Butterflies and other delights at Greenscoombe
Once again, the weather was not encouraging but we hoped that the sun would carry on shining for this early afternoon visit to the Greenscoombe Reserve near Luckett.
By the time we arrived in the village, the clouds had moved in and those people who had arrived a couple of hours earlier and were on their way to another site were looking rather smug; they had seen the best of the day!
The event was organised for Wildlife Trust groups and Butterfly Conservation and this was a first visit for some of us. We walked uphill steadily through wooded slopes where at one time there had been market gardens. At the top we moved into the meadows which despite the drizzle, looked beautiful with several species of orchid in a flower rich sward. And there were several clumps of Cornish Bladderseed which is very local and quite special.
The first heath Fritillary butterfly was seen, wings closed tightly against the rain so we could say that we had seen at least one. Walking on along the ridge, Richard told us about the re-introductions and how the butterflies have such a limited range and do not fly very far, one of the reasons why they are endangered. At Greenscoombe their food plants are mainly Ribwort Plantain and Foxglove rather than the Cow Wheat.
Then a patch of blue appeared and out came the sun. Within minutes, we began to see the butterflies and our cameras began to click. The males do fly short distances; the females with thicker abdomens full of eggs, keep close to the ground and shrub layer.
Thank you to Richard for leading the event and also to Caroline for telling us so much about the history of the landscape.