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Birds, bugs and butterflies

April 1st 2015
By: Jon
Birds, bugs and butterflies

One of the best things about Spring and Summer is the arrival and emergence of new life – new visitors to the gardens and green spaces where we live and work.
Bird spotting has always been popular, but over the last decade since the BBC launched Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, our interest in all types of animal life has increased.  Children are encouraged to go on bug hunts and we’re asked as a nation to count the number of butterflies we see – providing various organisations with important data about the rise and fall in the population of these creatures.

Living in the South East we’re surrounded by parks, open countryside space as well as lavender fields and farmland.  Each area has its own ecosystem which is filled with bugs and wildlife – how many have you spotted?

During a visit to a lavender garden last summer, we identified three different species of bee, four different butterflies and various beetles which included the Rosemary leaf beetle – it has a beautiful shiny pair of wings but is bad news for lavender, rosemary and sage.  The beetle first appeared in the UK in 1994 and has been spreading throughout the Home Counties since.

At the moment there aren’t any natural enemies to control this beetle – but Mayfield Lavender in Carshalton has encouraged children to take a jam jar and pick the beetles off the plants. 

If you would like to encourage butterflies then why not plant your own garden with meadow flowers and watch the visitors fly in – you’ll be doing your bit to provide the bugs with flowers to pollinate as well as having something beautiful to look at and enjoy.