Walk around Noar Hill SSSI 16th May 2023

Join us for a walk on Tuesday 16th May 2pm – 4pm at Noar Hill SSSI when we hope to see several species of butterfly, including the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary. This 20 hectare nature reserve, managed by Hampshire Wildlife Trust, was originally formed by medieval chalk workings. Over hundreds of years the mounds and hollows were colonised by a great variety of beautiful chalk downland flowers now rare in the wider countryside.

Meet there 2pm or preferably share lifts from Froyle Village Hall leaving at 1.30pm. as there is very limited roadside parking, OS grid reference SU737321 near Charity Farm. Note that warm weather is needed so the date may change at short notice.

Short summary after the walk. We were delighted to see 9 species of butterfly including the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary on our walk at Noar Hill. With the sun shining most of the time, Holly Blues flitted about the bushes and on short vegetation we caught sight of Dingy Skipper (an unfortunate name for a lovely small butterfly). Then we spotted something buzzing around our feet -the solitary bee Osmia Bicolor. We observed this bee flying with small pieces of debris to put on its nest for camouflage where the eggs are laid in an empty snail shell.

Michelle, Andrew and Charles sent us a few photos that they had taken.
We eventually found several Duke of Burgundy perching on cowslips after only having fleeting glimpses of them flying past earlier. The caterpillar food plants are primrose and cowslip mainly on chalk grassland and preferably in sheltered locations. Other butterflies seen on the day were Brimstone, Orange Tip, Small Blue, Comma and Red Admiral while one person also spotted Green Hairstreak and Speckled Wood. Many of these species can also be seen in Froyle if you look out for them on a sunny day