Prees Heath Report June – July 2015
Charles Darwin was a Shropshire Lad. He was born in the family home in Shrewsbury and he went to Shrewsbury School. After Cambridge University and the voyage on HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands and elsewhere he returned to the family home. There is, however, no record that he ever went to Prees Heath during some of his field trips in the county. Nevertheless it was good to have 15 pupils and two staff from his alma mater, Shrewsbury School, on the reserve in June. They enjoyed a guided walk around the reserve and afterwards helped to fork out some ragwort rosettes.
The control tower open day in July was a success, with 49 people enjoying a look around the interior of this historic building. It coincided with a guided walk around the reserve to see the Silver-studded Blues. They have had a good season, with numbers up from last year. The especially exciting aspect is that more were seen on the former arable areas that have been restored to heathland, which demonstrates that all the work that was put in some years ago, and in particular the deep ploughing, now is bearing fruit.
Silver-studded Blue female
Pied Flycatcher has been seen on the reserve this summer, and we think Spotted Flycatchers have raised families in two different areas of the reserve. Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies have been seen at the pond. More evidence that the range of wildlife on the reserve is increasing.
This year’s Big Butterfly Count runs from 17th July to 9th August, so there is still time to get counting butterflies anywhere you like – your garden, nearby fields and hedgerows, Prees Heath, on your holidays if you are going away. It only takes 15 minutes. For more details go to www.butterfly-conservation.org Lucy and I spent a day at Holly Farm Garden Centre near the reserve publicising the Big Butterfly Count.
Prees Heath Warden