Monday, 26 September 2016

Land Management!

Fluke Hall-Knott End Coastal Path

When I got to Fluke Hall last Monday I was disappointed to find the inland side of the coastal path had been cut down presumably all the way to Knott End c.3 miles away, bad enough it had been cut, but the big question is....when and how long ago? 

This is excellent butterfly habitat, personal past records include 12 Clouded Yellow in 30 minutes on this very path on 7 August 2006, and more recently, 9 species of butterflies with at least 200 individuals seen in 1.5 miles along this coastal path to Cockers Dyke on 12 August last year.

OK, we're  talking late September here, and the records above were in August, and the Clouded Yellow record 10 years ago, but that's not the point, there are still plenty of butterflies around this year, and provided the weather and nectar sources last they can be around until October and maybe longer if the weather remains favourable.

Wall Brown. Pete Woodruff.

This coastal path was also a stronghold for the Wall Brown, a butterfly species I've not seen since my last sighting 5 years ago, this one at another butterfly hotspot at Pilling Lane Ends on 2 September 2011.

In some cases it seems councils are too keen to put the 'Keep Britain Tidy' plan into action and have verges and paths mown far too soon. But in the positive, I'm aware of a local issue where a site meeting was arranged, the result being that mowing is now in place on a twice a year instead of the previous multi-mow regime, and in excess of 100 spikes of Common-spotted Orchid are now a testament to the success of this change in mowing practices.

Many thanks to Nigel Jones for his Pectoral Sandpiper header, seen at Brigsteer on 11 September. Much appreciated Nigel, and good to meet you recently at Glasson Dock.


Pete Marsh said...

The problem is not the mowing but the fact the arisings do not seem to have been gathered, therefore potentially over-enriching and encouraging coarse grasses. If you feel strongly about this Pete, my suggestion is to gather a few of you together to rake the arisings off the key sections(s) for butterflies, dump them at the bottom of the slope and then shove a few yellow rattle seeds in - yes I know its later than recommended (about a fiver on-line). I've been sorting out a flower-rich verge/meadow area this autumn and the problem has been it is too warm and the grass keeps growing (but plenty of yellow rattle in to keep it in check)!

Pete Woodruff said...

Interesting as ever Pete....Thanks.

Of course I should be calling in on the culprits to ask why there's no-one in the department who should know better than to activate these mowing operations at inappropriate times.

Pete Marsh said...

But they have mowed at the correct time pete but they needed to gather everything.