So far so good

Interesting to read Tom's posting of record numbers of eggs at one of the Upper Thames sites.  Can't claim any record from our egg count at Grafton Wood on 17th November but numbers were up on the previous year on all three sections of blackthorn that make up part of our core count area which is an encouraging start.  We also seem to be getting a lot of multiple egg clusters this year for some reason with several trebles and even a couple of quads already recorded!  Our next planned session at Grafton is our Xmas/New Year special on Sun, 29th December when mincepies and mulled wine will be on offer as well as Brown Hairstreak eggs.  We meet outside Grafton Church for 10 am and all are very welcome. 

In the meantime, the Thurs Streakers are continuing their efforts to search out new areas, monitor known sites and respond to requests from landowners to survey specific areas.  A very productive recent visit was to a National Grid sub-station where we found almost 100 eggs.  National Grid were very pleased at this news and have written an article with our input for their in-house magazine.  Many of these site visits result in management recommendations being made to owners and hopefully, at the end of the day, some better hedgerow management measures being adopted.  With changes in agri-environment schemes reducing the amount of grant aid likely to be available to farmers, we are having more and more to rely on developing good relationships with landowners and finding ways other than money of achieving change.  Developing good links with other public bodies including local authorities is an important part of this, as is trying to make better links with businesses.  We were very pleased to receive a donation of a further supply of blackthorn whips from Wychavon Council recently which we have planted out in an area of public open space where our previous planting of whips earlier in the year had produced 21 eggs.  We are hoping that some of the blackthorn left over can be made available to local farmers and other landowners. 

Encouraged by the great success of last year's Hairstreak Jelly, we also have followed up on the discovery of eggs on farmland near Redditch by persuading their farm shop to stock Brown Hairstreak ale in the run up to Xmas which we hope will be another way of getting across our important conservation message to the wider public.  Talking of which, don't forget to order your own Xmas supply (  All bottles sold result in a donation to Butterfly Conservation.  More Worcs updates as and when.           


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