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Sussex Butterflies: Black Hairstreak & Dark Green Fritillary

Sussex Butterflies: Black Hairstreak & Dark Green Fritillary


Please Note: You are paying the full event price at this stage. Select number of places below and click ‘Add To Cart’. You will be able to choose which of the three dates you’d like to do once we’ve been in contact with you following your booking submission.


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NEW! Join us for a summer day out in Sussex, looking for Black Hairstreaks & other butterflies.


The day will begin with a short drive (20 mins) to the outskirts of Brighton, to a small local reserve. There are some of the last remaining elms at this site and at the edge of the woodland just before the park is an area of wildflowers and bramble that the White-letter Hairstreak often comes down to nectar on. We will stay here for an hour or so, depending on photographic needs and if the hairstreaks are obliging. This is only a short walk (5 mins) from the car park and is on a gentle slope. There is a near-by Asda store we could stop for comfort breaks and to buy snacks/lunch.

We will then move to a downland site for Dark Green Fritillary. There is a walk of about 30 mins to the site, and overall we will spend at least two hours on our visit. As it’s south facing the fritillaries tend to emerge early and should be some on the wing mid-July. The butterflies are found on a steep slope, but there is a flatter walk along the bottom of the valley, where some of the DGF’s are found. There will be a path down and back up the valley to negotiate.

We will stop for lunch in Ditchling or nearby. We will then continue to Ditchling Common to look for the Black Hairstreak on the blackthorn shrub. We will spend a couple of hours here before returning to Shoreham for about 4:30pm. The walk is about fifteen minutes from the car park along a flat path that may be a little uneven in parts.

Although our main focus will be on butterflies and especially the hairstreaks, we will of course take time to watch and enjoy any other flora or fauna of interest throughout the day. This includes downland birds such as Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Skylark. There will also be other butterflies such as Peacock, red admiral, Painted Lady, common browns and whites and Silver washed fritillary.

Please note: butterflies and their life cycles vary depending on the season and although we do our best to time things to see our target species we cannot guarantee it. The weather close to and on the day itself are also a major factor, which can affect things. Regardless of the season or weather on the day our guide will do their very best to find the main targets and other interesting wildlife.


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