End of season review and winter work

Hi Rob here with an update on what is happening at Collard over the winter.

Once a year, in the quiet season, when the caterpillars are comfortably resting in their ant nests and life is calm on the slopes, all those involved in managing Collard Hill have a get together to mull over what has worked well for butterflies, for visitors and for the site generally. This usually happens in November when the weather is at its most windswept and wet. This year was no exception although we did think that perhaps this was the slope laying on a nostalgia experience for Christine as this was a not unfamiliar scene during her six weeks here in June.

Matthew Oates, National Trust butterfly guru, receives a friendly pony nibble

It was great to all meet up again and review the summer. We are clearly all delighted with how the large blue has fared at Collard. With 40,000 eggs, this site is now probably in the top three in the world for large blues. Christine has written a fantastic report on the season and this can be seen by clicking here or the tab above.

The advisors! - Christine Tansey, Robert Holden, Hayley Dorrington, Matthew Oates and Dave Simcox

But we must not rest on our laurels. The countryside is a dynamic place with nature always changing. As a major part of the wildlife value at Collard Hill comes from the mix of limestone grassland dotted with a scrub mosaic there is always work to do to make sure the scrub doesnt take-over from the grass.

We have planned out the habitat work for the winter and we will be working with volunteer groups from the National Trust and Butterfly Conservation as well as conservation contractors to push back the gorse, bramble and thorn. This work is starting this week and will continue through to February.

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