I was working near Chichester in Sussex yesterday, on Lordington farm run by Andrew Elms. This is a Conservation Grade (CG) farm and I was doing a habitat assessment for CG to make sure that Andrew is meeting the strict criteria laid down by the Grade and where appropriate, giving advice to help improve these habitats even further.
Lordington is situated in a attractive part of the South Downs and to be quite honest, it would be difficult to have classified this as “work” - walking around this delightful farm on a beautiful summer’s day!
Part of Andrew’s business is growing Lordington Lavender, much of which has now been harvested to be made into the oils, soaps and creams that are so sort after, creating a vibrant business. Luckily for me, Andrew had left 3 strips un-harvested for the wildlife to enjoy, and enjoy it they did! The strips were covered in all sorts of different butterflies and bees, including the first two Clouded yellow butterflies I have seen this year.
The Clouded Yellow is primarily an immigrant to the UK, originating from North Africa and southern Europe, with numbers varying greatly from year to year. It is amazing to think that this species, like a number of others such as the Painted Lady butterfly, have crossed the channel to lay their eggs here with us on plants such as Clovers, Lucerne and Bird’s foot trefoil.