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The car park overflowed!

About 30 people attended the open afternoon along with Jennifer and myself. We split into three groups of ten to a group. Jennifer and I opted to join the group being led by Sue and Bob as we had met them before. It was our first visit to the reserve and as we set off along the bottom path with quite a breeze blowing we were all apprehensive as to maybe what we would see.

It was not long before Sue started to inform us of the fauna and flowers that were growing on the reserve while Bob was away with his net swishing through the long grasses to catch anything of interest. His first capture was a Marbled White which he dutifully let the group take a look before releasing it back into the wild. The group began to mingle and chat along with all the information that was forthcoming from the group.

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Green Silver-lines

Bob showed off some of the moths which had been caught the previous night which had been left in a cage for us to see, including Buff-tip, Elephant Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Peppered Moth, Lunar Thorn, Pale Tussock and Green Silver-lines to name just a few that were in the net. All very interesting to us novices.

Orchids in abundance Common Spotted, Pyramidal, Lesser Butterfly and the most unusual Bee Orchid because as it was studied it was noted that the flower was actually upside down the lip being at the top with the sepals at the bottom. I think Sue realised that this was unusual as I think she took a photograph of it.

Soon we had another tick with the butterflies – a Ringlet was spotted and netted for the group to look at before being released. The reserve covers open grassland and woodland and has stunning views over the woods and hills to the south and west. A Small Blue was spotted and was giving a good showing basking with its wings fully open; also spotted was a Meadow Brown in flight, but the next up to be spotted was a Large Skipper among the long grasses. I later mistook a Yellow Shell moth for a skipper much to Bob’s amusement – all in good fun. Bob also caught a Peppered Moth and many others which we were able to look at and photograph.

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Unusual Bee Orchid

We came across the other two groups who had joined forces low down on a bank in deep observation with a female Adonis Blue. We moved off to take the top path back towards the car park where we found several Common Blues and others all taking in what sun there was.

We passed the new wall being built by the Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens along the track which looks authentic and well built towards the car park.

We had spent two and a half hours going around the reserve and it had been very informative, friendly and pleasant to spend time on the reserve. Sue and Bob were very helpful in answering any questions and very knowledgeable in helping us get the most out of the visit.

On reflection it brings to mind my feelings about the countryside we have around us and it’s “Make every second count” and get out there because times are short and these things do not come to you, Go out and enjoy!

Both Jennifer and I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone on the day who made our first visit to Rough Bank informative and enjoyable.

David and Jennifer Pegler

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Written by David & Jennifer Pegler