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December 2014 – January 2015 Report


The first Open Day for the newly restored control tower was held on Sunday 7th December. Despite the fact that it was a cold day, 59 people came to look round the interior. Many positive comments were received, and some donations to Butterfly Conservation, for which many thanks.  Prees Heath is very flat, so it is surprising when you look out of the first floor how your perspective of the area is changed.


Just to show how much interest the building has generated, visitors will know that one of the panels details the WW2 internment camp, where over 1,000 so-called enemy aliens were held. One of these was the celebrated economist EF Schumacher, who wrote the book 'Small is Beautiful' and promoted the human scale solutions to social and environmental problems. In January I arranged to show round a man from Lincolnshire, a member of the Schumacher Society, who wanted to visit to gain more information for a talk he was giving in Peterborough.  People interested in Schumacher"s work can visit www.schumacher.org.uk


The two photographs shown here demonstrate the transformation that has taken place - I took the first one in 2006 when Butterfly Conservation purchased the site. The next open day will be on Sunday 5th July from 10.00am to 5.00pm, when there will also be a guided Silver-studded Blue walk at 2.00pm



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The volunteers have been busy, clearing and burning dead gorse, planting some gorse on one of the heathland reversion areas and controlling birch seedlings. During the course of this work 3 Snipe and 1 Woodcock were seen. The gorse plants were grown from seed harvested on the site to ensure local provenance. The programme of volunteer work parties and public events for 2015 is now available on this website – please note that the date of the volunteer work party in March has been changed – it will now be held on Wednesday 11th March. Please let me know if you want to help with practical work on the reserve – not only does such work help to improve the site for both wildlife and visitors but it is also good exercise!




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As the reeserve attracts more and more visitors so it receives more litter. I am asking everyone who uses the reserve if they would collect litter as they walk round. I have a number of litter pickers I can give to people to ensure that the activity is done safely - please contact me if you want to help keep the reserve in good order. 


The West Midlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation is publishing next year a book entitled ‘Butterflies of the West Midlands’, detailing the 44 species that can be found in the region with descriptive text, high quality photographs of the 4 life stages, maps and details of where they can be seen. The Branch is seeking sponsorship for each species for the publication, and sponsors will be acknowledged in the book. Sponsorship is £150 for an organisation and £75 for an individual/family. If you are interested supporting this exciting project please contact Ian Duncan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




 Stephen Lewis

Prees Heath Warden

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

07900 886809