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NEWSLETTER No. 44 -  Autumn 1999

WEST MIDLANDS BRANCH, BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION

Contents

Chairman’s Message, Autumn 1999 Cover
WM Branch AGM 30 October – CHANGE OF VENUE 2
Craven Arms Meeting 3
Worcestershire mothers group report 1999 4
Reports on Trips: 4
     Wyre Forest 12 June 4
     Excursion to Glen Cova, Balmoral Estate 2-5 July 5
     Bircher Common trip – 10 July 6
     Manifold Valley – field trip 11 July 6
     Radnor Wood, Shropshire 17 July 7
     Coach trip to Blackmore Copse – 18 July 7
     Coach trip to Lardon Chase and Aston Rowant, Oxfordshire – 14 August 8
Butterfly Conservation – 3rd International Symposium, 3-5 September 1999 9
Autumn Glory 10
A Polish experience 11
South West Shropshire signing off 11
Atlas recording – full of the unexpected 12
A not so typical day out 12
Instructions for contributors 14
Conservation corner 14
Health and Safety 16
Dates for your Diary 16

 

Chairman’s Message, Autumn 1999

 

Branch AGM

We have decided to send out this newsletter earlier than usual to provide a reminder of our branch AGM at Sandwell Park Farm on 30 October. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we have moved the meeting to Birmingham to make it easier for members in the north of our region to attend. Unfortunately, due to delayed construction work we cannot use the building shown in the summer newsletter and the meeting is now at Sandwell Park Farm. See the new map and travelling instructions on the next page.

Stephen Jeffcoate, our new national chairman, will be the guest speaker. Stephen is an entertaining and stimulating speaker and his theme of Butterflies in the Next Millennium promises to be very interesting. Why not do a bit of early Christmas shopping at the same time. We will have Christmas cards, calendars and all the Butterfly Conservation publications for sale including the new Holly Blue booklet.

Field Trips

We have had a very successful summer of trips. These have been well attended with lots of butterflies seen (48 of the 58 UK species!). My particular favourite was Rodborough Common in May, with Duke of Burgundy, Marsh Fritillary and Small Blue all present in good numbers in lovely sunshine. Many thanks to Mark for all his hard work in organising the trips and the weather (invariably sunshine!). Also thanks to Jan and Terry for assisting with the coach trips. Next year’s programme also promises to be appealing with a trip to Porton Down and a weekend trip to Norfolk in June for birds and Swallowtails.

Moth Group

As reported elsewhere in the newsletter the moth group got off to a very good start this summer. We visited 9 sites throughout June-Aug and recorded 186 species of macro moth and 142 species of micro moth. There were many highlights including over 100 species at both Haugh Wood and Trench Wood in July. A new species of macro moth for England was recorded (The Silurian) in July in Herefordshire and a new macro moth for Worcestershire (Small Rufous) was recorded at Wilden .The Silurian was only discovered in the UK in 1972 and not confirmed as a resident until 1976. Until the Herefordshire record it was believed confined to one 10km square in Monmouthshire.

I would like to thank all those who have been involved with the setting up of the group particularly Jeff Andrews for arranging the purchase of the generator and Neil Gregory and Corinna Philpott for becoming the “official” list takers. Thanks to Mark Farmer we now have a much needed custom made trolley for the generator (patent pending!). Due to the level of interest shown we are hoping next year to arrange more events for beginners as well as visits to Staffs and Shrops. We would welcome suggestions on where to visit in these areas.

National AGM

Don’t forget the national AGM at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern on Sat 26 Feb 2000. This will be well publicised in the national newsletter including, we hope, an article on “Where to Watch Butterflies in the West Midlands”.

Committee Changes

Corinna Philpott and Neil Gregory have agreed to join the committee and I am pleased to report that Richard Southwell has agreed to become responsible for branch publicity – we couldn’t let Richard rest on his laurels with the ending of the Atlas project! Trevor will continue to arrange sites for our publicity boards

Despite the poor spring, the good weather since late June has resulted in the number of national records exceeding one million. These records come from around 10,000 recorders and over 99% of the 10km squares in the UK have now been covered. This is a great achievement and I would like to thank again all those in the branch who have submitted records. Plans are progressing for the Atlas to be published in late 2000.

Butterfly Conservation is now discussing how best to channel the energies of all these recorders in future years. We would welcome any suggestions from members.

Butterfly Line

Please note that this has changed to 09068 884505.

Looking forward to seeing you at Sandwell Park Farm in October.

Ian Duncan


 

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