Nature notes from John Holt
The 1st of August and the boss and I have taken the dogs on a short break to a spot near St Ives in Cornwall – end of track, no wifi, no mobile signal, a beach (sand) that we can take the dogs on and a small chapel at the top of the dunes that serves real homemade cream teas, all this and sunshine too, someone’s been ticking the right boxes.
The fields around us here are postage stamp size compared to the fields around the Upper Dever, the fields are bordered by low hedges which below their greenery the rock and stone removed from the fields centuries ago to enable cultivation and grazing.
The small group of buildings where we are staying, according to the local history once housed as many as 100 people, maybe five or six families of six or eight children all working the fields for food production. Over time the number of families reduced, some of the menfolk leaving the land to work in the local tin mines and eventually in the late 1800s the complex came under one family and was run as a farm. The group of buildings now are part of National Trust and are being carefully restored – time moves on.
Back in the Dever Valley we have reports of many butterflies, notably marbled whites, large and small meadow browns, small blues – great to see them back in numbers. Ross and Iain Henderson’s wild flower (old fashioned) meadow painstakingly nurtured over the last couple of years has been an absolute picture and an attraction for many species of Butterfly Moth and Bees. Oh, and I almost forgot David Small and Mark Ferguson reported and photographed a Purple Emperor butterfly on David’s Buddleia , apparently some patience was needed to fully identify it as it sat for a long while with its wings closed – worth the wait I think.
Kingfisher back, Egret’s are back, not sure they actually left.
Image of Purple Emperor Butterfly from www.rspb.org.uk