Summer 2018 on Kilkhampton Common

What a glorious few weeks we have had so far this summer! Great in the way for a tan, however, you may have noticed the lack of rain has caused the top pond to dry right up, and the lower pond has lost a lot of water. This is really bad news for the amphibians that rely on those habitats. Although we’ve had a couple days of rain, this has not benefited the ponds; the soil is so dry that most of the water ran off the land and into the river. That which did make it to the ponds has been absorbed by the soils. The grass is dry and now very brown, and other plants have also not done as well as normal.
 
Photograph of the common blue butterfly landing on a wild mint flower on Kilkhampton Common
Common Blue butterfly on wild mint
Butterfly counts are still low, however, plenty of species are being recorded. The small copper Lycaena phlaeas and the common blue Polyommatus icarushave been spotted more times this year than all previous years put together, which is a great sign.

Funding Received for Children’s Nature Events

 
The Peoples Postcode Lottery have funded some equipment for us to carry out kids activities over the summer. Riverfly surveying is taking place at Margaret’s Rustic Tea Garden, Northcott, where there is a chance to look at the insects found in the river. Then activities on Kilkhampton Common include making a bug hotel, nature walks, bug hunts and more! Check out our Facebook page or the Common notice board for more details.

A request to dog owners

 
When on the common we have noticed there is still an issue with dog mess. If you are a dog walker please can you ensure that you either use the “stick and flick” method if it is on the path or clean it up using a bag and dispose of it off site. We are having a lot of summer activities aimed at young people, so please clean up after your dogs.
 

Reptiles on the Common

You may notice some clearings which have been made in the vegetation with a piece of corrugated iron in, these patches are for wildlife. Snakes, slow worms and lizards especially like the corrugated iron as it becomes warm in the sun and is a good place to look for surveying. Please feel free to have a look under the sheets, however, please do be careful and lift slowly. Please do not move the iron away from the sites as they will be used to show young people animals on the common.
 
If you want to get involved in any events or volunteering, please get in touch; we would love to hear from you.
 
See you on The Common!