Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

July 2011

This months News




My thanks go to Mike Slater of Butterfly Conservation for an absolutely brilliant talk on Gardening for Butterflies.  We had a good turnout of over 20 people and everyone agreed it was a most informative and interesting talk.  Mike uses no notes and has many anecdotes and stories linked to butterflies and indeed has a deep knowledge of all flora and fauna – an enjoyable evening. 

OWLS would like you all to take part in the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ which runs from 16th to 31st July, but it will only take about half-an-hour of your time.  Between these dates pick a warm sunny day, stroll round your garden for half-an-hour and count the butterflies – like the RSPB big bird count – that’s all it entails.  You can use your computer to go on to ‘Big Butterfly Count” and download the ID sheet and return your count direct, OR contact Rhi Cooper on 680574 and we will deliver to you instructions and an ID sheet – it’s dead easy, so please take part.  We can also supply anyone who would like one a list of butterfly-attracting plants. 

Churchyard Wildflower Project Update 

In 2010, our first year, the survey was done in a bit of a rush and fairly late in the year.  The ‘fencing off’ was done in a rather haphazard manner, so this year we ran the rope slightly further back from the church, but in a straight line from boundary to boundary and erected signs stating what we were doing.  One old grave in that area seems to have had some ‘attention’ so we will cut neatly round that particular stone.  This will be the first time we have had the opportunity to measure the fauna and flora from May to September. 

August 1984
Wildflowers – 56 Grasses – 4 Trees and shrubs – 8

August 2010
Wildflowers – 38 Grasses – 4 Trees and shrubs – 7
(after mowing)

June 2011
Wildflowers – 55 Grasses – 5 Trees and Shrubs - 7

To date this year we have found five previously unrecorded wildflowers and one escapee and two more grasses.  Trees are as before.  In 1984 an Ash was noted, but this has since gone.  With three months to go I feel sure we will have an equal if not larger number of species than 1984.  Whatcote biodiversity group has now joined with our own OWLS group.  Whatcote already manage their churchyard for wildflowers, so bring invaluable knowledge to our group.  Since the 1940s, 97% of wildflower areas have been destroyed along with many acres of woodland.  Butterfly numbers have also declined by 32% and some have become extinct in our area, but by encouraging wildflowers and grasses we may be able to halt or reverse this trend.

By the end of the summer we will have completed a full survey and will draw up and present a proposal to the PCC, and if accepted, this will then be presented to the village.

If anyone would like to see a churchyard in its full wildflower glory, go to St Mary’s Church, Oldberrow on Saturday 16th July or Sunday 17th July from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.  Tea, coffee, and cakes will be served.

Grenville Moore

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Last modified: July 09, 2011