Henfield Common SxWT's position - and a response

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Henfield Common SxWT's position - and a response

D BANGS

Henfield Common archaic grassland damage

Below is a statement from the Sussex Wildlife Trust to me: 30/05/17.

BELOW THAT is a short response from me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Dave,

The meeting last week with Henfield PC ended up positive. They acknowledged our concerns and wanted to find a way forward.  Henfield PC made it clear that they have restrictions in terms of funding and risks of breach of contract with contractors and that the football pitches on the common are part of a chain of activities happening through the Parish.   They were also were clear that their priority is to restore the football pitches into a playable condition, as per their lease with Horsham DC.  They also acknowledged that they should have consulted with us earlier in the process and welcome SWT as a consultee on any future management issues on the Common.

In the meeting Tony accepted that the work would happen including the draining of the site, and options  to reduce the damage to the biodiversity interest were investigated.  These covered 1. least disturbance, 2. a less aggressive seed mix, 3, minimal fertilizer.

This started a conversations outside the meeting with contractors that has changed the shape of the proposal (involving less application of fertilizer, different seedmix, 3m buffer).  It is still far from ideal and we acknowledge that lots of botanical interest will be irreprably lost so SWT continue to express our disappointment.

At some point in the near future there will be a joint statement from Henfield PC and SWT that reflects the above.

Longer term SWT will have more input into decisions taken on Henfield Common and we still plan to write to all the statutory agencies that we think failed to give Henfield PC the right advice in this issue.  Additionally for me, it shines a light on gaps in our own SWT resources for dealing with issues like this.  We know that we are very under-resourced in the ‘Conservation Policy’ area, but to me it is clear that being able to have a proactive approach at a neighbourhood level could prevent situations like this happening, if we had a relationship and dialogue with Parish groups and councils as a matter of course. 

So I think that is where we have got to for now with this.

Best wishes

Henri

RESPONSE FROM DAVE BANGS

The SWT say their meeting with Henfield Parish Council “ended up positive”...but it is difficult to see anything positive in it at all. The drainage and the destruction of the sward all over the project site are underway with no opportunity for any environmental impact assessment...and no last minute push that I know of to mobilise their own recording effort before the destruction re-started.

Today the tractors were disc harrowing the ground, which now looks like a ploughed field. The majority of the Chamomile lawn is gone.

This is not a surprise, because it was clear from my earlier short exchange with the Trust that their goals were vanishingly modest...essentially re-establishing a relationship with the Parish Council.

The football pitch development is, I think, an intensification of what was there before, with two pitches (one at each end of the Memorial Field) and a cricket club practice area in the middle (which already has an astroturf wicket).

Yet an obvious way forward would have been to place the two restored football pitches in the centre of the field and allow the most species-rich east and west ends of the field (the chamomile lawn and the peaty marshy ground) to continue under their till-now management.

The drainage plans are very bad news with a ring drain and 3 metre spaced drains and additional sub-surface drainage, yet the retention of the east and west ends for nature would have enabled them to be excluded from the drainage scheme.

However, there were no proper discussions (beyond a last-minute hurried telephone conference) between myself and the SWT which could have briefed them with these and other options.

No big effort to engage NE or Horsham District Council’s planning enforcement team with our case was reported to me, and the SWT intend merely intend to give them a post-hoc telling off...though the NE EIA team has not yet even given any indication of whether they wish to call the development in. What will be the SWT's position if the NE EIA team do call it in ?

The SWT entered the meeting with the parish council without having generated any additional media publicity or developed their stance with me in any proper way. Furthermore, they did not defend my presence in the meeting, thus cutting themselves off from the information with which I could have resourced it.

In one matter, the SWT’s statement is correct, and that is that their local knowledge and engagement is frighteningly weak. This is the third recent occasion on which I have been startled to realise that they do not know of important local site endangerments a few minutes journey time from Woods Mill. How come the SWT in Henfield missed an issue like this for some THREE YEARS?

No wonder the parish council are so rattled by last-minute whistleblowing from a guy who lives 10 miles away in Brighton,

Dave Bangs

 

 

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Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Blencowe, Michael


Dear Adastrans,


First off a quick thank you to all of you who have purchased a copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' - and for all the lovely comments Neil Hulme and I have received. It seems like we got it right.


I'm interested in receiving any sightings of Swallowtail butterflies in the county this year. Recent years have seen Continental Swallowtails migrating across The Channel into Sussex and in 2013 some individuals were seen egg-laying which subsequently led to Sussex-born adults emerging in 2014. There were some sightings at the end of last year and I am interested to find out if any of their offspring emerge in 2017.


At 06:30 this morning I received an interesting message from Mary Murphy in Shoreham. Mary reported that she had a Swallowtail on her balcony. Last week’s warm weather has resulted in a modest influx of Painted Ladies and migrant moths into Sussex from the Continent and I wondered if this Swallowtail had been part of the migration or had possibly even survived the winter here. I called her straight away to get the full story and things were not as I expected. Instead of flapping its way across The Channel this butterfly had hitched a lift on a Parsley plant. About 8 weeks ago Mary had bought the potted Parsley at Brighton’s Infinity Foods. The plant had been imported from France and unknown to Mary contained a Swallowtail egg. The Swallowtail was destined to be an unintentional ingredient in Mary’s caramelised onion polenta pie. The Parsley plant was left on a windowsill and luckily (for all involved) Mary spotted the small caterpillar before it (and the Parsley) headed for the pot. With the caramelised onion polenta pie now on the metaphorical back burner Mary had the consolation of watching a Swallowtail caterpillar develop, pupate and emerge (an experience which she had to fuel by purchasing more Parsley plants). The adult butterfly emerged on 29th May and understandably wanted to get as far away from the oven as possible so Mary released it onto her sunny Shoreham balcony and the missing ingredient from her pie flew off today.  Not exactly the sort of sighting I'm after but it does give us more information on how some of our Swallowtails are entering Sussex.  

Please send any sightings (whether in the wild or in a supermarket) to me at my Sussex Wildlife Trust address [hidden email]

Michael Blencowe
(Henfield)



 



 

 

 

 www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk

                          
 
 
 
 

 

 


Sussex Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act. Registered in England, Company No. 698851. Registered Charity No. 207005. VAT Registration No. 191 305969. Registered Office: Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9SD. Telephone 01273 492630

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Re: Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Ralph Hobbs
Very interesting Michael, but what I can't understand is how a female Swallowtail can have emerged to lay fertile eggs in France, even in the south, in late March! Just last week in the south of France first brood Swallowtails were out in force near the Med, and just starting to emerge at higher altitude. That egg must have been laid either in south Spain or Morocco(?!) or else both parents emerged artificially early within a glasshouse (these things happen) where the parsley plants were raised. Not only that they managed to avoid death from insecticide, find one other to mate, and presumably find enough nectar to keep them going long enough to start laying eggs. Curiouser and curiouser! 
Ralph


From: "Michael Blencowe" <[hidden email]>
To: "Adastra discussion group" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017 11:59:50 PM
Subject: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017


Dear Adastrans,


First off a quick thank you to all of you who have purchased a copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' - and for all the lovely comments Neil Hulme and I have received. It seems like we got it right.


I'm interested in receiving any sightings of Swallowtail butterflies in the county this year. Recent years have seen Continental Swallowtails migrating across The Channel into Sussex and in 2013 some individuals were seen egg-laying which subsequently led to Sussex-born adults emerging in 2014. There were some sightings at the end of last year and I am interested to find out if any of their offspring emerge in 2017.


At 06:30 this morning I received an interesting message from Mary Murphy in Shoreham. Mary reported that she had a Swallowtail on her balcony. Last week’s warm weather has resulted in a modest influx of Painted Ladies and migrant moths into Sussex from the Continent and I wondered if this Swallowtail had been part of the migration or had possibly even survived the winter here. I called her straight away to get the full story and things were not as I expected. Instead of flapping its way across The Channel this butterfly had hitched a lift on a Parsley plant. About 8 weeks ago Mary had bought the potted Parsley at Brighton’s Infinity Foods. The plant had been imported from France and unknown to Mary contained a Swallowtail egg. The Swallowtail was destined to be an unintentional ingredient in Mary’s caramelised onion polenta pie. The Parsley plant was left on a windowsill and luckily (for all involved) Mary spotted the small caterpillar before it (and the Parsley) headed for the pot. With the caramelised onion polenta pie now on the metaphorical back burner Mary had the consolation of watching a Swallowtail caterpillar develop, pupate and emerge (an experience which she had to fuel by purchasing more Parsley plants). The adult butterfly emerged on 29th May and understandably wanted to get as far away from the oven as possible so Mary released it onto her sunny Shoreham balcony and the missing ingredient from her pie flew off today.  Not exactly the sort of sighting I'm after but it does give us more information on how some of our Swallowtails are entering Sussex.  

Please send any sightings (whether in the wild or in a supermarket) to me at my Sussex Wildlife Trust address [hidden email]

Michael Blencowe
(Henfield)



 



 

 

 

 www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk

                          
 
 
 
 

 

 


Sussex Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act. Registered in England, Company No. 698851. Registered Charity No. 207005. VAT Registration No. 191 305969. Registered Office: Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9SD. Telephone 01273 492630

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Re: Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

S J Patton
Pretty weird, but then am I the only one who thinks it's a little bit questionable to be reporting a Swallowtail when you know you've just released it??!!

S



From: RALPH HOBBS <[hidden email]>
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 9:02
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Very interesting Michael, but what I can't understand is how a female Swallowtail can have emerged to lay fertile eggs in France, even in the south, in late March! Just last week in the south of France first brood Swallowtails were out in force near the Med, and just starting to emerge at higher altitude. That egg must have been laid either in south Spain or Morocco(?!) or else both parents emerged artificially early within a glasshouse (these things happen) where the parsley plants were raised. Not only that they managed to avoid death from insecticide, find one other to mate, and presumably find enough nectar to keep them going long enough to start laying eggs. Curiouser and curiouser! 
Ralph


From: "Michael Blencowe" <[hidden email]>
To: "Adastra discussion group" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017 11:59:50 PM
Subject: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017


Dear Adastrans,

First off a quick thank you to all of you who have purchased a copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' - and for all the lovely comments Neil Hulme and I have received. It seems like we got it right.

I'm interested in receiving any sightings of Swallowtail butterflies in the county this year. Recent years have seen Continental Swallowtails migrating across The Channel into Sussex and in 2013 some individuals were seen egg-laying which subsequently led to Sussex-born adults emerging in 2014. There were some sightings at the end of last year and I am interested to find out if any of their offspring emerge in 2017.

At 06:30 this morning I received an interesting message from Mary Murphy in Shoreham. Mary reported that she had a Swallowtail on her balcony. Last week’s warm weather has resulted in a modest influx of Painted Ladies and migrant moths into Sussex from the Continent and I wondered if this Swallowtail had been part of the migration or had possibly even survived the winter here. I called her straight away to get the full story and things were not as I expected. Instead of flapping its way across The Channel this butterfly had hitched a lift on a Parsley plant. About 8 weeks ago Mary had bought the potted Parsley at Brighton’s Infinity Foods. The plant had been imported from France and unknown to Mary contained a Swallowtail egg. The Swallowtail was destined to be an unintentional ingredient in Mary’s caramelised onion polenta pie. The Parsley plant was left on a windowsill and luckily (for all involved) Mary spotted the small caterpillar before it (and the Parsley) headed for the pot. With the caramelised onion polenta pie now on the metaphorical back burner Mary had the consolation of watching a Swallowtail caterpillar develop, pupate and emerge (an experience which she had to fuel by purchasing more Parsley plants). The adult butterfly emerged on 29th May and understandably wanted to get as far away from the oven as possible so Mary released it onto her sunny Shoreham balcony and the missing ingredient from her pie flew off today.  Not exactly the sort of sighting I'm after but it does give us more information on how some of our Swallowtails are entering Sussex.  

Please send any sightings (whether in the wild or in a supermarket) to me at my Sussex Wildlife Trust address [hidden email]

Michael Blencowe
(Henfield)



 


 
 
 
                          
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sussex Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act. Registered in England, Company No. 698851. Registered Charity No. 207005. VAT Registration No. 191 305969. Registered Office: Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9SD. Telephone 01273 492630


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Re: Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Blencowe, Michael

Hi Sarah, ha - yeah, in her defence she was rather new to all of this natural history malarkey. I don’t think she considered it to be a biological record.  She was just amazed her caramelised onion polenta pie had turned into a Swallowtail.

 

I did get the recipe for the pie by the way.

 

I’m just interested in finding out more about some of the sources of our more exotic lepidoptera sightings.

 

In recent years we’ve seen some Monarchs around Sussex which have been the result of the latest ill-informed craze of releasing these butterflies at Weddings and this of course distorts our understanding of the genuine migration of this species.

 

Last year we received records of the Florida Fern Moth  Callopistria floridensis in Sussex.

 

And then there was that dodgy record of that South American Palm Borer moth in Chichester years ago… (I would insert a smiley / winking face in here Sarah but I don’t know how).

 

Michael x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk

                          
 
 
 
 

 

 

From: Adastra [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Sarah Patton
Sent: 31 May 2017 10:09
To: Adastra discussion group
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

 

Pretty weird, but then am I the only one who thinks it's a little bit questionable to be reporting a Swallowtail when you know you've just released it??!!

 

S

 


From: RALPH HOBBS <[hidden email]>
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 9:02
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

 

Very interesting Michael, but what I can't understand is how a female Swallowtail can have emerged to lay fertile eggs in France, even in the south, in late March! Just last week in the south of France first brood Swallowtails were out in force near the Med, and just starting to emerge at higher altitude. That egg must have been laid either in south Spain or Morocco(?!) or else both parents emerged artificially early within a glasshouse (these things happen) where the parsley plants were raised. Not only that they managed to avoid death from insecticide, find one other to mate, and presumably find enough nectar to keep them going long enough to start laying eggs. Curiouser and curiouser! 

Ralph


From: "Michael Blencowe" <[hidden email]>
To: "Adastra discussion group" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017 11:59:50 PM
Subject: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

 

Dear Adastrans,

 

First off a quick thank you to all of you who have purchased a copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' - and for all the lovely comments Neil Hulme and I have received. It seems like we got it right.

 

I'm interested in receiving any sightings of Swallowtail butterflies in the county this year. Recent years have seen Continental Swallowtails migrating across The Channel into Sussex and in 2013 some individuals were seen egg-laying which subsequently led to Sussex-born adults emerging in 2014. There were some sightings at the end of last year and I am interested to find out if any of their offspring emerge in 2017.

 

At 06:30 this morning I received an interesting message from Mary Murphy in Shoreham. Mary reported that she had a Swallowtail on her balcony. Last week’s warm weather has resulted in a modest influx of Painted Ladies and migrant moths into Sussex from the Continent and I wondered if this Swallowtail had been part of the migration or had possibly even survived the winter here. I called her straight away to get the full story and things were not as I expected. Instead of flapping its way across The Channel this butterfly had hitched a lift on a Parsley plant. About 8 weeks ago Mary had bought the potted Parsley at Brighton’s Infinity Foods. The plant had been imported from France and unknown to Mary contained a Swallowtail egg. The Swallowtail was destined to be an unintentional ingredient in Mary’s caramelised onion polenta pie. The Parsley plant was left on a windowsill and luckily (for all involved) Mary spotted the small caterpillar before it (and the Parsley) headed for the pot. With the caramelised onion polenta pie now on the metaphorical back burner Mary had the consolation of watching a Swallowtail caterpillar develop, pupate and emerge (an experience which she had to fuel by purchasing more Parsley plants). The adult butterfly emerged on 29th May and understandably wanted to get as far away from the oven as possible so Mary released it onto her sunny Shoreham balcony and the missing ingredient from her pie flew off today.  Not exactly the sort of sighting I'm after but it does give us more information on how some of our Swallowtails are entering Sussex.  

 

Please send any sightings (whether in the wild or in a supermarket) to me at my Sussex Wildlife Trust address [hidden email]

 

Michael Blencowe

(Henfield)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sussex Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act. Registered in England, Company No. 698851. Registered Charity No. 207005. VAT Registration No. 191 305969. Registered Office: Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9SD. Telephone 01273 492630

 

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Re: Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

S J Patton
Hi Michael

I have happy memories of rearing through Long-tailed Blues from mange tout (this vegetarianism is getting tougher...) but, needless to say, they didn't leave the house. Especially as it was winter ;) 
There was a Map seen somewhere last week. Unfortunately it's very easy to obtain the early stages of a variety of exotic species and people may think that they are doing a good thing releasing them :( Then there are the people who are deliberately trying to establish populations of non native species. Pity they don't divert their efforts to something which would actually be helpful. 
I remember the Monarchs well. I was shot down in flames for being a spoilsport by pointing out that they weren't wild. Oh well. 
And it just goes to show that you get tainted by association - that giant Palm moth bruiser wasn't even mine ;) I got it from the finder via someone else! And that now resides safely in the Booth Museum. 
There was also a tiger moth of some sort....that was poo pooed as a release.....until they started turning up elsewhere.... So there will always be new species arriving (a new tortrix moth this very week) but the problem with releases seems to be getting worse.

I'm sure there's a paper in this....Dr Blencowe :)



From: "Blencowe, Michael" <[hidden email]>
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 10:36
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Hi Sarah, ha - yeah, in her defence she was rather new to all of this natural history malarkey. I don’t think she considered it to be a biological record.  She was just amazed her caramelised onion polenta pie had turned into a Swallowtail.
 
I did get the recipe for the pie by the way.
 
I’m just interested in finding out more about some of the sources of our more exotic lepidoptera sightings.
 
In recent years we’ve seen some Monarchs around Sussex which have been the result of the latest ill-informed craze of releasing these butterflies at Weddings and this of course distorts our understanding of the genuine migration of this species.
 
Last year we received records of the Florida Fern Moth  Callopistria floridensis in Sussex.
 
And then there was that dodgy record of that South American Palm Borer moth in Chichester years ago… (I would insert a smiley / winking face in here Sarah but I don’t know how).
 
Michael x
 
 
 
 
 
 
                          
 
 
 
 
 
 
From: Adastra [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Sarah Patton
Sent: 31 May 2017 10:09
To: Adastra discussion group
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017
 
Pretty weird, but then am I the only one who thinks it's a little bit questionable to be reporting a Swallowtail when you know you've just released it??!!
 
S
 

From: RALPH HOBBS <[hidden email]>
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 9:02
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017
 
Very interesting Michael, but what I can't understand is how a female Swallowtail can have emerged to lay fertile eggs in France, even in the south, in late March! Just last week in the south of France first brood Swallowtails were out in force near the Med, and just starting to emerge at higher altitude. That egg must have been laid either in south Spain or Morocco(?!) or else both parents emerged artificially early within a glasshouse (these things happen) where the parsley plants were raised. Not only that they managed to avoid death from insecticide, find one other to mate, and presumably find enough nectar to keep them going long enough to start laying eggs. Curiouser and curiouser! 
Ralph

From: "Michael Blencowe" <[hidden email]>
To: "Adastra discussion group" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017 11:59:50 PM
Subject: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017
 
Dear Adastrans,
 
First off a quick thank you to all of you who have purchased a copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' - and for all the lovely comments Neil Hulme and I have received. It seems like we got it right.
 
I'm interested in receiving any sightings of Swallowtail butterflies in the county this year. Recent years have seen Continental Swallowtails migrating across The Channel into Sussex and in 2013 some individuals were seen egg-laying which subsequently led to Sussex-born adults emerging in 2014. There were some sightings at the end of last year and I am interested to find out if any of their offspring emerge in 2017.
 
At 06:30 this morning I received an interesting message from Mary Murphy in Shoreham. Mary reported that she had a Swallowtail on her balcony. Last week’s warm weather has resulted in a modest influx of Painted Ladies and migrant moths into Sussex from the Continent and I wondered if this Swallowtail had been part of the migration or had possibly even survived the winter here. I called her straight away to get the full story and things were not as I expected. Instead of flapping its way across The Channel this butterfly had hitched a lift on a Parsley plant. About 8 weeks ago Mary had bought the potted Parsley at Brighton’s Infinity Foods. The plant had been imported from France and unknown to Mary contained a Swallowtail egg. The Swallowtail was destined to be an unintentional ingredient in Mary’s caramelised onion polenta pie. The Parsley plant was left on a windowsill and luckily (for all involved) Mary spotted the small caterpillar before it (and the Parsley) headed for the pot. With the caramelised onion polenta pie now on the metaphorical back burner Mary had the consolation of watching a Swallowtail caterpillar develop, pupate and emerge (an experience which she had to fuel by purchasing more Parsley plants). The adult butterfly emerged on 29th May and understandably wanted to get as far away from the oven as possible so Mary released it onto her sunny Shoreham balcony and the missing ingredient from her pie flew off today.  Not exactly the sort of sighting I'm after but it does give us more information on how some of our Swallowtails are entering Sussex.  
 
Please send any sightings (whether in the wild or in a supermarket) to me at my Sussex Wildlife Trust address [hidden email]
 
Michael Blencowe
(Henfield)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                          
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sussex Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act. Registered in England, Company No. 698851. Registered Charity No. 207005. VAT Registration No. 191 305969. Registered Office: Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9SD. Telephone 01273 492630
 


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Re: Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

dawn nelson
In reply to this post by S J Patton
nope
 
Dawn



From: Sarah Patton <[hidden email]>
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Pretty weird, but then am I the only one who thinks it's a little bit questionable to be reporting a Swallowtail when you know you've just released it??!!

S



From: RALPH HOBBS <[hidden email]>
To: Adastra discussion group <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 9:02
Subject: Re: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017

Very interesting Michael, but what I can't understand is how a female Swallowtail can have emerged to lay fertile eggs in France, even in the south, in late March! Just last week in the south of France first brood Swallowtails were out in force near the Med, and just starting to emerge at higher altitude. That egg must have been laid either in south Spain or Morocco(?!) or else both parents emerged artificially early within a glasshouse (these things happen) where the parsley plants were raised. Not only that they managed to avoid death from insecticide, find one other to mate, and presumably find enough nectar to keep them going long enough to start laying eggs. Curiouser and curiouser! 
Ralph


From: "Michael Blencowe" <[hidden email]>
To: "Adastra discussion group" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 May, 2017 11:59:50 PM
Subject: [Adastra] Swallowtails in Sussex in 2017


Dear Adastrans,

First off a quick thank you to all of you who have purchased a copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' - and for all the lovely comments Neil Hulme and I have received. It seems like we got it right.

I'm interested in receiving any sightings of Swallowtail butterflies in the county this year. Recent years have seen Continental Swallowtails migrating across The Channel into Sussex and in 2013 some individuals were seen egg-laying which subsequently led to Sussex-born adults emerging in 2014. There were some sightings at the end of last year and I am interested to find out if any of their offspring emerge in 2017.

At 06:30 this morning I received an interesting message from Mary Murphy in Shoreham. Mary reported that she had a Swallowtail on her balcony. Last week’s warm weather has resulted in a modest influx of Painted Ladies and migrant moths into Sussex from the Continent and I wondered if this Swallowtail had been part of the migration or had possibly even survived the winter here. I called her straight away to get the full story and things were not as I expected. Instead of flapping its way across The Channel this butterfly had hitched a lift on a Parsley plant. About 8 weeks ago Mary had bought the potted Parsley at Brighton’s Infinity Foods. The plant had been imported from France and unknown to Mary contained a Swallowtail egg. The Swallowtail was destined to be an unintentional ingredient in Mary’s caramelised onion polenta pie. The Parsley plant was left on a windowsill and luckily (for all involved) Mary spotted the small caterpillar before it (and the Parsley) headed for the pot. With the caramelised onion polenta pie now on the metaphorical back burner Mary had the consolation of watching a Swallowtail caterpillar develop, pupate and emerge (an experience which she had to fuel by purchasing more Parsley plants). The adult butterfly emerged on 29th May and understandably wanted to get as far away from the oven as possible so Mary released it onto her sunny Shoreham balcony and the missing ingredient from her pie flew off today.  Not exactly the sort of sighting I'm after but it does give us more information on how some of our Swallowtails are entering Sussex.  

Please send any sightings (whether in the wild or in a supermarket) to me at my Sussex Wildlife Trust address [hidden email]

Michael Blencowe
(Henfield)



 


 
 
 
                          
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sussex Wildlife Trust is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act. Registered in England, Company No. 698851. Registered Charity No. 207005. VAT Registration No. 191 305969. Registered Office: Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9SD. Telephone 01273 492630




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