Annual Reviews

Each year we now produce an 'Annual Review' for Friends and Members, which incorporates a summary of our formal Year-end Report, plus what we hope are some interesting highlights of the year in question.

The previous few Annual Reviews can be downloaded here:

2016 Annual Review

2015 Annual Review

2014 Annual Review

2013 Annual Review

Members and Friends are sent these annual reviews as soon as they are produced each summer, and have an opportunity to attend our AGM each October and raise any issues.

If you would like to become a Friend, you can read more on our Join Us page, and then complete the application form.

formdownload_180

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Counting the Butterflies on Magog Down

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme recommends a formal method for butterfly monitoring call the “Transect Method”: using this method, the same area of land is walked regularly, at a constant pace, counting what’s seen within a 5m visual square.

After Professor Colin Smith's initial monitoring in the late 1990s, survey work was done again between 2008 and 2012 by Doug and Jenny Taylor. Then in 2015 a Friend of Magog Down called Barbara Massingham-Stubbs took on the task of continuing this monitoring. (Lots more informaton on our Moths and Butterflies page.)

The Transect

This is the transect route that Jon Gibbs and Barbara worked out, which was designed with the aim of trying to get a few different habitats that exist on the Down.butterflytransectroute_453

  1. Youth Wood: young trees,
  2. Grass Margin:  south-facing, scrub hedge, short & long grass, thistles, red clover
  3. Paddocks:  sheep-grazed, grass
  4. Grass Margin: north-facing, scrub hedge, short & long grass, thistles, cowslips, oxeye daisy, red clover, trefoil
  5. Crescent Path: short & long grass bordered by paddocks
  6. Middle Path:  Magog Wood, mature trees
  7. Tree Trail: Magog Wood, young trees
  8. Colin’s Paddock: east-facing grassland meadow, short & long grass, wild marjoram, knapweed, ragwort
  9. Jane’s Piece:  bare chalk path bordered by scrub and paddock
  10. North Down: west-facing, sloping grassland meadow

The rules followed for these surveys (as per the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme) are that the survey takes place weekly between April – September, spending 1 – 2 hours sometime between the hours of 10:45 to 15:45; the temperature needs to be >= 13°C, and if it’s <=17°C then there must be 60% sunshine; further, the wind speed has to be  <=5 [19-24mph], at which point small trees in leaf begin to sway.

The Results

Here’s the table of results of number of butterflies observed by Barbara over the first two years of her monitoring. She notes that she saw more butterflies in total in 2016 partly because she had missed the first 7 weeks of 2015, though it had been cold and wet then anyway. But also she admits she may have got better at spotting them!

Total Butterflies observed, by species

 

 2015

2016

Essex/Small Skipper

47

145

Large Skipper

40

50

Brimstone

23

36

Large White

23

15

Small White

69

141

Green veined White

0

10

Brown Argus

1

0

Common Blue

123

85

Holly Blue

4

5

Red Admiral

2

4

Painted Lady

1

5

Small Tortoiseshell

12

16

Peacock

5

21

Comma

1

2

Speckled Wood

6

14

Gatekeeper

62

68

Ringlet

59

49

Small Heath

47

19

Orange tip

5

13

Meadow Brown

518

840

Marbled White

29

64

Small Copper

2

2

Clouded Yellow

0

1

Total

1079

1605


We hope that Barbara continues to enjoy monitoring the butterflies in this way, and look forward to seeing the results year on year. When will the elusive Chalkhill Blue appear on Magog Down?
chalkhillblueSee also our Moths and Butterflies page.


April 2017

Old Newsletters

Up until 2011 we produced a twice-yearly Newsletter, and you can still download copies of some of these here:

pdf_logo_smallSpring/Summer 2011

pdf_logo_smallAutumn/Winter 2010

Spring 2010

Autumn/Winter 2009

Spring 2009

In 2011 the re-designed website was launched, and so the decision was taken to stop producing these Newsletters, and instead to use this website as the main means of communication for news and articles of interest.

This move away from a regular Newsletter meant that more of the Members' and Friends' subscriptions could be spent directly on the costs of upkeep and husbandry on the Down.

We would love every regular visitor to Magog Down to help support its upkeep by becoming a Friend. Read more on our Join Us page, and then complete the application form.