Old friends…

On a warm day with strong sunshine and few periods of persistent cloud, we took the sunken footpath up from Shoreham station. The ancient byway was flanked by veteran beech trees with smooth, silver grey trunks above exposed roots that twisted out of the ground. On White Hill, the fragrant, man, pryamidal and common spottedContinue reading “Old friends…”

White Hill Chalkhill Blues

The nature reserve of White Hill on the ridge above Shoreham in Kent is carved out of the high beech woodland. The reserve is managed by Butterfly Conservation as the small patches of herb-rich, chalk grassland support a strong colony of chalkhill blues as well as many other butterfly more common species. The scrub encroachesContinue reading “White Hill Chalkhill Blues”

North Downs Butterflies

On a calm, hot evening the chalkhill blues at White Hill reserve above Shoreham settle to roost on a steep slope of dying grasses in the last patches of warming sun; they latch on head down, one side facing the sun so the other will then catch the morning light, and simply stop. After monumentalContinue reading “North Downs Butterflies”

Autumn Blues

The view above the Darenth near Shoreham is fields of autumnal brown. The small nature reserve of White Hill, slivers of chalk grassland hidden within dense yew Taxus baccata and beech Fagus sylvatica woods and ever-encroaching dogwood Cornus sanguinea and whitebeam Sorbus aria scrub, is brightly lit by the evening light. The last butterflies work the final plants to flower;Continue reading “Autumn Blues”