Where and when to find butterflies in their habitats in Hadlow.

The Parish boundaries – and see below for codes to some good locations:

Different groups of butterflies:

Blues: The Holly Blue is typically found visiting gardens, while the Common Blue, Brown Argus and Small Copper are restricted to the occasional flower-rich grassy areas.

Whites: All three of the Whites, Large, Small and Green-veined, can be found almost everywhere in the parish most of the year, together with Orange-tips in the spring, and Brimstone all year round.

Admirals, etc: The Purple Emperor in July and the White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary in July and August are restricted to the woods in the north, while the Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and the migratory Painted Lady are occasional but widespread on country paths all year round and in gardens particularly in the autumn.

Browns: The Meadow Brown is generally found in grassy areas from June to September, and the Ringlet and Gateway are usually found in grassy areas close to woods and larger hedges July to August. The Speckled Wood is normally found deeper in woods and “shaws” where some grass is nearby, most of the spring, summer and early autumn.

Skippers: The Large Skipper is likely to be found much of the summer where there is some grass close to woods and larger hedges, while the Small and Essex Skippers are found in July and August in the few areas where the grass is a bit more extensive.

Good places to look

There are a number of different habitats and areas in the parish to find different butterflies

1. Dene Park Woods, in the very northwest of the parish, the best place to look for Purple Emperors, White Admirals, Silver-washed Fritillaries, Ringlets and Purple Hairstreaks, and also good for Commas, Red Admirals, Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns, Large Skippers.

2. Clearhedges Wood, similar to Dene Park, but fewer rides for butterflies, so not so rich generally, except possibly the inaccessible coppiced areas off the footpath. and no Purple Emperor records to my knowledge.

3. Footpaths along to the River Bourne at Four Wents in West Peckham parish. Commas, Red Admirals and Peacocks along the paths. Brimstones in the spring.

4. Footpath MT113 to Stallions Green. Commas, Red Admirals, Peacocks and in the right year, Painted Ladies along the paths. Brimstones in the spring.

5. Footpaths around The Common, Steer’s Place and across Fairlawne Estate, Meadow Browns, Common Blues

6. Access trail and footpaths along the River Bourne and towards Golden Green. Commas, Red Admirals, Peacocks, and if you look across to the tiny meadow on the other side of the Bourne from MT136, Common Blues and the occasional Small Copper.

7. The paths around the banks of the reservoir at Style Place are good for Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers in the hedgerows, Common Blues and Brown Argus on the taller grassy areas. Commas, Red Admirals and Peacocks along the paths and brambles.

8. The south of the parish by the River Medway, the Whetsted Gravel Pits and the River Medway walk. Good areas for Commas, Red Admirals and Peacocks on the paths, Meadow Browns everywhere, Gatekeepers on the hedgerows and Common Blues and the occasional Brown Argus and Small Copper on the grassier areas. Small and Essex Skippers are possible.

9. Gardens in Hadlow Village and Golden Green. Almost anything can pass through, but commonly seen in gardens are Holly Blues throughout the year, Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers in the summer, Commas, Red Admirals and Peacocks in the summer and autumn and then Brimstones and Orange Tips in the spring.

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