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Pensthorpe junior board trio’s big butterfly count

Just Regional
Aug 12, 2016 2 mins read

Three members of Pensthorpe’s junior board have been on clipboard and notebook duty in the park’s gardens and meadows, taking part in the UK Big Butterfly Count.

The youngsters responded to a plea by Butterfly Conservation to take part in the charity’s national survey by counting the number and type of butterflies spotted during a 15-minute window.

Their results, combined with those of another three counts carried out independently by visitors to Pensthorpe, means that more than half of the 20 species listed on the Butterfly Conservation identification chart have been spotted enjoying the 700-acre natural park’s flower-rich environment.

Butterflies spotted and counted at Pensthorpe included large white, small white, green-veined white, gatekeeper, ringlet, peacock brimstone, comma, painted lady, large skipper, red admiral and orange tip.

One of the junior board members, 11-year-old Nadia Jolley from Swannington, said:  “It was great fun walking round trying to spot butterflies. We didn’t seem to be seeing many – but when we had a final count-up it was surprising just how many we had spotted. There were a lot of cabbage whites in particular.”

Taking part in the count has inspired Nadia to keep a watchful eye out for butterflies in her own garden – particularly in the patch of nasturtiums which thrive in the area where she cleans her rabbit hutch.

There are five young volunteers on the Pensthorpe junior board. They give a priceless perspective on the park’s child-orientated activities and help shape future projects and initiatives. Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, has been voted Norfolk’s best large visitor attraction for the past two years.

Across the country, butterflies are disappearing at an alarming rate according to Butterfly Conservation president Sir David Attenborough. He said the Big Butterfly Count is a way of measuring nature’s pulse. Butterflies react very quickly to changes in the environment, making them excellent biodiversity indicators.

Bradley Rope counts butterflies in one of the four gardens at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

Bradley Rope counts butterflies in one of the four gardens at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

Oona Amienne-Foster, Bradley Rope and Nadia Jolley count butterflies in one of the four gardens at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

Oona Amienne-Foster, Bradley Rope and Nadia Jolley count butterflies in one of the four gardens at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

 

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