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Welcome to the West Wickham Commons Newsletter covering West Wickham Common and Spring Park.
Hunting for brown hairstreak butterfly eggs
Winter is a very quiet time for butterflies with the odd exception of a few red admirals or peacocks brought out on warm days. Most signs of butterflies at this time of year are eggs laid during autumn such as those from brown hairstreaks that are laid on blackthorn.
Whilst the adult hairstreaks (which are in flight in late summer) can be elusive and hard to spot even for a budding butterfly surveyor (particularly the males who spend most of the time high in the canopy of tall trees), the eggs are relatively easy to see in winter. Counting brown hairstreak eggs is a good method of estimating the local population of brown hairstreaks given how hard the butterflies are to find. At Spring Park, young blackthorn trees are surveyed and the number of eggs are tallied. Look along the hedgerow by the Spring Park office and you might see tape to mark positive sightings. In recent years, Spring Park has had a really strong population. The data is not only important to show if our site management is working but the results also feed into the much wider UK database to see how species are doing as a whole with changes to climate and landscapes.
Welcome in the New Year with volunteering
To many, the New Year is marked by resolutions to get fit after the indulgence of the festive season. Instead of subscribing to the gym, why not try the green gym and join our volunteer group who carry out a range of conservation tasks including hedgelaying, coppicing and more!
Volunteering is not only excellent way to get fit, be outdoors and try out new skills. but is a great way to meet new people and make a difference. New volunteers are always welcome and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with practical tasks that benefit Spring Park and West Wickham Common. Much of the management of these two sites is done with the help of volunteers through monthly tasks led by the site ranger.
We will be running a three-day hedgelaying volunteer task at Spring Park on 26, 27 and 28 January 10am-3pm. To find out more information and be added to our volunteer mailing list, please email us email@example.com or visit our website.
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The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons. Each charity has its own Newsletter and you can now:
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