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Holtspur Bottom Butterfly Reserve

How you could help us

Frank Banyard planting Kidney vetch at Holtspur Bottom

Work parties
We have regular conservation work parties throughout the winter, which mostly focus on controlling scrub, trimming and laying hedges, and other general maintenance tasks. We also have occasional work parties during the summer, mostly to try to control the Ragwort which has plagued the site since we took over its management. New volunteers are always welcome! You can choose which tasks you take on, and can work as long as you wish. Tools and full instructions are provided. Please wear sturdy footwear, bring gardening gloves, a drink and a snack. You can find dates of scheduled work parties on the Information Boards on the reserve itself, and on the Upper Thames Branch main website.

Apart from helping us on work parties, there are a number of other ways you could help us. For example:

Slow worm

Draw or paint the meadows
Do you enjoy sketching, drawing or painting? We would love to have some pictures of the reserve to use on our website, particularly of the meadows in flower during the summer, or of the reserve in autumn. Again, contact us for more information.

Take photographs of our reserve
Could you visit our reserve at different times of the year, and record the changing landscape? The colours in our meadows change throughout the year, and we'd love to have a record of the changes. Could you visit in the autumn, or at dawn, sunset, after snowfall or a heavy frost, and record what you see? Contact us if you have any great photos of the reserve!

Local history
Do you live locally? Do you remember Holtspur Bottom when you were growing up? Do you have any old photos of the area? We'd love to hear more about the history of our reserve. Contact us with your story and photos, and we'll see if we can include them on our History of Holtspur Bottom page.

Growing Dark Mullein plants
We would like to increase the number of Dark Mullein plants both on our reserve at Holtspur Bottom, and in the surrounding area, to try to support the local population of the nationally scarce Striped Lychnis moth. Dark Mullein is an attractive plant in its own right, as well as being the caterpillar foodplant of this moth. Although Striped Lychnis still breeds in the Holtspur Valley, we think the population may be in decline. If you could grow some Dark Mullein plants in your garden, on your allotment, in your School grounds, or anywhere else, you would be helping us to halt the decline of this vulnerable moth. If you live very close to our reserve, we may even be able to provide you with free seeds! Contact us for more information.



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