But­ter­fly re­turns to moss­land

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

AT the Wildlife Trust life can be var­ied. One day you can be stand­ing knee deep in a bog and the next sail­ing in a boat car­ry­ing sheep to an is­land.

It seems I have con­stantly been emptying bog water out of my wellies over sum­mer.

This week I have been cut­ting out but­ter­fly masks for chil­dren to colour in and dec­o­rate at the Manch­ester Sci­ence Fair, at the Mu­seum of Sci­ence and In­dus­try.

My col­league and moss­lands en­gage­ment of­fi­cer, Ly­dia McCool, joined forces with the team from Ch­ester Zoo to come up with wildlifethemed ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren vis­it­ing the mu­seum.

Our part was themed on the re-in­tro­duc­tion of large heath but­ter­flies to our moss­lands, which we have been do­ing with the help of the won­der­ful zoo team.

These but­ter­flies have been ex­tinct in much of the north west for a cen­tury, be­cause they rely on plants likes hare’s tail cot­ton-grass to sur­vive.

Over the past two years we have col­lected but­ter­flies from one of our moss re­serves, taken them to Ch­ester Zoo where they have laid eggs, and the chrysalises have grown. When the but­ter­flies emerge they are taken to Heysham Moss, in north Lan­cashire, to be re­leased.

On a re­cent visit I saw a num­ber of them from the pre­vi­ous year’s re­lease, so they are ob­vi­ously do­ing well. The event at the mu­seum gives us an op­por­tu­nity to talk to chil­dren, par­ents and grand­par­ents about the large heath and other work we are do­ing in their area.

Ly­dia is in­volved in lots of these events around the Sal­ford moss­lands area, and she wasn’t sur­prised that we were mobbed with fam­i­lies for more than six hours.

I was as­ton­ished and re­ally pleased that all the par­ents in­volved, from all over the coun­try, were keen that their chil­dren should get out and ex­pe­ri­ence the wild spa­ces around them and visit ed­u­ca­tional events at lo­cal mu­se­ums.

The chil­dren chose be­tween ‘cam­ou­flaged’ de­signs or colour­ful ones aimed at fright­en­ing preda­tors away.

My faith in north west fam­i­lies was re­stored by the num­ber of po­lite chil­dren of all ages who came back to say ‘thank you’. If this lot are our future, then na­ture will be in safe hands. If any­one is in­ter­ested in Ly­dia’s events, they can find them on the web­site lanc­swt. org.uk or on the Chat Moss Face­book page.

The Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side is ded­i­cated to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of wildlife in its ar­eas. To be­come a mem­ber, go to the web­site at lanc­swt.org. uk or call 01772 324129.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Cheshire Wildlife Trust, call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewil­dlife trust.org.uk.

A large heath but­ter­fly

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.