Butterflies And Wildflowers

July 23, 2014
Painted Lady

Painted Lady butterfly on Bell heather at Dry Heath

David Pottinger writes:

With the glorious bout of good weather, many readers will doubtless be taking walks round the Pond, partly for the tranquility and also for the coolness!

Whilst going round the Pond, it’s interesting to try to identify any butterflies and wildflowers seen along the way. Fortunately, members of Fleet Pond Society (FPS) have written a fascinating series of articles on these topics that you might find interesting and helpful.

Peter Martin, who is the President of FPS, has written quite a few butterfly posts that have proven to be very popular. Here are two examples:

Butterflies Around The Pond – Have You Seen Any?


“Although over 30 different species of butterfly have been recorded at Fleet Pond, some may not be easily seen as they tend to stay in the areas in which they bred.

Westover Road – Speckled Wood: Where the path starts at the end of Westover Road towards Wood Lane there are patches of bramble which, when in flower, provide a good nectar source for the Speckled Wood. This is a butterfly that likes areas dappled with sun and shade and it is most noticeable when settled on bramble with its wings wide open. As it has several generations, it can be seen from March until September.”

Butterflies At The Pond – 2013

Extract (Butterfly Of The Month: August – The Gatekeeper):

“Due to its habit of frequenting hedgerows, this butterfly was, at one time, known as the “Hedge Brown”. In even earlier years, it was called “Hedge Eye” and also “Small Meadow Brown”.

Depending upon the weather, the first butterflies usually begin to emerge from their chrysalides during mid-July, but August is the month when I have seen the greatest number. They are fairly common and the best place for seeing them at Fleet Pond Nature Reserve is probably between the Dry Heath and the Railway.

Ragwort, Fleabane, Marjoram and Buddleia are good nectar sources, as this butterfly’s proboscis is fairly short, but its favourite is probably Bramble.”

In addition, Michelle Salter, who is the Secretary of FPS, has written a wonderfully illustrated series of articles on some of the wildflowers that can be seen around the Pond at different times of the year, see:

Keep An Eye Out For These Attractive Flowers

Extract for the month of July (originally published in 2009, prior to the changes at the Pond):

“Walking through the Dry Heath, I took a photo of a Painted Lady butterfly (see above) resting on one of the many patches of purple Bell heather currently in flower there. Native to dry heathland, Bell heather is an evergreen shrub that is attractive to a wide range of insects, including bees and butterflies.


Lichen on Dry Heath

Growing in spongy tufts between the swathes of colourful heather is bushy lichen. Commonly found in drier areas of heathland, the pale green stems make a stark contrast to the rich colours of the surrounding heather.

Yellow Loosestrife

Yellow Loosestrife by Hemelite Bay jetty

There are always plenty of wildflowers to be found along the stretch of footpath parallel to the railway line, and the golden flowers of Yellow loosestrife are presently adding splashes of colour to the water’s edge. Found in moist habitats such as marshes, fens and stream sides, the spikes of yellow flowers provide a plentiful supply of pollen for bees.”

Picture credits: Michelle Salter.




A Winning Place At The Carnival Procession

July 13, 2014


Driving the FPS float in the busy procession

David Pottinger writes:

Here are some photos of the Fleet Pond Society (FPS) contribution to the Carnival Procession held in Fleet last Saturday, 6 July 2014. THe FPS float won first place in the Walking category (see also photo below).


 Displaying the winners shield for first place in the Walking category


The FPS crew, waiting for the procession to start


 The FPS float in all it’s glory


The winning World Wide Web theme


 Jim Storey, FPS Committee Member, as I’ve never seen him before!


The float in it’s construction phase – weaving the world wide web

Picture credits: top (Get Hampshire), Colin Gray (second down and bottom) with all others courtesy of Michelle Salter.

Fleet Pond Society Photographic Competition 2014

July 11, 2014

FPS Photo Comp 2014 b

Yes, it’s time to get snapping once again!

The winning photos from the 2013 competition can be found here and, under Pictures, the results from previous years.

We look forward to your entries.

Sammy Dancing At Fleet Pond

July 3, 2014

Other videos by Ethan Urquhart, including ones for the Fleet Food Festival 2014 and Fleet Half-Marathon 2014, can be seen here.

Many thanks to Sue Tilley for bringing this interesting clip to our attention.