Hello all, I’m Joe and it brings me great pleasure to introduce myself to you as the new Biodiversity Assistant. Having spent the past week learning the ropes with those at the SNCV, it has amazed me how driven, willing and passionate the volunteers are towards creating and sustaining the wildlife havens throughout Sutton.

Flora Assemblage and Cuddington Meadow

Flora Assemblage and Cuddington Meadow

I have spent the majority of my past week at Cuddington Meadows, a site that encapsulates the work ethic of all those involved with the SNCV. What struck me initially was the ceaseless noise of the meadow: the hum of the bees, the chirping of crickets and grasshoppers, the singing of the birds. My attention was then drawn to the incessant fluttering of butterflies, with Meadow Browns (Maniola jurtina), Marbled Whites (Melanargia galathea) and Ringlets (Aphantopus hyperantus) a prominent feature above the flora. Once I get my eye in, flashes of orange then come into view, most likely the small and large Skippers (Thymelicus sylvestris, Ochlodes Sylvanus).

Female (upper) and Male (lower) Marbled White - Melanargia galathea

Female (upper) and Male (lower) Marbled White – Melanargia galathea

These sights and sounds highlight how habitat management, combined with the work of volunteers can create thriving ecosystems which can be enjoyed by both humans and nature. I urge any of you reading this, if you haven’t already, to get down to Cuddington Meadows while the sun is out and the flowers in bloom. If you look closely enough you may see the wonderful Common Centauray Centaurium erythraea which has just come into flower.

Common Centaury - Centaurium erythraea

Common Centaury – Centaurium erythraea

Finally, thanks to all at the SNCV for making me feel so welcomed and comfortable during my first week. I look forward to all our future projects together!

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