Hi this is Jenny from the Wild Bunch with our latest column.
Recently, we organised a walk through Rodden Meadow to look at the butterflies that visit there. It was brilliant. Many people turned up and we were led by John Samways, who is a keen butterfly observer. His enthusiasm and knowledge really inspired us all to admire and get excited by these wonderful creatures that flit in and out of our lives. Almost immediately we identified a male Brimstone butterfly, a beautiful lime yellow colour, then a Meadow Brown with its black spot on each wing. We studied a chart which listed and illustrated the different species, then set off to identify those we could see. We had to be quick as they were busy feeding on the lavender and bramble flowers, not staying still for very long. As we walked through the meadow, John asked if we knew how many species of butterfly there are in the UK. I was surprised to find out that there are 59 species, and 25% of these can be spotted in Rodden Meadow – wow! We walked on, drifting around like the butterflies, learning more and more as we walked. It was a great afternoon.
The Wild Bunch organise these monthly gatherings, in the better weather they take place outside, to get to know about the wildlife we have locally in Frome. Sometimes we meet in local allotments, in parks or gardens. These events are free to attend, so come and join us as you are very welcome. If you have an interest in wildlife and have any ideas for future events, please get in touch. The Wild Bunch is your group. Look out for these events on our Facebook page and local notice boards, they are for everyone. We usually meet on a Thursday afternoon 1.30-2.30pm monthly.
The Wild Bunch aims to encourage wildlife gardening locally so we can enjoy the plants, animals, birds, mammals, reptiles and insects that make their homes in these wild places. Wildlife gardening, whether on an allotment, in a window box or garden, or wherever nature can be found, is based on having a wild space or a garden where there are trees, deadwood, water and a variety of plants. Any of these will encourage wildlife. Encouraging wildlife and observing it can be truly enjoyable. I get so excited when my small space is visited, I love watching bees forage, butterflies flit around and all the other things that can easily pass us by. I want to ensure they have a place to live and breed as much as I can.
We’re not meeting in August as we have the month off, so our next Wild Bunch event is on Thursday 21st September and it’s all about Hedgehog Awareness. However, we will be joining the Bat Count organised by Frome Town Council and Somerset Bat Group, it’s taking place on Wednesday 23rd August to count the bats in Frome, find out more here.