NEWSLETTER No. 14 -  Winter 1985 / 86



Editorial Cover
Butterfly Round-up 2
Shropshire Butterfly Survey 4
Field Trip Reports 5
Garden Butterfly Survey 6
Plants Visited by Butterflies 6
Habitats of the West Midlands 7
Poem - Dingy 7



It is impossible to review 1985 without first making reference to the weather. For the first time, two of our planned field meetings had to be totally abandoned, and several others were adversely affected by wind and rain. The weather was also unkind to the Cotswold Butterfly Festival, with overcast skies and showers serving to mar the day. Attendance was down on last year (people and butterflies) but our disappointment was offset by the news that we still managed to raise 250 and recruit several new members. The Festival also has an important role in raising public awareness of the problems facing butterflies. We are grateful to all members for their support. On the principle that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, we are planning next year's Festival for the same weekend - Sunday, 13th July, 1986 - is the date to write in your diary. We have a number of new ideas for next year (details in next newsletter) and we are looking for potential sponsors. If you work for a firm that you feel may help, please contact the branch Chairman..

The weather was much kinder on our coach trip to see the Heath Fritillary and the day proved highly successful. Members have asked that a coach trip should become a regular feature in our programme and we are hoping to arrange another trip next year. We would be pleased to receive suggestions of possible places members would like to visit.

The other main successes of the year have been in the field of publicity and sales. We have received better coverage this year in the press and on local radio, and good use has been made of our display boards at conservation events, fetes, shows and in building societies and libraries. We even reached the dizzy heights of a mention on Radio 1 in connection with the Butterfly Festival! A record number of events was attended by the branch sales stall and our takings by the end of the year should top 1,000 - a really tremendous achievement for which we can feel justifiably proud. Our thanks to those concerned for their hard work in achieving this remarkable figure. Included with this newsletter is a sales sheet listing some of the items that can be ordered from the branch Sales officer by post. As usual, we shall be having a sales table at the branch AGM, which will include a new range of Xmas cards and the magnificent 1986 Butterfly Calendar. Two members, Ron Hatton and Colin Marsay, supplied photos included in the calendar, which was generously sponsored by British Gas.

Our Winter programme follows the normal format, except that our Slide of the Year competition at our Spring meeting will be replaced by the judging of our branch photography competition (see enclosed leaflet). Members should still, however, bring slides to show on the evening. Our work days will once again be concentrated on our reserves, and we hope that all who can will come along to help. To help fix the dates in people's minds we have settled on the second Sunday in the month for all our work days. We all get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing butterflies in the Summer; involvement in work parties is one way to ensure that there will still be butterflies to see.

Next Spring, in association with WARNACT and the University of Warwick Extramural dept, we are organising a Day School on "The Moths and Butterflies of the Midlands". The provisional date is Saturday, 25th April,1986 at the University. A previous Day School in 1982 proved very successful and a highly informative and enjoyable day can be anticipated. Further details are available from Roger Smith (22, Milverton Crescent, Leamington Spa) - please enclose a S.A.E. - or at the branch AGM.

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