Wildlife at Middleton Hall

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August 2013, Edition 14

Recent news has highlighted concern over the number of butterflies in the UK, with 72% of species declining over the past ten years.  The decline is blamed mainly on changes in farming and forestry practices.  With this in mind, the current landscaping of the new Waterside site will include new habitats specifically designed to benefit butterflies and bees.

There are 58 species of butterfly in the UK and an impressive 19 species have already been spotted on site at Middleton Hall.  All flora and fauna lists for the site can be found in the wildlife and woodland walk pack.  If you do not already have a pack, and are interested, please ask Audra Hunt, our Living Well manager.

On a positive note, I recently sighted 14 Peacock butterflies at the same time, on buddleias that were newly planted on site, last year.

Going through our flora and fauna pack, I am disappointed that no one has yet spotted a badger on site, so I have decided to lay down the challenge and offer a prize to the first resident to achieve this feat.  I have in the past seen probable badger tracks in the woods, so this may not be an impossible task; however a photograph of one may be!

I have seen the Little Owl on site again, down at the front drive, and have had numerous reports from residents spotting the Tawny Owls as well as hearing their unmistakable call.  I feel we have more than one pair on site and would hope the Owls successfully use the nest box next year.

Finally, I would be grateful if anybody would like to help in completing a survey of the Dragonfly and Damselfly to see how many species we have on site.  We are hoping that numbers and varieties increase with the recent construction of the new Waterside pond.

David Richardson, Head of Operations

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