Conservation in action

Just a couple of weeks ago I was out filming in the Cotswolds.  We can see the Cotswolds from our bedroom window here at home, but it’s a bit out of range of even the longest wildlife cameraman telephoto lens!

One of the first locations was a butterfly reserve.  As it has often been this year, it was cold.  A chilly wind blew from the north east carrying some vicious storm clouds with it.  Butterflies were hard to come by, but amongst the most hardy were some ringlets.  The ringlet is one of those butterflies that escapes attention quite easily because it is not particularly gaudy and because of that doesn’t arouse excitement when it takes to the wing then melts just as easily into the grass.

Perhaps the ringlet is not something to get over excited about, but I saw some today just a few hundred yards from the house.  There is a small area of parkland known as Piggy’s Hill between us and Chepstow, a remnant of some farmland left to the people of Chepstow by a former owner on the condition that it wouldn’t be built on.  Councils don’t honour that sort of request unfortunately, and despite the disapproval of many a chunk of concrete, a skateboard park, was planted in the middle of this little oasis.  That is another story.  Monmouthshire CC have been creating areas of wild flowers for bees in scattered locations around the county.  A couple of these are on Piggy’s Hill.  The picture shows one that has been rotovated and seeded, so I can’t wait to see what happens there.  If it’s anything like the other examples on roundabouts and verges it will be fantastic.  There is another one further down the hill which has simply been left unmown.  Last year it was alive with common blue butterflies, but today it was heaving with ringlets.

Initiative for bees and other insects

When you travel around as a wildlife cameraman you see some pretty horrific habitat devastation, so it is refreshing to see a little positive management result in such quick and prolific positive results – fair play.

More information about ringlet butterflies.