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Turn Back Time in Turnpike

29th June 2020 @ 6:06am – by Adrian Leighton
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Turning time back on Turnpike Fields

Walking through the Turnpike Fields a few days ago I was taken back 70 years to my childhood. That was a time, post WW2, when there was the freedom to wander in fields and meadows surrounded by the sights and sounds of the natural world. It was a time before insecticides and urban sprawl banished the natural world from our lives.

It was before the "Tidy Brigade" felt it was a moral imperative to cut everything to an inch of its life and more. It was time when butterflies were a normal part of summer living. Well this year I have time-travelled in Turnpike Fields – the BUTTERFLIES ARE BACK! Owing to the fact that the fields could not be cut, the grasses and flowers previously mentioned have flourished and along with them the Butterflies.

Walking down the top field towards the brook and the the grasses are alive with Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Small Skippers. The Mound attracts Small Tortoiseshell and Peacocks and in the lower field look out for Common Blues. Up towards the canal stile you may also see Cinnabar Moths, a striking black and red moth. Other day flying moths also seen have been the Silver Y Moth around the Mound (As in the picture) and the Heart-and-Dart Moth with its face-like camouflage, in among the grasses.

The new pond at the bottom of the top field has also attracted the attention of dragonflies, with a pair of Broad Bodied Chasers and an Emperor Dragonfly. Also a Blue Tailed Damselfly has been in attendance. In the pond, Pond Skaters and Water Beetles can be seen scurrying around.

What a treasure the Turnpike Fields are turning out to be!

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