Conservation

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All Butterfly Conservation events are cancelled until further notice.

We are doing everything we can to provide support and reassurance to our staff, volunteers and supporters in these uncertain and challenging times. We wish to play our part in keeping people healthy and safe.

Following government guidance, we have decided all of our events involving staff and volunteers must be cancelled. This includes both indoor and outdoor activities.

We will review arrangements for future months in due course in light of any updates to government guidance and share updates on our website and social media channels and by email to those registered with us.

These are exceptional times and we will work to support each other and keep you updated

Conservation Update February 2020

Sightings at our reserve at Fordon Chalk Banks, Filey in 2019 showed all species doing well. It is an important site for Wall as well Dingy Skipper and even a Dark green Fritillary was seen last year. We made a good start to our conservation management schedule but then had to cancel twice due to storms. However, we have achieved three really good weeks work. We are taking on a big challenge of the second field eastwards after making a small start last year. It would nearly double the area we care for and the quality of the herbage is almost equally as good. The hawthorn scrub had really got going in the intervening year so the team, boosted by more fresh volunteers has made good progress. More than half the field was cleared before we moved onto Yatts.

Yatts Farm, Pickering is becoming a premier butterfly site with 24 species recorded last year and the reappearance of the Duke of Burgundy makes this seasons work even more important. Yatts also had some of the highest daily counts of Dark Green Fritillary with over 100 individuals. In common with many of the larger woods of Yorkshire the Silver Washed Fritillary returned after an absence of more than 100 years. We have been carrying out scrub clearance to help improve the habitat for all species. We have only had 2 hours work so far (yes it rained again!) but we have made some progress on the Duke sighting area and cleaned up re-growths on two previous cleared hillsides. To the north and a favourite with the Dark Greens is another hillside badly in need of clearing. We have two more weeks to do the work.

In early February we combining forces with Dragonfly and Freshwater Habitat groups and headed to Boltby Reservoir near Thirsk. Yorkshire water have decommissioned the site and dropped the water level and sown the exposed banks with wildflower seed which has established well but has suffered with Larch saplings getting established along with Birch, Sallow and Firs, Over the last few years the west side has been cleared and maintained to keep the sward short for a good population of Dingy skipper plus a good array of dragonfly species. We completed the west side and moved to the more challenging east side which has not been touched with sapling trees now 20 foot. Care was needed not to clear too much too quick and let in brambles etc but very good progress was made with a large team of volunteers along with a representative from Yorkshire water who was made welcome

The team has been badly hampered by the weather to the point we have lost a whole months work to rain and storms. It seems to be bad luck named storms always arrive on a Sunday! The saving grace is we have had near double the number of helpers which has partly compensated for so many lost days, but the team is a little disheartened by what we might have achieved. Thank you to all those volunteers who have joined us especially all those new folk

Fordon: Scrub piles ready to roll off the hill

Boltby Reservoir: Ready for home