Volunteers discover new species for Cambridgeshire

1st Sep 2017

A species of moth that has never previously been recorded in Cambridgeshire has been found by volunteers in a local park. The small Kent Black Arches moth (Meganola albula) was trapped during a survey by Peter Holt at Wandlebury Country Park on the edge of Cambridge.

Peter Holt, a local moth expert, said “we use bright lights at night to attract moths to a special holding trap in order to find out what species are found in the area. This particular moth was quite flighty and took a few moments to settle before we could take a photo and try to identify it. We believe it is the first time one has been recorded in the county. It’s always exciting going through the traps as you never know what you might find. Once we have identified the moths they are all safely released again”.

Wandlebury, owned and cared for by local charity Cambridge Past Present & Future is carrying out surveys to find out what species live in the Park and how best to protect them. They are being helped by volunteers like Pete to carry out the surveys and identify the species. They have been finding different types of birds, butterflies, moths, bats, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants.

Ed Wombwell the charity’s Ecology Officer is delighted with the findings so far and said “the help from volunteers has been fantastic. We have found over 300 species of moth since June last year, many of which have never been recorded at Wandlebury before, including the Pine Hawk-moth, and Lunar Yellow Underwing amongst others (see pics). Volunteers have also helped us find and learn about a host of interesting chalk grassland plants and grasses, nationally rare fungi, solitary bee populations and a complex bat community. We have had help from individual volunteers as well as a host of local conservation organisations including Cambridge Natural History Society, Cambridgeshire Bat Group, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Amphibian and Reptile Group, The Solitary Bee Project, Cambridgeshire Mammal Group, Cambridgeshire Bird Club, Cambs & Essex Branch of Butterfly Conservation, and Cambridge Conservation Forum“.

CambridgePPF’s survey work will continue, both now and into next year so they would welcome anyone wanting to volunteer to help with this vital and fascinating work. Contact them on 01223 243830 or email ecology@cambridgeppf.org

Cambridge Past, Present & Future are pleased to be working with Cambridge web designers ibe, who kindly donated the design of this site.

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