Saturday, 28 June 2014

Longfield Chalk Bank

This small Kent Wildlife Trust reserve close to my front door held a surprise this afternoon in the first marbled white butterflies that I have seen there. In all at least 4 were flying around in the pre thunderstorm gloom along with about 30 ringlets, 6 meadow browns, 4 large skippers and a couple of small skippers. Quite a few 6-spot burnets were also on the wing.

 Large skipper feeding on thistle.

 Marbled white
Male small skipper on scabious

There was also one small pyramidal orchid which was tricky to see within the chalk grassland.

Last weekend was the Longfield festival and it was a pity that the rubbish aftermath cleanup had not extend to the chalk bank reserve which is directly adjacent to the footbal pitch that the festival is held on. Needless to say the football pitch had been carefully picked clean of rubbish whilst the chalk bank reserve was still littered. I do get very fed up with the neglect that some of the locals seem to have for this fantastic small pocket of chalk grassland we have on our doorstep.
litter and broken tree branches :-((

Whilst i'm in the mood to moan, i'm getting very fed up with the folks that decide to mow an area of grassland opposite a KWT roadside nature reserve that holds 2 species of orchid and other wild flowers. Last year the roadside verge was mowed and trashed with equipment left on it whilst railway bridge repairs were carried out. It was even driven over. This year the verge has been mowed twice, cutting down the pyramidal orchids that had tried to flower since the first mowing as for the bee orchids, I have seen none now for two years and they are the best examples of bee orchid I have seen in Kent, if they are given a chance to flower, grrrrrrrrr!

The KWT roadside reserve with 459 pyramidal orchids opposite the devastated grass verge below.

Needless to say I have complained to the folks responsible for the grass verge cutting.