Pupils from St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Henstridge discovered 55 different moth species within their school learning garden this month, following a moth survey organised by Stephen Fry from The Gardens Group. The moth trap, which was laid out overnight, attracted 39 Macro moth species, including the Elephant Hawk Moth, Flame Shoulder and Willow Beauty, and 16 Micro species, including Udea prunails, Hysopygia glaucinalis and Anania lemnata (small magpie), giving the children an opportunity to learn about the various species around and also demonstrating to Stephen which species are present in the region.
Michelle Howell, teaching assistant and garden co-ordinator at St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, explains; “Taking part in the moth census came about after I heard a wildlife gardening talk at Castle Gardens, where Stephen mentioned how he was looking for sites to conduct moth counts. We were absolutely amazed by the number of moth species that were identified and it was brilliant to see the children’s enthusiasm about the moths and wildlife in general.”
Stephen Fry from The Gardens Group adds; “Recording moths is a rewarding hobby and it’s vital for monitoring biodiversity in our countryside and gardens. Different species will fly at different times of the year, but will also be attracted to different food sources. These varying factors mean you may get completely different varieties in your front garden compared to the back garden, so it is important to carry out regular surveys to be able to better understand their behaviour.”