It is fantastic that we can visit our allotments and keep growing while the lock down continues. I am based on Scarcroft allotments and here are some nature notes of what I and other people have been seeing on the site. No doubt similar wildlife will be turning up on allotments all over York. It would be great if people’s sightings could be recorded on this Butterfly Conservation website. Even the smallest bug or worm will have a part to play and an interesting life cycle. Now we have a bit more time to stand and stare, check out what lives in your compost bin, amongst the leaf litter or what birds are visiting your plot. I’ll start off with some butterfly updates.
Butterflies on Scarcroft have come out of hibernation, so spring is definitely coming. As the next few days will be chilly so we may not see them but keep a look out when it warms up again. In my garden and on the allotment last week, I have seen lots of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies and a couple of Brimstones. More information can be found on the Butterfly Conservation website https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies
Both the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies lay their eggs on nettles so if you have some in a sunny position don’t dig them up, just keep an eye open for eggs and caterpillars. The Brimstone’s food plant is Alder Buckthorn which I have on my allotment and I did once have their green caterpillars on it so fingers crossed for this year.
Another fairly early butterfly I haven’t seen yet is the Orange Tip, the name is a bit of a clue and the males have lovely orange ends to their wings. One of their food plants is Jack by the Hedge or Garlic Mustard which is found along our paths and on some allotments.