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Butterfly Conservation

Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

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East Midlands Branch Butterfly Conservation

Field Trip Programme 2014

These field trips are a great way to learn about butterflies and their habitat, help with identification will be available and there will also be photographic opportunities. Walks are open to anyone to attend. Please check weather conditions and come suitably prepared.
If the weather looks bad enough for the trip to be cancelled we would ask you to ring the leader before setting off to check whether the trip is on or not.

Ketton Quarry (Leicestershire)

Saturday 10 May

Meet at 10.00am. From the A47 take the A6121 towards Stamford. This road passes through Ketton, but just before leaving the village turn left into Pit Lane. OS Landranger Sheet 141, parking and access at approx SK 977055 just past some small industrial units.

Target Species: Grizzled Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper and other spring butterflies.

Contact: Andrew Harrop 07711 552378.

Bingham Linear Park (Nottinghamshire)

Sunday 18 May

Meet at 10.00am at the bridge on Tythby Road in Bingham (SK 701393).

Target Species: spring butterflies especially Grizzled Skipper

Wear stout walking boots or shoes as the ground is rough. No toilets or facilities so bring your own drink or snack. The walk is about 6 km and takes approx. 2 hours.

This is a joint walk with the South Notts Wildlife Trust.

Contact: Jenny Craig 01949 838899

Hicks Lodge, Willesley Woodside (Leicestershire)

Saturday 24 May

Unfortunately this field trip has had to be cancelled. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Contact: Bill Bacon 01949 838585

Barnstone to Grantham Canal (Nottinghamshire)

Sunday 25 May

Meet at 10.00am at St Mary's Church, Barnstone (SK 736356)

We will walk along the disused railway line between Barnstone and the Grantham Canal.

Target species: Grizzled Skipper and other early butterflies

Stout footwear required.
The walk is expected to take approximately 2 hours.

Contact: Nigel Wood 01949 860001

Pleasley Pit Country Park (Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire)

Saturday 7 June

NEW MEMBERS WALK

An event specifically to welcome new members to the branch, but everyone is invited. There will be help particularly with identification.

Meet 10.00am in the car park (SK 500644). From the M1 Junction 29 follow the signs for Mansfield A617. After leaving Glapwell continue to the large roundabout and take the 4th exit into Pleasley village and after 120 yards take a right turn into Pit Lane and drive up the hill into the car park.

The habitat is very varied with wetland, plantation and grassland.

The walk should finish about 12.30pm.

Target Species: Spring butterflies, particularly Dingy Skipper and early dragonflies

Contact: Max Maughan 01332 511825

Bevercotes Nature Reserve (Nottinghamshire)

Sunday 8 June

Meet at 10.30am.

A 2 mile walk around the old spoil heaps of Bevercotes pit. The site is a haven for wildlife with open rides and mixed woodland plantations. There are two rivers flowing through the site: the Maun and the Meden which make it not only interesting for butterflies and moths, but dragonflies and damselflies which abound around the large ponds. We may also be lucky to catch sight of Kingfishers. The site is maintained by the Forestry Commission and has wide stony paths which are generally easy to walk along.

This is a morning walk but there are many other sites in the general area where you can carry on to after lunch. There are no facilities on the site but there is an excellent cafe about 1 mile away on the main road (Thaymar Ice Cream).

Directions: from the A614 turn right at the Thoresby roundabout, signed for Bothamsall. Go through the village and turn left at the T junction (Retford B6387). Towards the end of the long straight turn right onto a minor road with a Blue Route 6 Cycle Trail sign. Follow the road over the old pit site and park in any of the lay-by's on the left hand side of the road. (GR SK 696735).

Target Species: Dingy Skipper, Common Blue, Mother Shipton.

Contact: Jane Broomhead 01623 824688

Somerset Weekend

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June

On Saturday, meet at 10.00am in the car park near the Youth Hostel (GR ST 482347) immediately to the north of Cockrod Road, south of the town of Street. From the A39, take the B3151 south, bypassing Street and turn west onto Cockrod Road at the cross roads beyond the houses. It is a short steep walk up onto Collard Hill where we shall spend the morning looking especially for Large Blue. Other species include Marbled White.

We will return to the cars for lunch. Packed lunch required. There are no toilets.

After lunch we will visit Kings Wood north of Axbridge where Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary is the target. The car park is at GR ST 420560. Approaching from the east, at the cross-roads at Cross turn right onto the A38, ascend a long hill and near the top turn left into Winscombe Hill just before you pass the "Welcome to North Somerset" sign and the Texaco garage. The King's Wood car park is on the left. No toilets.

On Sunday, meet at 10.00am in the National Trust car park at Sand Point (GR ST 330659) north of Kewstoke which is just north of Weston-Super-Mare. The main target here is Glanville Fritillary (most northerly colony) and also Grayling and Wall. We will return to the cars for lunch. Packed lunch required. There are no toilets.

After lunch if people are interested we may visit Brean Down which is just south of Weston-Super-Mare. There are toilets here and a café.

All sites contain steep slopes and stout shoes or walking boots are recommended.

Contact: Max Maughan, 01332 511825. Mobile 07952 764755.

Hicks Lodge, Willesley Woodside (Leicestershire)

Sunday 29 June (revised date)

Meet at 10am at Hicks Lodge car park (Grid reference SK329155) where there is a small cafe with toilet facilities. This is a full day field trip but we shall return to the car park and cafe area for a lunchtime break. Walking conditions are generally easy and suitable for all the family.

From the A42 take junction 12 towards Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Turn left after the golf course just before Ashby then turn right on Willesley Woodside towards Moira, Hicks Lodge entrance on left.

Target Species: Large Skipper, Small Heath and other summer butterflies.

Contact: Bill Bacon 01949 838585

Coombs Dale (Derbyshire)

Tuesday 1 July

Meet at 10am on the small side road by the side of the café at Calver cross roads/traffic lights. GR SK 239749.
Morning walk finishing about 12.30pm. Facilities available nearby in cafe and pub.

Target species: Dark-Green Fritillary, Brown Argus and other summer butterflies

Contact: Max Maughan 01332 511825

Fermyn Woods (Northamptonshire)

Sunday 13 July

Fermyn Woods is part of the ancient Rockingham Forest. It is an attractive site with grassland and ponds as well as the extensive woodland.

Target species: Purple Emperor, White Admiral, Purple and White-letter Hairstreak, and a range of other woodland and grassland species.

Location: meet at 9.30 am at SP 964859 (opposite the airstrip) on the minor road from Brigstock to Oundle, off the A6116 Corby to Thrapston road. (Roadside parking only at the entrance to the bridlepath through the woods.) No facilities here.

Move cars for lunch at Fermyn Woods Country Park Visitor Centre (SP 953849) – café, toilets and picnic benches. Car parking charge of £2.60. Continue after lunch to explore other areas of the park. Good number of dragonfly species should be present at the ponds.

Contact: Max Maughan 01332 511825

Vicar Water Country Park (Nottinghamshire)

Tuesday 15 July

Meet 10.00am in the visitor centre car park (SK 588627; NG21 9AA). Toilets and cafe are available. The Country Park is situated off the B6030 Mansfield to Ollerton road south of Clipstone village. The walk should finish about 12.30pm.

Opened in 1982, the park is largely made up of reclaimed spoil tips from the adjacent Clipstone Colliery. Its area has more than doubled recently, as tipping from the pit stopped in 1998. This has allowed a large area to be managed as part of the Country Park, which is now approaching 200 acres.

Target Species: Summer butterflies and dragonflies.

This is a joint walk with the Derby RSPB local group.

Contact: Max Maughan 01332 511825

Wyre Forest (Worcestershire)

Saturday 19 July

This large forest is designated as a Forest Nature Reserve, much of it being a SSSI and several areas are managed as National Nature Reserves, which include the meadows we will be making for in the valley of the Dowles Brook.

Meet at 11am at the Hawkbatch car park (GR SO 762776 sheet 138) to the north of the B4194 approximately 2 miles north west of Bewdley. Unfortunately the car park is on the opposite side of the road to the forest, so special care will be needed for the first part of our walk along and across this busy road. Some of the forest paths are rough and steep, so stout footwear is recommended.

We will be taking our lunch with us. The walk down to the meadows (SO 756767) is over a mile so be prepared for both hot and wet conditions. The meadows do not have public access, but I have been advised that we should be OK going into them, therefore please have consideration for the flora and fauna, especially if they are hay meadows.

Target Species: Silver-washed Fritillary and other woodland and grassland species.

Contact: Geof Adams 01455 282641

Hicks Lodge, Willesley Woodside (Leicestershire)

Saturday 19 July

NEW MEMBERS WALK

An event specifically to welcome new members to the branch, but everyone is invited. There will be help particularly with identification.

Meet at 10am at Hicks Lodge car park (Grid reference SK 329155) where there is a small cafe with toilet facilities. This is a full day field trip but we shall return to the car park and cafe area for a lunchtime break. Walking conditions are generally easy and suitable for all the family

From the A42 take junction 12 towards Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Turn left after the golf course just before Ashby then turn right on Willesley Woodside towards Moira, Hicks Lodge entrance on left.

Target Species: Summer grassland brown butterflies.

Contact: Bill Bacon 01949 838585

Cotgrave Forest (Nottinghamshire)

Sunday 20 July

Meet at the entrance at 11.00am. From Nottingham take the A606 towards Melton Mowbray , just before entering Stanton on the Wolds take the left turning into a single track road called Laming Gap Lane. Park with care on the roadside at SK 646322.

Target species: Dark Green Fritillary, Purple Hairstreak, White Letter Hairstreak & possibly Silver Washed Fritillary.

Mainly easy walking on gravel track although some parts can be remain wet after rain so stout footwear is recommended.
Since our last trip to this site in 2010, the Dark Green Fritillary has become established in Cotgrave Forest. The Silver Washed Fritillary was also seen there in 2013 as well as many other sightings in the vicinity.

Contact: Eliot Taylor 0116 2871677 (after 6pm)

Toton Sidings (Nottinghamshire)

Thursday 24 July

Meet at the Banks Road Open Space car park (SK 494345) at 10am for a walk around the Toton Fields Local NR and Toton Sidings for an approx. 2 to 3 hour walk. This area is full of wildflowers that attract a wide range of butterflies including Marbled White.

Banks Road turns off Stapleford Lane, Toton (B6003), at the traffic lights. Towards the end of Banks Road there is a side street called Chester Green and this leads to the free car park at the Toton Greenwood Community Centre (no facilities).

Contact: Brian Hobby 0115 9306457

Aston Rowant (Oxfordshire)

Sunday 10 August

Meet at the Natural England car park (SU 731966) on the north side of the M40 motorway at 9.30am. Access is signposted from the A40 which can be joined from either Junction 5 or 6 of the M40.

Target species are Silver-spotted Skipper, Chalkhill Blue and Brown Argus. Plants include Chiltern Gentian.

Bring a packed lunch, and stout shoes are recommended as there are several steep slopes.

In the afternoon, if time permits, we will visit the nearby reserve of Whitecross Green Wood for Brown Hairstreak.

There are no facilities at either of the sites visited today.

Contact: Max Maughan 01332 511825.

Longstone Edge (Derbyshire)

Sunday 17 August

Joint meeting with Cheshire and High Peak Branch.

Meet at the Monsal Head Public Pay & Display Car Park (grid ref SK 185715) at 10.30am where there are toilets and a café. We can then leave some cars there, and then fill up the remainder of the vehicles with members and then drive to nearby Longstone Edge (restricted parking space is available at SK 200730).

The target species is the Wall Brown but there could also be Dark Green Fritillary and the Brown Argus (Peak District Race) dependant on how advanced the butterfly season is. As the Wall Brown is in serious decline, we would appreciate any members making notes of their observations of the females egg laying requirements and whether the males appear darker than normal at this location. Also any video clips of the butterfly would be appreciated as this may be of some use to the Scientists who are trying to find out the reason for its decline. In the afternoon, there would be an opportunity to visit nearby Coombs Dale, but unfortunately it does look as though the Wall Brown may be lost at this location.

Contact: David Tomlinson 01663 762596