During lockdown we have been running a moth trap in our garden on fair weather nights. This has proved both rewarding and frustrating. Rewarding when you see how many nocturnal creatures use the garden and frustrating because there are over 2,500 different moths in the British Isles. This is an astonishing number, considering there are 59 butterfly species.
We have a good identification book, there are excellent websites and experienced moth enthusiasts are very helpful when sent photos, but we are beginners, looking at the big and beautiful rather than the ‘small brown jobs’. Many moths have marvellous names; I yearn to see Satin Lutestring, Smoky Wainscot, Toadflax Brocade, Least Carpet, Cloaked Pug and Dark Spinach.
Species emerge in bursts, often in large numbers, we started seeing Hebrew Characters, moved on to Buff Ermines and Heart & Darts, then Elephant and Poplar Hawkmoths. The Peppered Moth was a thrill, this adapted to a blackened landscape, changing colour for camouflage in industrial areas during the nineteenth century. Thankfully, it is now pale again.
Our garden was created from scratch over the last twenty years, so it is amazing to glimpse the biodiversity that comes in when encouraged. We can help you to make churchyards more welcoming to wildlife too. If you would like a glimpse of the moths already using your churchyard, we may be able to arrange for someone (more experienced than me!) to visit.
All the best
Diocesan Churchyard Environmental Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk - individuals and groups in the diocese receive 20% members discount on all CfGA materials. Use the discount code Lich19