Rakers gonna rake, rake, rake…

The skippers & ringlets of Happy Valley

This summer the Workout Group volunteers have taken part in Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count – this is the world’s largest insect survey, and we did our bit for nature by counting butterflies in Cromer. We then added this information the BC’s online survey – and as butterflies are a great indicator species, our records will give a snapshot of which butterflies are thriving and which are struggling on our local patch, but also help the experts to assess the health of the local environment.

Walking around the footpaths of Cromer town, we headed up to the very sunny Happy Valley – and altogether we counted 40+ butterflies, including meadow browns, ringlets, gatekeepers, burnet moths, small and large whites, skippers and small tortoiseshells.

Leopards, tigers…& dodder

In July we were joined at Salthouse Heath by Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Tony Leech to survey the plants, fungi and fauna of this beautiful County Wildlife Site. We’ve learnt so much about the inhabitants of this special site, as well as finding areas of the heath we’ve never visited before!

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“We dillied, we dallied, we even dodderd…”

As part of NWT’s County Wildlife Action project, the Workout volunteers have spent the summer months getting to know some of the wildlife of the heath – including hundreds of plant species, leopard slugs, bullfinches, woodpeckers, tiger beetles, darters and dragonflies, bumblebees, turtle doves, some rather rare fungi, and the (up until now) elusive dodder…see below!

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The small pink flowers of dodder, growing on gorse

It’s been a brilliant and eye-opening few months out on the heath – thanks to Gemma from Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Ed and Tony!                                  

Raking God’s Acres

During the summer Workout volunteers have been helping out local parishioners at two lovely churchyards in north Norfolk.

Letheringsett churchyard near Holt was once home to about 1000 meadow saxifrage plants, but over time this beautiful wildflower has begun to disappear from the site. Part of the advice from NWT Churchyard Conservation Scheme was to rake off the summer’s grass cuttings, thereby knocking back the nutrient levels to encourage the species that appreciate a poorer soil. So, rakes in hand, the Workout Group spent a lovely August afternoon raking to remove the freshly cut grass and thatch below, to help next year’s more delicate wild flowers.

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Rake it off!

On two of the hottest days of the summer, we visited Thorpe Market church, again to rake hay – we had a very enjoyable couple of visits, and special thanks are due to Cornel for his sterling efforts!…

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One woman went to mow…

St Margaret’s in Thorpe Market is an award-winning conservation churchyard, and this summer had its own wildlife bio-blitz (counting all the different species present on one day), so we were keen to be involved with practical work to help enhance the site. Well done everyone – a great team effort!

 

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