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Friends of Summerfields Wood October 2012 update

[from Friends of Summerfields Wood newsletter no 3, Summer 2012]

Conservation work within the woods tends to stop over the summer but there was a team from the Department for Transport helping with drainage issues during June. The department are encouraged (a few days a year) to get involved in community based projects – so thanks to them for helping out.

Butterflies The long grass ride and the woodland edge behind the ambulance station is usually a good habitat for butterflies. Each year the Friends submit butterfly records to the annual Big Butterfly Count (a project organised by Butterfly Conservation). The poor spring and early
summer weather was bad timing for the lifecycle of butterflies and we feared that populations would be hard hit. There have been good numbers of Commas and Large Skippers, low counts of Gatekeepers and Large Whites, very few Holly Blues, no Common Blues, an occasional Red Admiral and plenty of Speckled Woods. Early numbers were disturbingly low (or nonexistent) but they have increased with the improved weather of August.
It will be interesting to observe how this year’s poor breeding season affects butterfly populations in future years, but the mixed habitat of our Local Nature Reserve is a good place to look for butterflies on a summer’s day.

Next Task Day To clean out the ‘Roman Bath’ folly on Sun 18 Nov, 10-1.30pm Meeting at Summerfield’s Leisure Centre entrance.

Thank you volunteers 
The Hastings Borough Council rangers wanted to thank all the people who had been actively involved in Summerfield’s Wood over the years.
We decided to combine a task day with a BBQ and then to bolt on the end of it a Moth Evening event. The volunteers were hungry after their
clearance task and as darkness fell the moths were attracted to specialist bright lights and luckily not the BBQ fire. There were some moths
but the weather wasn’t quite right. No doubt the moth group will return soon but we can’t guarantee food for them every time. Thanks to every one who helped raised £20 for improvements to the woods. The Hastings division of the Sussex Moth Group organised this moth event. If you wish to come along to another moth evening please contact Andy Philips .

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