Brilliant Butterflies is a London Wildlife Trust project which calls on volunteers to help improve and enhance the habitat in some of Croydon’s and south London’s open spaces to benefit wildlife – in particular (the clue’s in the name) butterflies.
Funded with a grant from the National Lottery, and working together with the Natural History Museum and Butterfly Conservation, they are seeking to create and restore parts of south Croydon into chalk grassland “Living Landscapes” that will come alive with butterflies, insects and wildflowers.
Much of their work at present is conducted around Hutchinson’s Bank, near New Addington, and Dollyper’s Wood, Coulsdon.
They say, “We’ll be working with local residents to make new homes for butterflies and insects by creating over 40 areas of chalk grassland in south Croydon and Bromley across nature reserves, road verges, housing estates, parks and more. We’ll be using ground-breaking environmental DNA survey technology along the way to find out more about these creatures in order to secure their conservation in the future.”
They have some guided walks coming up in January, plus a whole stack of workdays which are in need of volunteer sweat and toil.
All workdays run 11am to 3.30pm. The wardens say, “Please let us know which sessions you would like to come to so that we can provide sufficient tools and refreshments for the number of volunteers we are expecting and let you know where to meet us.”
The guided walks are led by members of the Brilliant Butterflies team who talk about the history, landscape and wildlife on some of the reserves:
Winter Nature Walk: Hutchinson’s Bank Jan 11, 10.30am-12pm
Winter Nature Walk – followed by workday afternoon: Saltbox Hill – Feb 8, 11am-12.30pm
Spring Stroll – followed by workday afternoon: Dollypers Hill – Mar 1 11am-1pm
Fri Jan 3 – Hutchinson’s Bank
Continuing clearing vegetation on Slimming’s Down.
Tue Jan 7 – Chapel Bank
Clearing scrub and small trees in grassland glades.
Wed Jan 8 – Dollypers Hill
Removing light scrub and bramble to open up glade 4.
Fri Jan 10 – Hutchinson’s Bank
Cutting back vegetation along top path.
Sat Jan 11 – Dollypers Hill
Removing light scrub and bramble to open up glades 4 and 6.
Dates for your diary
Jan 14, 15, 17: Hutchinson’s Bank
Jan 21: Hutchinson’s Bank
Jan 22: Chapel Bank
Jan 24, 25: Dollypers Hill
Jan 28: Hutchinson’s Bank
Jan 29: Dollypers Hill
Jan 31: West Kent golf course
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