This week at Stagbury saw the debut of the latest addition to our range of tools, a wheeled power strimmer, courtesy of Andy Keay. This was used to cut back the thatch of coarse grass threatening to overwhelm the patch of Horseshoe Vetch that is home to our population of ChalkHill Blue butterflies. We visit this spot regularly in the summer as part of our butterfly transect.
With the volunteers taking turns with the new machine, a morning’s work with the strimmer and rakes cleared the top growth of this invasive grass, as you can see from Duncan’s photos. This will allow more light and space for the Horseshoe Vetch to thrive. We’ll be carrying on the work on the rest of this area next week.
On Thursday we will continue with the scrub control and grass management at Stagbury field. Meet at the Holly Lane car park at 10:00hrs.
We will start remedial action at the Chalkhill Blue butterfly site - rake and remove the dense thatch that has built up around the Horseshoe Vetch plants and extend the area of short grass at the site. Meet at the Holly Lane car park at 10:00hrs.
The carabid beetle, Platyderus depressus, found from under stones at The Lagoon is the first record for this species at the site and is widespread but scarce in the U.K.
Today we dealt with two fallen trees in Banstead Wood, one group removing a large birch a little way from Park Farm and the second group tackling a considerably bigger oak, which had also brought down a number of other trees on its way to completely blocking a path on the west side of the wood. After cutting a temporary path for walkers on one side, we cleared as many branches as possible to make things safe, leaving the main path semi-open and the remainder of the tree to be dealt with by RBBC.