BS3 Wildlife News and My Wild South Bristol

Butterfly and Moth Monitoring
The sunny weather of the last couple of days has brought out lots of insects. I’m told that brimstones have been seen and Caroline R reports on our facebook that several peacock butterflies where in her garden yesterday. I’m sure the rain will be back, but so will more butterflies, moths and other interesting creatures.  
Over the last three years a small number of people monitored butterflies and moths in various places. Hopefully, even more will join in this year and contribute to our 2020 reports.
But, as I’m sure you will be surprised to learn, the current situation is unclear re access to green spaces. This is what I think the current situation to be:
1. Monitoring in my own front and back garden. This is OK as I am still ‘at home’.
2. Monitoring at allotments. Assuming that you are allowed to visit your allotment, there is nothing to stop you monitoring butterflies or any other creature, provided that you keep your distance from other humans. I’m not sure about non-allotment holders that might want to wander around as I have done, for example, in the allotment area of Windmill Hill City Farm.
3. Monitoring in a public park. As I understand it we are allowed to take exercise once a day and that might include a walk in the park. Hopefully, I will be able to take my butterfly net with me provided, again, that I keep away from others. If you want to order a butterfly net, or other equipment, yourself go to .
4. Access to Local Nature Reserves. I don’t know what the rules are here.
I’ll try to find answers where there are loose ends, but I don’t think the unravelling is completed yet.
An Invitation from the Bedminster Patchwork Group
The Patchwork Group has suspended its normal approach of gardening as a large social group, but they still want to maintain their five community gardens and two orchards. They still want to look after their plots. You can help, perhaps with the patch closest to where you live, in the following ways, whilst still maintaining a safe distance from others. If you fancy helping and have some spare time….
– deadhead the flowers in the planters on our Dean Lane Orchard
– pick up litter on the Dean Lane Orchard
– pick up litter on our Clifton Street patch
– prune the Hebe and Cistus on our Clifton Street patch
– do some weeding on our South Street patch
– prune the Hebe, Buddleia and Mahonia on our South Street patch
– do some weeding in the Stackpool Road homezone
– prune the Buddleia in the Stackpool Road homezone
– do weeding at Cherry Tree gardens
Please let Laura know if you’ve done any of these things: And why not take a picture for facebook?
There may be other groups proposing to keep looking after various patches. It would be good to hear about how you are getting on.
Some Gardening Hints
The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society have published a cheerful guide to attracting butterflies to your garden. It might be useful if you or friends are trying to entertain kids over the next few months.  
Treecreeper in Greville Smyth Park
John H reports, ‘Helen spotted a Treecreeper in GS Park yesterday (20 March), right opposite our house.   I saw it too. Unmistakeable. It was there for five minutes or so. We have regular visits from Nuthatches to the feeders in our front garden but we haven’t seen a Treecreeper before.’  (Editor’s note: It’s a small bird not a climbing plant).
Big Spaces in BS3
We are still trying to up-date the survey that we circulated in October 2019. Some people have got back to us to say that nothing has changed, others have suggested minor amendments or major re-writes. Excellent and Thanks. A few places that did not respond in 2019 have now made contact.    Again Good and Thanks. But, we are still drawing a blank in some cases. One of these is Perrett’s Park. We understand that there is a support group, but we’ve been unable to make contact and get a response. Can you help?    
We are also working on up-dating our survey on spaces in BS4, BS13 and BS14. Please respond, if you have not already done so, and encourage others to do so.
The most recent BS3, BS4, BS13 and BS14 surveys are available upon request.
Bug Hotel
As part of my personal bid to retain some sanity, I’m building a bug hotel in my front garden.    
Please share your wildlife news either with me (Ben Barker) or with our facebook. Or both. By the way, Finbar reports that the facebook now has 300 members. This newsletter goes to just under 200 people and their families. I guess that most people are in both.
Please pass this newsletter on to other people. Invite them to join the BS3 Wildlife Group and its facebook. You don’t have to live in BS3. It’s free. Everyone is welcome.