Welcome to the Wharfedale Naturalists Society

Heron

Take a look at our Upcoming Events

October 14 Tuesday Evening Talk
‘Farming and Nature – What Your Taxes Pay For’ –
Steve Peel, Natural England
‘Our Man in Havana – Cuba and its Wildlife’ – Denis O’Connor
October 25 Coach Trip
Potteric Carr
October 28 Tuesday Evening Talk
‘The History and Natural History of the Dales’ – Prof Terry O’Connor
The Dales in a new light!
November 8 Coffee/Social Morning
Clarke Foley
November 11 Tuesday Evening Talk
‘A Moth Trapper’s Year’ – Dr Charles Fletcher
A fascinating talk by a local expert
November 15 Birding
Saltholme RSPB Meet

Full programme here


Convert your lawn into a Meadow

Wildflower MeadowHave you ever thought about converting your lawn into a meadow?  If you are keen on attracting more wildlife to your garden it could worth considering.  One couple, who enjoyed the pleasure wildlife brought to their garden, decided to make it more ‘bee friendly’ by digging up their back lawn and doing just that.  With a bit of hard work and patience they were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor by attracting not only bees but previously absent butterflies including Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, several different species of hoverfly and also a 6 spotted burnet moth.

If you wish to embark on such a project the most important thing to do is remove as much grass as you can, either by digging up the turf, using herbicide, or you can cover it with plastic sheeting and wait until all the grass dies off.  This is to prevent the grasses out-competing the wildflowers.  Once you have removed all the grass it is time to plant the wildflower seeds or grass and wildflower mix.  This should be carried out in autumn or spring and you have to prepare the soil by raking.  It is important to keep watering to give the seeds the best chance of germinating.  After that it is a case of making sure the seedlings are not disturbed and slowly your meadow should start to develop.

This is a short summary of the project so if you are serious about trying it please click here for more information and if you wish to view this full article, on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust blog, click here.


Bulbs for butterflies

speckled_wood_smallIf you want to make your garden more butterfly friendly have you considered planting Alliums? Now is the perfect time to plant them and, come Spring, you should be rewarded with a colourful display which is also a good source of nectar for bees, butterflies and hoverflies. Read more here on Butterfly Conservation’s blog.  And as a reminder if you haven’t already:

  • Download this free UK Butterfly ID Guide from Butterfly Conservation here.
  • Download the iRecord App for the  iPhone from the iTunes store or the Google Store for your Android device.

Fungi

Fungus_smallThis summer has given us a mixture of weather conditions with some hot, dry periods and also our fair share of rainfall.  There has also been talk of a possible Indian Summer which will no doubt have an effect our wildlife. Trying to predict whether this will be a good year for fungi is difficult, but there have been encouraging reports so far.  Our lawn has been sporting a few specimens, which puts you in a dilemma when you want to cut the grass!

Species to look out for are the Giant Puffball, the Stinkhorn (which you may smell before you see) and, as we move further into Autumn, you may spot the beautiful, but deadly poisonous, Fly Agaric.  This is arguably our most famous toadstool and has long been associated with fairies and pixies.


Butterfly Conservation’s Autumn Newsletter

Butterfly Conservation

Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed records so far for 2014 in VC64; It has been most helpful to be able to get the bulk of the records in stages throughout the season. To those still to send records in, please don’t leave it too long, please let’s try if you can to get them in by late October, or early November. I don’t have a lot of time in December and odd late sightings (stragglers) can be sent in later.

Dave Hatton – Butterfly Co-ordinator VC64.

To view the full newsletter click here. If you still have records to send in please continue to send them to David Howson, and he will make sure Butterfly Conservation receives them, after adding them to the Society’s database.