Friday, 1 February 2013

Thank you for the gardens

Stretton Moths attended the public meeting of the Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group yesterday at Church Stretton School. It was great to see lots of residents of the Strettons come along to hear about wildlife surveys and how they can get involved. We have a vested intersted ourselves, as we have both found our way onto the committee. Graham is Chair, and I am Assistant Webmaster. We also wanted to get people interested in moth recording. Have a look at the website.

Our offer is simple. We will visit peoples gardens, help set up the moth trap in the evening, see what comes in and go through the catch in the morning. All we need is a garden and a plug socket (and maybe a cup of coffee or two!). People can invite their friends and neighbours round to look at the catch. If they want to start trapping themselves then we will help them, if they just want to see what is in their garden then that is great too. We had lots of interest, with ten people signed up so far, including four people who have their own moth traps and want to get started recording moths.

Moth trap running in Batch Valley

Why are we doing this? Well partly it is a nice thing to do and in different gardens we may find some new species. Partly we want to get people interested in moths and wildlife as they may join conservation organisations and consider wildlife in their lives. However, a large factor is that moths are under recorded in Shropshire and we want more people to record them so we can better understand their distribution and populations.

Coincidently, today saw the launch of Butterfly Conservation's report on the State of the Britain's Larger Moths 2013 click here. This is not happy reading, as it describes large declines in many of our moth species. What does this mean for the Strettons? Well last year we recorded two of the five species of moths that have suffered the biggest declines in Britain - I recorded several Hedge Rustics, which has declined by 97% in the last 40 years, and Graham recorded a Dusky Thorn, which has declined by 98% over the same period. If declines continue then how much longer will these species be with us?

Dusky Thorn has declined by 98%, but we found this one in the Strettons

If you live in the Strettons in Shropshire and want to get involved with moth recording then why not get in touch? Reply by posting a comment to this blog with your email address. Comments are moderated by us so we will not publish them and will delete them once we have noted your details.

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