Peacock butterfly at the secet campsite

Butterfly Counting

white Admiral at the Secret Campsite James Pearson
White Admiral by James Pearson

We are huge supporters of nature here at the Secret Campsite. This year we are participating with the Big Butterfly Count at the Secret Campsite. Run by the Butterfly Conservation this national citizen science project enables us to see the health of our environment simply by counting the number and types of butterflies.

Butterflies are vital parts of the eco system, as both pollinators and components of the food chain. Butterfly declines is seen as an early warning system for other wildlife losses, as they react very quickly to changes in the environment.

Launched in 2010, this is the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. In 2020 over 115,000 citizens participated with 142,249 counts of butterflies and day flying moths across the country.

So how are we doing here?

We have had so many adults and children keen to engage with the survey. We are busy handing out the Butterfly Counting sheets at campsite reception. Our most frequently spotted butterflies here, are the Marbled White, Brimstone and Skipper. We will send our completed sheets to the Big Butterfly Count once the survey finishes on the 8th August.

Glow worm spotting

At this time of year, the cry goes up, “I have spotted a glow worm” and then you see about 10! The best places to spot them at the Secret Campsite, is the orchard, top of the camping meadow and the old railway track.

Glow worms aren’t actually worms, instead they are actually small beetles, of about 1.5- 2 cm length. The males look like small beetles but the female has no wings and so looks similar to larvae. The female emits a distinctive bright green nightly glow, as she looks to attract a mate in the darkness of her grassland habitat.

Countryfile has some great facts about Glow worms including the fact that both male and females lack a mouth! The clock ticks as soon as they emerge from their pupa, as they have only one task to complete, which is reproduction. Once they have mated, the female turns out her light, and commits her remaining energy to laying her eggs and then dies.

Dragonfly watching

Our lovely onsite ecologists, Bakerwell, take the best dragonfly pictures. We always seem to miss them. This year Kathryn Killner, took this beautiful picture of a broad bodied chaser dragonfly. If you are interested in reading more, then The Sussex Wildlife Trust have a great article here

Please keep us updated on all the nature that you see when you are camping at the Secret Campsite! Plus email any photos that you are happy to share with us.

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