After The Naming Ceremony of Wild Bank four of the group spent the morning working in the sunshine on Cardboard Hill, one of the steep south facing chalk banks named for being a favourite place for children to slide down on sheets of cardboard, helping to keep some of the grass short in a somewhat unusual way. For the last 15 years this bank has been brush cut every year and then the mowings have been hand raked off to help keep nutrient levels low. Unfortunately this did not get done this winter so the grass is quite long but despite this the horseshoe vetch and milkworts were flowering well. We hope that next winter the bank will be grazed by the sheep.
Our task was to cut down the short growths of hawthorn which are trying to invade the grass areas by seeding from the surrounding scrub. As soon as the patches of hawthorn had been cut with the brush cutter in the long grass lots of common lizards appeared to bask in the relative shelter from the wind. We also saw quite a few butterflies, dingy skippers, grizzled skippers, small heath, a male orange tip, speckled wood and our first sighting of a small blue which posed well for the camera. We also saw burnet companion moths and some other small day flying moths which we could’nt identify.