Big butterfly count on Ferring Rife

Ferring Conservation Group hunted for butterflies and flowers

Ferring Conservation Group hunted for butterflies and flowers

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They also held a summer flower challenge, in which members searched for different plants.

Members split up into a number of smaller groups to check out areas protected from the strong westerly breeze on what was otherwise a bright and sunny day.

Small frog, before being set free

Small frog, before being set free

The area of both the south and north lagoons on the East Preston side of the river were surveyed, and a total of 10 different species of butterflies were recorded, with 42 individuals around the south lagoon and 36 in the north.

Amongst those seen were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Small White and Red Admiral.

The results were duly forwarded to Butterfly Conservation to add to the 25,000 submissions so far which will build up a national picture of butterfly distribution.

The group then moved on to attempt to find at least 12 summer wild flowers in the area as challenged by walk leader and committee member, Tricia Hall.

Ferring Rife

Ferring Rife

A number of these plants such as Common Fleabane were proving attractive to butterflies and other insects.

Amongst the other plants were the white flowered and pleasant smelling Meadowsweet, Hogweed, Birds’ Foot Trefoil, Knapweed, Yellow Loosestrife, Bristly Ox Tongue and Yarrow.

All of these plants together provide an attractive scene, as well as a valuable habitat for our wildlife in this Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI).

Most of the members managed to complete the challenge and find at least 12 different plants, learning about them in the process.

Red Admiral SUS-151008-115707003

Red Admiral SUS-151008-115707003

Members also found a Bush Cricket, various ladybirds, some Day Flying Moths and even a small frog was discovered by the grandson of one of the group members.