Garthorne Road Nature Reserve

An oasis of calm in Forest Hill


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Nature’s Gym workday at Garthorne Road

2 Alix and Helen

Creating butterfly scallops

The Nature’s Gym spent a happy few hours in Garthorne Road last week (18th August 2016), creating butterfly scallops in the woodland.  Even as we were working we saw meadow browns and large whites and a few others that refused to keep still, so we couldn’t identify them.  This is an on going management plan and hopefully will result in more butterflies and with any luck some flora. We did uncover some purple loosestrife and rosebay willow herb, and I think there may be a number of other dormant plants just waiting to be uncovered!

Why create scallops?

Woodlands are fantastic habitats for wildlife and including the 40 species of British butterfly. Open space is the most important part of a woodland for butterflies, especially on its edge habitat where the warmest conditions are to be found.  Many woodlands have lost this vital habitat, but they are easy to recreate.  The best woodland edges support a varied habitat structure.  Cutting scallops creates a varied, zoned edge structure and also reduce shading along the adjacent ride and have great potential to improve any existing ride side butterfly habitat. They will increase the overall structural diversity of the woodland and provide sheltered herb-rich grassy areas.

We have followed the ‘Linear Cutting Regime’ with offset scallops) – which creates a far more varied habitat. For more information on scallops and why they are a great way to create new habitats, you might find this leaflet from The Butterfly Conservation Trust useful.

(Lots more information can be found on the Butterfly Conservation Trust website)

Other wildlife found in Garthorne Road

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