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120 Nature Notes Lots to enjoy in the Great Outdoors this Autumn


The oak trees will be looking at their best for autumn colour at the beginning of the month and will be steadily dropping acorns. Look for jays busy collecting and hiding stores for later in the winter. Winter thrushes will be evident with Field- fares and Redwings devouring berries. The mountain ash and holly berries seem to be their favourites with hawthorns and pyracan- tha being saved for later in the winter. A calm sunny day could see the last butterflies, most likely Red Admiral, on the wing. The Big Butterfly count results for 2017 The numbers of sightings are down on last year. Unsettled weather and above average rainfall adversely affected the numbers of butterflies counted in the July and August nationwide survey. The weather in the previous six months had seen above average temperatures encouraging some species to emerge earlier than usual resulting in them peaking before the count began. There were increased sightings for Red Admirals, Commas, Common Blues and Gatekeeper butterflies. However, numbers had decreased compared with 2016 for Green veined Whites, Large and Small Whites and the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock continue to give cause for concern with depleted numbers of both.


MAKE A HEDGEHOG HOME FOR


HIBERNATION OR LEAVE A WOODPILE


TO CREATE NATURAL CREVICES. DON’T


FORGET TO CHECK FOR HEDGEHOGS BEFORE LIGHTING BONFIRE PILES.


Apples and


pears... It’s harvest time - apples are everywhere and there are plenty of fruity events in South Devon to make the most of this bountiful season. We have a thriving community orchard in Dartmouth on Ridge Hill. Why not go along and help with one of the orchard working parties or picking days. Apparently the work is not heavy and they have a breaks for coffee or tea. They have other events including: Food Festival stall Sunday 22nd October 10.00 am – 4.00 pm in the Market Place and an Apple Pressing Day, Sunday 29th October -12 noon – 3.00pm in the Orchard (or when the apples run out) find out more at


ww.dartmouthcommunityorchard.co.uk


Orchardlink.org.uk


is the local volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization offering advice, events, courses and activities to promote traditional orchards in the South Hams.


Dates for the diary:


8 October Sharpham Apple Day www.sharphamtrust.org


14 October Community Apple Day at Stokenham


15 October Community Apple Day at Noss Mayo


15 October Cockington Apple Day www.cockingtoncourt.org


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