Photos



Have a look at some of the GDT activities and working parties
What a glorious day we had for this year's GDT Picnic complete with a siting of the Purple Emperor butterfly.

Seaford College Community Day 2016



A big thank you to the Seaford students and staff (pictured left) who, on Community Day, climbed the Downs to rake and tidy the tumuli as well as rid the Reserves of ragwort.  We were serenaded while working by two of the young ladies in the group which was fun.  We did our best to answer the many thoughtful questions and also pass on some information about the Graffham Downs Trust and the need to manage the reserves for wildlife.  Your help was much appreciated and we hope to see you on the reserves over the winter for our working parties.





Michael Blencowe’s May 2016 walk on Graffham Down.

Michael Blencowe couldn’t have asked for much more when he was joined by 24 others for his annual May walk around the Graffham Down Reserves.  With little sun on a cool day no one was expecting to see much in the way of butterflies and in truth there were very few visible.


Unphased Michael explained what we might hope to see and prayed for the sun to show more often.  Sadly his pray was unanswered, but with every cloud and there were many of them comes a silver lining.  Cold butterflies often spend time with open wings trying to warm up and are are easier to photograph.  Silver turned to gold when the first butterfly to be found was the rare and recently discovered on Graffham Down, Duke of Burgundy.  The male of the species, ususlly fiercly defending his territory, could only laze languidly trying to warm his wings suffieintly to get airborne.  It gave everyone excellent views and photo opportunities.


There was a profusion of cowslips in Scott’s Corner.  Perfect for the fussy female or Duchess who egg-lays only on large succulent cowslips with upright leaves in short scrub.  These exacting requirements give the developing caterpillars plenty of food in a warm position.  The male guards the area diligently.

 

After this incredible start to the walk everything else was a bonus.  The day flying moth the Speckled Yellow appeared frequently, but was difficult to view well.   A red admiral showed itself briefly before perching high in a yew tree and a couple of male Orange-tip butterflies showed themselves off while warming in the long grass.  A Speckled wood made a brief appearance and a roosting female Orange tip displayed the beautiful lacework pattern on her underwings.

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Volunteers did a great job of picking up rubbish at the April 3rd working party and were rewarded for their efforts with a BBQ cooked by Jim Kirke.















On February 21st 2016 we had an excellent turnout  for the joint GDT / Arun Rother Connection (ARC) working party.  

Nearly twenty volunteers worked really hard so we managed to open up a large area of woodland in Bowley's Meadow to

encourage the development of the ground flora.  Another group expanded glades in the Patterson reserve.  Much tea was

drunk and a great choice of cakes eaten.  Many thanks are due to the ARC project and to the Graffham Volunteers.



Sussex Butterfly Conservation join GDT for a winter working party 17 Jan 2016.  A big thanks to all.