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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Wed 16th July 2008 - Brading Downs.

This week team GG were back on the downs - pulling the dreaded ragwort. The weather was a vast improvement over last week's downpours, this time it was sunny skies and a gentle breeze....nice..! Although ragwort pulling is not one of the best jobs we do, being up on the downs does have it's benefits - just look at the above pictures for the stunning views and a nice picture of the cinnabar moth (that just happens to lay it's eggs on the ragwort). It is interesting to note that the cinnabar caterpillars eat the ragwort and have been used as a way of controlling the weed. See the link below for further details.

Many thanks to Hilary for taking the photographs this week.

Info from Carrie.....

Apparently it is not a cinnabar moth, it is a Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae). This is the commonest of Britain’s day-flying Burnet moths, and is found throughout Britain with a coastal bias in the North. It occupies meadows, woodland clearings and sea-cliffs, flying from June to August. The larvae feed mainly on bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). It does have similar colouring (red and black) to the cinnabar moth, so it can be easy to confuse the two.

Many thanks to her for this week's nature lesson....!

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