Saturday, 11 August 2012
Box Hill, Straw Belle, Wiggo and Cav
The first thing that struck me was how little of the grassland showed any disturbance at all - a single path led from the lower zig-zag car park up to the 'Straw Belle' viewing area. Here the roadside exhibited an area of flattened grass of no more than 30m x 10m. Disturbance had indeed been minimal. But what about the wildlife?
I checked the area of the zig-zag that is the well-known haunt of the rare Straw Belle moth. Would I find one? No, I found four. I didn't really need to look for them as the moths were quite active and came to find me. The strong sunlight and easterly breeze made photography difficult, although one happily sat in an open pot and allowed the image above to be taken. In this same area were three Silver-spotted Skippers.
If you want to go and look for yourself, find the 'Kiss My Cav' message painted on the road (left over from the Olympic road race, see top picture). The moths (and butterflies) were alongside this message on the upper slope. The organising committee should be congratulated on keeping its promise to not damage the habitat around Box Hill. I have it on good authority that habitat improvement is the legacy of the Olympic visit.