Dukes On The Edge South Downs Flyer Jan 2012

Back on the 14th December a post titled ‘Scrub Bash’ highlighted the work carried out by a team from Rother Valley Organics. The guys were working on the northern scarp slope of Butser Hill cutting areas of thorn scrub as part of our Winter work programme.

Now the team has returned to the hill to work for the charity Butterfly Conservation and their ‘Dukes On The Edge Project’. This three-year initiative is targeting the Duke of Burgundy which is one of the UK’s fastest declining butterflies.  Over the last 10 years numbers have dropped by 50%!

Wascombe Valley

Wascombe Valley

 
A key habitat for the DoB is the zone between open woodland and sheltered, scrubby grassland. In the foreground of the above image the cut stumps are all that remain of a thick stand of gorse. In the background, highlighted by the snow you can see the stripes made by the tractor and ‘destroyer’ (see earlier post). Both techniques have their advantages and the hand team, equip with brushcutters and chainsaw, whilst being slower and more costly, can leave a better finish and ensure that all the cut material is cleared and burnt.
 
Little Butser

Little Butser

 

Two priority areas, Wascombe Valley and Little Butser, have been identified and specifically large blocks of thick single aged gorse and thorn. These will not be cleared completely with a proportion left to create a mosaic effect for the future.  
 
Little Butser

Little Butser

 
Access as always on Butser Hill is problematic and that is without the additional problems caused by the recent cold weather . The work site can be spotted by looking for the bonfire on the sky line to the left hand side of this image. 
 
For more information about butterflies in Hampshire go to www.hantsiow-butterflies.org.uk  

 

 

 

Advertisements