Notice of Southrey Wood work parties
Last of the Summer
Work party times usually run from 02.00 p.m. till 4.00 p.m. However, any time you can give would be welcomed! 
2018: October 10th

Contact: Peter Cawdell (tel 01522-262911; mob 07867954770)

Work party times usually run from 10.00 a.m. till 4.00 p.m. However, any time you can give would be welcomed!
2018: November 18th, December 9th
2019: January 6th, February 3rd, February 17th, March 10th

Contact: Steve Green (tel 01526-398273; mob 07928053335)

Discover the latest news and sightings from the Southrey Wood butterfly reserve below...

You can report your sightings and send your photos from Southrey Wood to John Davison at:

Southrey Wood Blog 2018

22nd October: Peter Cawsell reports......."Colin Watkin brought over his Sickle Bar Mowers and we cut the rides around our Coppice area." 

13th September: Peter Cawdell reports..."On Transect I found a female Small Copper nectaring on fleabane and ragwort. There have been several recorded here, as in other local sites, which have been devoid of the species for a couple of years. A welcome come-back?"

12th September:

Ride Before - John Davison 120918
Ride before
Ride After - John Davison 120918
Ride after






Workparty by John Davison 120918 (3)
Peter renewed the post numbers
Workparty by John Davison 120918 (1)
John & James cleared the cuttings







Small Copper - John Davison 120918




Still butterflies about, including Small Copper, Red Admiral, Comma, Green-veined White & Speckled Wood. Peter was pleased to see 4 Brown Argus still on the wing, with one a very fresh female.

Red Admiral - John Davison 120918
Green Shieldbug - John Davison 120918



Other insects around included both Green & Hairy Shieldbugs, Buff Ermine Moth larvae and the Rhopalid Bug - Corizus hyoscyami.

Bug Corizus hyoscyami - John Davison 120918


Buff Ermine larva - John Davison 120918






7th September: Peter Cawdell reports....."During transect was surprised to find a Garden Tiger moth fluttering around the old deer tower."

6th June: Cloudy day and relatively cool which meant nothing was particularly on the wing. A Common Blue was seen fluttering by the main track and a Green-veined White landed on a Common Spotted-orchid to provide a nice picture. 
Insects were still about though, Red-headed Cardinal Beetle, Straw Dot, Silver Y and Silver Ground Carpet Moths plus the larva of Froghopper in the spittle. A Common Lizard was basking on the log near the seat, Bees were having a field day and the number of Dark Bush-cricket nymphs was tremendous.
The Forestry had someone cutting the rides as I left which seemed a shame for the upcoming Devil's-bit Scabeous but hopefully he left the Orchids.

25th April: The workparty concentrated on ride improvements to keep it open to the sunlight.
Green-veined White and Peacock were on the wing as were Narrow-bordered Bee-flies. There was a Lizard on the Tower remains and the flora is tremendous at the moment. Early Purple Orchids are just starting to flower, Violets, Primroses and Wood Anemone are looking good

11th April: Four volunteers turned up for the first workparty of the Summer (Iknow, don't laugh). The remaining rakings were cleared away from the ride and a bay area just off the main ride, neglected for a few years, was cleared again.
Chiffchaff and Robin were singing away, an Engrailed moth was seen on a tree trunk and a Hornet was making its way out after hibernating in a rotting stump.

5th April: Peter Cawdell reports..........Lovely weather for a first Transect of the season - up to 12C with 100% sunshine and a light SW wind.. Summary: 12 butterflies counted of 4 species .. Small Tortoiseshell (2), Comma (5), Peacock(4) and Brimstone (1m). 2 male Peacock were sparring as they fought to defend their chosen territories along the ride in Sect.5. 2 of the Commas and the Brimstone were nectaring on coltsfoot..The Torts. were basking in a bit of new ditching at the end of the main ride, A muntjac deer was surprised in the undergowth at the 1st. section of the New Ride. A selection of bee species were active. Flora-wise the season seems to be running a couple of weeks late. Any flowers were short with their necks twisting to present their heads in the direction of the much needed warm sun's rays. I used to monitor the dog violets here and the 1st. of April often saw the flowers at their peak, but this year no flowers yet and many of the leaflets are still small. I love these all too rare spring days showing the promise of summer's bounty to come.

11th March: 10 volunteers turned out for the last official workparty of the winter. Work had gone exceptionally well this year and so it was really a tidy up session. Whist Steve took down the last of the standing trees and stumps, others fired the last of the brash and took out some of the logs. We even had time to clear a section of ditch and fell some side trees to open it up and let the light in.
Thanks to all the volunteers for their work this year. 

25th February: 10 volunteers turned out on a nice sunny day to continue work on Square 5. There was a serious lack of chainsaws  through illness and family commitments but although not feeling too good himself, Dave managed to fell the remaing trees before illness overtook him as well. Undaunted the remaining volunteers managed to clear the site of all the brash allowing the next winter workday (the last), the luxury of felling some nuisance trees in other areas. Geoff (pictured), once again made some charcoal.

11th February: Another good workday saw 11 regulars making more progress on clearing this winter's target, part of square 5. Despite missing four of our stalwarts, the team of Nicola, James and Ken soon had a good fire blazing to burn the large amount of brash produced. Geoff had another go with the charcoal kiln to see if one days bonfire will produce any usable biochar.
For the most part the weather was kind, the couple of sleet showers didn't last long. However, the continuing wintry conditions still mean no wildlife sightings to report.
We are now at the stage of the winter where remaining trees all need chainsaws to fell them, with our volunteers with hand tools taking over (sometimes over-enthusiastically!) to dis-member them.This bodes well- we are well on schedule to complete the work over the remaining two dates and leave the wood in good shape for the spring.

21st January: The weather forecast was dire even up to the day before but the gods must have smiled and, but for some light snow, it turned out a good day. 11 faithful volunteers turned out and continued clearing the assigned square for this year. Not everything was rosy as the fire took a long time to get started because of the sodden wood. Still, all in all, a good day.