Our thanks to Rachel Pateman and Penny Relf from Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire for leading a walk to look at what be done to improve the chance of butterflies and moths that inhabit or might inhabit a flood meadow and its environs.
A dozen people other than the leaders attended after a very unpromising morning of heavy showers. The walk started off by going to the Copse where the long dead elms had been more recently replaced by new specimens in the hope of encouraging the White-letter Hairstreak of which there had been sightings. The group then made their way to the Copse Meadow that had been cut and baled earlier in the month, whilst some butterflies and moths remained on the flowery boundaries.
The group then made it across to the New Meadow that was still waiting to be cut, and hence still a haven for moths and butterflies, especially on the banks that had not had to be restored after the sewage leak some years before. A great number of Ringlets were observed plus Meadow Browns and the Small Skipper, along with a Large White.
The little band then traversed the Barrier bank into the Reservoir Basin, long suspected of being good moth habitat due to lack of disturbance or cutting. The Friends hope to do more work with Butterfly Conservation in recording moths on the site, whilst taking in their advice, where possible to improve its biodiversity for moths and butterflies, which directly affects other species, as they provide a food source!