A warm Woodcraft thank you goes out to Sue and Bob from Gloucestershire Butterfly Conservation who walked us around the Rough Bank site and joined us for a picnic. They worked very hard to put on a real good show and, despite a gloomy and cold start to the day, they really succeeded. Bob is a moth expert and he started off showing us the contents of a moth trap from his garden that contained the most wonderful and strange creatures you will have seen; including the Yellow Underwing moth, the Peppered moth, the Green Carpet, the Nut-Tree Tussock (they have such great names), ones that looked like bits of sticks and great big things than must have been 4cms long!
The peppered moth took a real fancy to Venturer Leader Peter, clearly mistaking him for an old tree trunk. Sue, the butterfly expert, was a bit concerned at the start that the butterflies would stay in bed, but we saw several including the Common Blue, Small Blue, Adonis Blue, Painted Lady (all the way from Africa), Marbled White (first sighting this season for Sue) and the Ringlet.
All this in a secluded valley tucked out of sight in the Cotswolds above Stroud. It has a long south facing slope covered in wild flowers which included (aptly) the Butterfly Orchid, the Pyramid and Common Orchid, Pink and White Campion, the Birds Foot Trefoil and lots more. Next time you are at a loose end on a sunny afternoon take a look, it is well worth it.