Bishop Wood FC
Recorders: Nick Hall
Sections: S1 is mixed coniferous blocks and mature deciduous being thinned to encourage Oaks and where Purple hairstreak is seen in sunny pockets and Speckled Wood and GV White. There is a cluster of Elm where it meets the railway line road. S2 is along the railway side and abounds with herbs and is a special favourite with Brimstones Peacocks, and Silver Washed fritillaries.
S3 we make our way back into to shady rides back to the main road where we started. Crossing the road into S4 a well lite ride has more species with Comma a nd Ringlets. S5 starts at a road junction with sallow and birch regrowth and this open ride with good nectar is often the favourite place to see peacock, SWF and Comma. particularly at its end near the logpile where Argent and Sable is commonly spotted. S6 is a wide shady ride with and after a couple of clearings you take the Path back towards the south dep in the wood and very shady to Pringles Bridge which has good violet areas and is anothe rfavouruite of our woodland species. S8 return via Park nook road which is wide bracken filled ride often used by Brimstone, comma and Silver Washed fritillary
Bishop Wood saw a remarkable 42% increase in overall numbers of all species! The highlight was a good many White-letter Hairstreaks were seen for the first time. Silver washed Fritillary had a early start and a late finish although numbers per week were probably 20-30% down. Purple Hairstreak was seen in good numbers along with more Dingy Skipper along the railway side (S2) However things were much influenced by a large new area of nectar plants including Primrose, Dog Violet, Birds Foot Trefoil and Agrimony followed by Knapweed, Teasel, Fleabane, Marsh Thistle, Meadowsweet, Marsh Valerian and Angelica along the railway side (S2) which has grown after being cleared in late 2018 ( S2). This abounded with life throughout the season and saw huge numbers of Peacocks (400 peak) in the last 2 weeks of July along with the Whites and other species. The summer downpours ment the trees were washed clean of their honeydew, the major food source of some of our canopy dwelling species like the Hairstreaks revealed their presence for the first time at low level and occasionally, very unusually, taking nectar. In addition the foresters moved in with heavy plant and the wider chalk roads were scrapped and reinforced with fresh chalk, which meant most of the nectar plants on the ride sides were lost. This greatly reduced butterfly numbers of some species while others simply moved to the railway side. This is very much reflected in the sections counts