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #39731

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Folks

    As you are all in the depths of winter over in New Zealand I thought this might cheer you all up and make you look forward to your new butterfly season.

    My good friend Jeff Boswell and myself have been surveying and recording by photography the butterflies in a nature reserve in my local area called The Sheepleas. This reserve is a butterfly paradise as you will see from the photo’s on Jeffs new website. There are other locations on the dropdown menu on his site but I will place a link directly to the Sheepleas second survey last Thursday 24th July for you to start from. Enjoy!

    http://jeff-boswell-butterflies.weebly.com/the-sheepleas-2.html

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  • #39780

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Jacqui

    It would have helped if I had not had a senior moment and told you the pink flowers were Thyme. They are Wild Marjoram, “Oregano” to the Chefs and cooks out there. The last thing you need is poor quality information. How embarrassed I am! The herbal smell alone as you walk through the plants is enough to give the name away.

    http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/wild-marjoram

    #39769

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Wonderful, Terry, thanks… do’t go to too much trouble – what you’ve identified there is interesting and probably enough for us.

    Jacqui

    #39744

    Terry
    Moderator

    Hi Jacqui

    I will ask Jeff to name some of the flowers in the meadows and clearings on the slide show. However for now I can tell you, the pink flowers you see in abundance on most of the photo’s are Wild Thyme. The yellow flowers that look like dandelions are Hawkweed. The large Pink flowers where Jeff was taking shots of Ringlet were Hemp Agrimony. You have set us a difficult task but I shall endeavour to identify as many as possible, but this will take a long time as this is real wild meadow with many flower and plant varieties which is why it is so good for rare butterflies and other insects. This is what the British Countryside was like when my Grandfather was a boy and now we have only 1% left nationally due to intensive agriculture, changes in woodland management and overpopulation. My Grandfather used to try and describe to me when I was little, what it was like for butterflies when he was growing up, but the Sheepleas and other similar sites are a good representation of his descriptions. Considering the destruction I have witnessed in my 53 years on this planet it’s hard to imagine how good it was back in those days. However life was hard for the working class back then so they never got to appreciate nature like we can as it was all work and little play.
    Jeff and myself were discussing during the walk how sad it is that the High Brown Fritillary now only found in a handful of locations in the UK was once Surrey’s commonest woodland butterfly. It is long extinct from this site and Surrey as a whole but was probably plentiful before WW2.

    #39734

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hi Terry

    I’m staying with Mary at present and just about to take a look… but Mary (whom I am staying with) asks if you could identify some of the nectar sources please. 🙂

    GREAT photos. I would love to know what some of those flowers are, please. Recognised Buddleia and ragwort too. 🙂

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