Boosting butterflies – our volunteer team at Hucking Orchard
You may remember previously that we shared the superb work by our small but perfectly formed team of volunteers at Hucking Orchard near Maidstone in Kent. They have been working tirelessly to create new habitats for wildlife on-site and it was a pleasure to visit them this week to see it first-hand. As well as the slow worms and bees that are taking over a bird box (!), there was a real flutter of excitement (see what we did there!) about a very dainty creature who has made themselves at home.
As well as the stunning Green Hairstreak butterfly, our lucky volunteer Woodland Working Group Leader, Raymond, and Assistant Site Manager, Claire, spotted a Grizzled Skipper butterfly. Grizzled skippers are a section 41 species (ie, one of the rarest and most threatened), UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) listed priority species, so this was really quite something exciting! There were also Brown Argus and Common Blue butterflies recorded so monitoring will continue to see what other butterflies are impressed with the group’s hard work.
Thank you so much to all of our Woodland Working Groups and wildlife monitor volunteers for all that you do and also to our Volunteer Managers who support these great teams. The Hucking team are hoping to welcome volunteers from the orchard at Langley Vale Wood to share information soon and there are many other plans that we will update you on as soon as we can.
Words: Anna Claxton, Volunteer Development Officer (South East)
Pics: Anna Claxton and Claire Inglis, Assistant Site Manager (Kent)