93 days to go to National Insect Week
Saturday, July 2, 2016 - 14:00 to 16:00
A Gloucestershire Branch Butterfly Conservation event.
Today is National Meadows Day and our Rough Bank reserve is a wonderful example of a species-rich grassland. On this walk the main emphasis will be on the summer butterflies – we especially hope to see Small Skipper, Chalk Hill Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Heath, Marbled White and Gatekeeper – but the wildflowers and other plants that they require will also be pointed out.
The walk leaders are Chris Wiltshire and Sue Smith. Meet in the Rough Bank car park – see map below.
The UK’s remaining species-rich grasslands now cover a minute fraction of the area they once covered, even relatively recently in the early 20th Century. There were once natural wildflower meadows in every parish – today only 2% of the meadows that existed in the 1930’s remain. Nearly 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadow have been lost so far and they are still being destroyed. Of those that do survive, around 75% occur in small fragments and remain vulnerable to destruction.
Meadows and species-rich grasslands can support a huge range of wildlife including wildflowers, fungi, bees, flies, beetles, spiders, moths, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds. In the UK, more priority species (for conservation attention) are associated with grasslands than with any other habitat type. Only 1% of the UK’s land area now supports species-rich grassland and only 2% of the UK’s grasslands are species-rich. Species-rich grasslands also provide other environmental benefits including carbon storage, water retention to prevent flooding and habitat for crop pollinators, they are also archaeologically important.
This event is also part of Stroud Nature 2016.
To attend this event please register in advance.