Summer on Kilkhampton Common

Wildlife on the Common

I am sure many of you have been enjoying some summer sun over the last few weeks. Butterflies can be seen fluttering around, however, this has been a poor year for butterflies. With the continuous change in weather, from sun to rain, the butterflies have struggled. Cold winter killed off pupae and I am sure many people have noticed the delay in many species emerging. Very few surveys have taken place this year due to the weather, those which have been done show a significant decline in overall butterflies being seen. Moths have also been in decline this year. Burnet moths used to be sighted regularly on the Common. This year not a single one has been recorded.

In this hot weather, we ask that all walkers on the common are cautious and be wary of snakes. Dogs should be kept close or on a short lead as snakes often sun themselves on the paths. Adder bites can be fatal to dogs and therefore need to be kept away from each other.

Balsam Bashing

If you have walked along the main middle path on the Common, you may have noticed piles of vegetation. We have been working hard to clear Himalayan balsam from the common. Himalayan balsam is an invasive non-native species (INNS) which can spread at an alarming rate. The plants are shallow rooted and can easily erode soil as they die back over autumn leaving the land bare. They grow incredibly high and overshade all native species. Each plant can release up to 2500 seeds at maximum, seed heads are explosive, covering large areas with seed. It is important for us to remove as much of it as possible to prevent it taking over.

Pulled Himalayan balsam on Kilkhampton Common Cornwall Westland Countryside Stewards Charity owned land
Pulled Himalayan balsam on Kilkhampton Common

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming activities on the common

Over the next couple months, we will be running a range of activities on the common, from guided walks to pond dipping. Check our website, social media and notice boards for more information. We have already carried out two guided walks which were very popular!

People who joined Westland Countryside Stewards for the charity walk around Kilkhampton Common
Guided walk on Kilkhampton Common

Have a picture? We’d like to see it!

We always like to know what you see on the common, give us a tweet @WestlandCS and let us know what you have discovered! If you wish to get involved with anything, get in touch.