Yesterday we were visited by National Trust butterfly expert and all-round good egg, Matthew Oates. He popped along to discuss a butterfly project we are doing in the garden this year, and also to provide some advice on encouraging the various wildlife seen around Hidcote (not including Buster). Happily, the sun was cracking the flags and we saw several interesting bees buzzing about the place, plus some Scarlet Tiger moth caterpillars who were having a fine old time munching their way through a drift of Comfrey by the stream. Matthew had been talking all day about seeing a Holly Blue butterfly, and it was just after we left him that we finally spotted one! Matthew informed us that Hidcote is a prime spot for these, on account of the vast amount of Holly, Ivy and Holm Oak we have here, and on which the larvae of these wonderful chaps feed. Happy days indeed!
|Matthew in action.|
|Scarlet Tiger moth caterpillar.|
|Holly Blue (click to zoom in).|