1st November 2008, Saturday

Beckley Woods Work Parties

Butterfly Conservation’s Rother Woods Project is holding tree thinning and scrub cutting work parties at the entrance to Beckley Woods on Horseshoe Lane between Beckley and Udimore. Arrive from 9am on the last Sunday of the month – Nov 30th, Dec 28th, Jan 25th and Feb 25th. Contact Steve on 01580 879958. Volunteers must be 14 or older.

3rd October 2008, Friday

Sea level rise by 2100 ‘below 2m’

is just one interesting article from EUCC Coastal News

Sea levels globally are very unlikely to rise by more than 2m (7ft) this century, scientists conclude. Major increases would have to be fuelled by a faster flow of glaciers on the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets. Read the rest of this entry »

26th September 2008, Friday

Grey Partridge

Recent reports indicate the following distribution in the RX area: covey of 9 on Rye Golf course at Camber, covey of 14 in Brede Valley near Udimore and 5 pairs breeding at Rye Harbour Farm.

Please let us know of more…

11th September 2008, Thursday

Ecclesbourne Meadow Under Threat

Ecclesbourne Meadow, part of the Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, is under threat from a bramble and scrub invasion, which is set to strangle the wildflower-rich grassland.

Dyer's greenweed growing in Ecclesbourne Meadow.

To save the meadow Hastings Borough Council has joined forces with the Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, Natural England and the High Weald Meadows Initiative.

Fund-raising by the Friends group and part funding by Natural England will help provide fencing around the meadow so animals can be brought in to graze the land and rid it naturally of brambles and scrub.
Read the rest of this entry »

5th September 2008, Friday

Marsh Mallow Moth update

An account of recent conservation effort has been published:

Parsons, M.S. & Clancy, S.P. 2008. Conservation of the Marsh Mallow Moth Hydraecia osseola hucherardi Mabille (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Romney Marsh. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 21: 61-74.


A brief history of the Marsh Mallow Moth Hydraecia osseola hucherardi Mabille in Britain is presented, along with notes on its distribution in Europe. Recent survey and monitoring effort of the populations on Romney Marsh, Kent/East Sussex, are detailed with the historic and recent threats discussed. Conservation efforts, with examples of management issues, are given and the suggested minimum ecological requirements for the moth are identified. Suggested criteria for confirming the presence of a resident population at individual sites are also given.

5th September 2008, Friday

Planting Marsh Mallow

On 19th August, 120 Marsh Mallow pot grown plants were planted out at Castle Water to bulk up the previous plantings there. This was done on a regular Rye Harbour Nature Reserve volunteer workparty (click here for more info). The weather has since been wet, so we are expecting good survival and hope that this colony will be large enough to support a population of the Marsh Mallow Moth.

Thanks to Ron Nash and  Dorothy Norman for providing these and previous plants.

29th August 2008, Friday

Crassula management

Crassula helmsii is commonly called New Zealand Pigmyweed (or Australian Swampweed). It is an alien plant that threatens the wildlife of wetlands (see Plantlife’s account here) and last year we found it at Castle Water – see details here. This year it is still present and we sprayed it with Glyphosate in July (with Natural England’s consent). This week we have found that some survived the spraying and on wider searching we have found it is expanding, so spraying has been taking place today – we use a blue dye to see where we have already sprayed! Read the British Ecological Society’s account of non-native pond plants here.

Spraying Crassula with Glyphosate and blue dye

Spraying Crassula with Glyphosate and blue dye

28th August 2008, Thursday

Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve Restoration Project Update

Heathland restoration:
The Highland cattle have done a superb job in Warren Glen over summer reducing the dominance of bracken and producing pockets of acid grassland which over the years will grow bigger and eventually create a large bank of acid grassland with patches of heather.

The bracken and gorse seedlings have been cut in the braken scraped area to further stress the bracken and control the gorse seedlings that have been a big problem this summer. This cutting will have to continue for the next few years until the problem has diminshed enough for it to be controlled by grazing.

The colonisation of the bracken scraped area by ground nesting bees, wasps and beetles has been exceptional with large aggregations of ornate-tailed digger wasps (Cerceris rybyensis) and green tiger beetles. The reptile numbers also continue to grow with four species of reptile now using the area with especially good numbers of slow-worm and grass snake.

You can follow the results of the monitoring by viewing the reptile monitoring spreadsheet regularly.

Read the rest of this entry »