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Friday, September 23, 2011

Simon Barnes and the SPNVS

Two weeks on holiday and back home to try and catch up on the world of wildlife conservation and my Blog. Along with numerous emails and post I received my National Trust magazine today. The opinion feature sounded interesting and it was written by Simon Barnes. He wrote “How to be a bad birdwatcher” which I found an easy book to read and useful for a non bird watcher! He wants to start a new campaign to promote, “the Society for the Preservation of Nothing Very Special” or SPNVS for short. I agree with him that it is important to seek to protect living places and living things before they get special. Special usually means rare or endangered. Our four acre meadow could easily be classified by planners or developers as ordinary. Yet unimproved grasslands are already rare in the countryside and so I aim to become a member of the SPNVS.

If you too would like to join go to, search for the digital NT magazine Autumn 2011 and Simon Barnes article is on page 15. Or of course you could join the NT as a member.

I was pleased to see how our new pond was getting on and of course it is getting on alright in my absence. The dragon fly nymphs  are still lurking in the murky water which really needs more oxygenating plants. Waterboatman are more numerous than before and a dead reddish dragonfly lies in the water. Water snails seem to be steadily demolishing it.
Walking across the lawn to the pond I noticed a small butterfly ( shown above) which I thought initially was  probably a female Common Blue. Eventually I managed to get close to it and with the help of my trusted book on UK butterflies I am convinced it is a Small Heath. That is the first time I've ever recognised one. The books says they are one of the most common butterflies in the country so I must have been very negligent in not seeing it before.  I am adding a photo of my butterfly and the unfortunate dragon fly and the dragonfly nymph

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