As regulars will know,our country pub is in a beautiful rural setting. We’re lucky enough to be right next to the Quinta Lovell Arboretum, planted by St Bernard Lovell of astronomy fame, and we’re also set in a network of country lanes with high hedgerows. Now the weather’s getting warmer and the flowers are starting to bloom, we’re also seeing the welcome return of butterflies flitting around our pub garden and the surrounding area. June 6th 2015 is Butterfly Education and Awareness Day, so what better time to come down to the Swettenham Arms with your children and see how many kinds you can spot? Here’s what you might find:
Brimstone: Brimstone butterflies live a comparatively long time, so are often the first butterflies of the year. The males are a very bright yellow, while the females are much paler and creamier in colour.
Common Blue: as you might expect, this is the commonest blue butterfly found in the UK. The male, with its bright blue upper wings, is easy to spot and recognise, but the females are mostly brown and some have very little blue.
Comma: these beautiful butterflies have scalloped-shaped wings and lovely rich red-brown colouring. The earliest ones to appear, around May/June time, are a deep orange while butterflies born later in the year are more brown.
Red Admiral: these are large butterflies with bright orangey red and black markings. It also has a distinctive pattern of white spots across the tips of its wings.
Speckled Wood: it’s easy to see how this butterfly got its name – with its mottled brown markings, it looks almost as though it were made of wood itself. In fact, the name also refer to the habitat it prefers, which is woodland and dappled sunlight. These butterflies love the conditions in the arboretum, but they can be quite well camouflaged and hard to spot.
Once you’ve finished your butterfly hunt, why not round off your day by joining for lunch in our beer garden or dining room?
If you’re interested in finding out more about butterflies and how you can help stop their numbers declining, take a look at Clive Harris’ The Ultimate Butterfly Guide over on his blog.