August is when the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ is held and for the second year in a row the Friends took part by sending groups of people to the parts of the Common favoured by butterflies – the scope, the frying pan and the prison banks (find them on our map). The groups were led by Ian Cunningham, the Common’s butterfly recorder; Simon Saville, Chair of SW London Butterfly Conservation; and May Webber of Big City Butterflies who is hoping to launch a project on the Common next year. Our sightings are pooled centrally and are an invaluable resource for tracking this key indicator species for biodiversity. We also produced a butterfly leaflet, with help from Ian and Sarah Halonen, which you can download here.
‘Moths matter’ too so we held two ‘moth breakfasts’ where we identified the moths that had been attracted overnight to a moth trap provided by May. Simon and May were there to identify them and there was a lot of early morning excitement as all manner of moths – at least twenty different species - were released back into the Naturescope garden.
The Friends committee met in August (alternate months) for a strategy discussion - what to do more of and what to do less of. Our successful ‘walks and talks’ will continue (see what’s on) as well as our monthly swan and duck food bagging and litter picks. A future priority is engaging with schools where we are working closely with Naturescope. Minutes of our latest meeting are posted here.