First sighting this week of the red admiral:

This would be the offspring of ones that overwintered here as the new wave of arrivals from the continent haven’t arrived yet. And according to Ken Orpe, the recorder for the East Midlands branch of Butterfly Conservation, only the fourth to be seen in the county so far this year.

In May there were numerous speckled woods on site – some of the highest numbers in the county according to Ken, making our site a “hot spot” for this species.

Butterflies are one of the best indicators of the health of the environment so it goes to show how valuble our site is for wildlife as well as keeping us fed. You can help butterflies by not being too quick to strim down long grass, brambles and nettles at the back of your plot – these provide an ideal habitat for them and their larvae. Obviously you don’t want these to overcome your growing area but leaving some space for wildlife benefits us all.

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