Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation is hosting its third Kent-wide week celebrating moths on 17th- 24th June.
The Big Moth Safari is a week of free online and in-person events which encourages people across the county to engage with moth-spotting outdoors and learn about some of the UK’s most colourful and magnificent moths.
Visitors to Walmer Castle in Deal will be able to get up close and personal with some beautiful live moth species at an interactive stall on Sunday 18th June. There will also be a Meet the Moths Morning at Canterbury Golf Course on 17th June, a free talk for National Insect Week at RSPB Dungeness on 20th June and beginner moth ID training at Stodmarsh Nature Reserve on 24th June.
There will be opportunities for the public to gain helpful tips and tools from experts in moth identification as well as a call to all moth-spotters to share details and images of moth sightings on social media. The week will also involve special online treats for families including renowned children's author Julia Donaldson who will be giving us a peek inside her new book The Wooly Bear Caterpillar and a virtual art class from nature artist Deborah Woollard.
Project Conservation Officer Emma Pestridge said: “We’re excited to launch another public campaign to celebrate the vast array of moths in Kent. This is a particularly special county for moths with several species occurring nowhere else in the UK for example the rare and beautiful Black-veined Moth.
“As well as providing opportunities for local people to discover and learn about our amazing local moth species, we also want people to tell us about the moths they’re seeing in their areas, gardens, and balconies. Whether you’ve spotted the 9cm pink and green Elephant Hawk-moth or the strikingly bold Sussex Emerald, this is the ideal opportunity to share your photos and findings. Sharing species information and locations of your own findings with us online will help with our conservation work.
“Threats particular to moths based in Kent include change in land management, limited resources, and climate change. Because of these threats, moths are experiencing worrying declines across the UK which has knock-on effects to wider biodiversity, so conserving them, and encouraging more people to delight in them is increasingly important.”
Sign up to events that are taking place throughout the campaign on the Butterfly Conservation events page (search for Kent). Get involved online at @ButterflyConservationKent on Facebook, @kentbutterflies on Twitter or @BCKentbranch on Instagram where details of local events handy ID guides and other hints and tips about spotting the county’s array of incredible moths will be posted under the hashtag #bigmothsafari. Simply share a picture or details of your findings with us, including your location, using #bigmothsafari.
Main public events
17th June: Meet the Moths Morning in Canterbury, at Canterbury Golf Course. 9am-12pm.
This is a morning event, suitable for all ages, where people can gather around the moth traps left out on the Old Park & Chequer’s Wood SSSI over the previous night to see the range of species that were attracted to the lights. A huge opportunity to see them up close, hold them and see how great they really are!
18th June: Moth Matter, at Walmer Castle (part of their Great Big Green Week). 10am – 3pm
The event will be an interactive stall with live moths and activities to engage those visiting with the wonderful world of moths. There will be some top tips to help you find moths in the castle grounds and lots of crafty fun to be had!
20th June: National Insect Week talk, at RSPB Dungeness.
Teaming up with Bumblebee conservation trust we will be discussing all things nature and insects. Check @ButterflyConservationKent for timings.
24th June: Beginner Moth ID training, at Stodmarsh NNR. 10am-4pm.
This training session requires no previous experience and you will learn how best to start identifying common moths and tips to help you improve your knowledge, booking is essential. Please email @email