‘Moor’ moth-athon and consulting on conservation.


In July 2012 a moth session held on the western periphery of Thorne Moors and the eventual number of species recorded in a single evening was 162!  Pretty impressive by any standards for an inland site (not one of the coastal migration hotspots).

So, Ron Moat a local lepidopterist who has been compiling a list of species recorded from Thorne Moors over recent decades thought it would make an interesting exercise if a series of Mercury Vapour (MV) light traps were worked across Thorne Moors, from Crowle in the east across to the western edge.  This ‘moth-athon’ took place on Friday evening.

MV lights attract the greatest number of species and volume than Actinic traps, but some Actinics were operated in support of the MVs.  Two species recorded in Actinics but not at the MVs were Antler and Narrow-winged Pug.

What a difference the right kind of weather can make, compare that of two years ago to that of Friday evening.  We were lucky in that it had been a rain free evening (after a hot day) but the temperature dropped fairly quickly through the evening, this coupled with a clear sky resulted in wet vegetation and reduced numbers of moths and notably species counts.  There were five MV lights across Thorne Moors and another pair positioned on the western periphery and we believe a team out on Crowle Moors, but they’ve yet to report back!  Our western periphery team, led by Harry Beaumont managed a respectable 103 species which appears to be the best count for a ‘site’ and which included five new micros and a new macro for Thorne Moors: Cameraria ohridella (Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner), Recurvaria leucatella, Cochylis dubitana, Apotomis semifascia, Stenoptilia zophodactyla and Lilac Beauty.

The tally for the evening so far stands at 148 species but all the lists are not yet in, so that 162 record might still be reached by the collective capacity.  Thanks must go to Ron Moat for rising to the challenge and initiating the event, to Natural England staff Steve and Louise for helping out with logistics and to Darren and Cat from JBA Consulting for their useful assistance also.  Not forgetting all the ‘moth-ers’ who attended and took part in this event a massive thank you for contributing valuable data.  There has been the suggestion made that it becomes an annual event ….

It is hoped that a more detailed account will be published in due course when all the data is in, so watch this space!


140727 D purpurea hrk 351

The government are encouraging the general public to help pollinators by growing wildflowers amongst other things, Digitalis or Foxglove to give it its more common name above, a once common plant makes a delightful contribution to gardens. 

Perhaps government is recognising that the greater contribution is potentially made by the public rather than agri-industry?



Recent conversations with local people has revealed some quite interesting finds such that we were persuaded to create a questionnaire to try to assess what people knew about and thought about Thorne & Hatfield Moors and the organisations and projects associated with it.  It is pleasing to learn that people see it as a wilderness and a landscape to be valued and most of the visitors rate the natural history interest as important.  There is certainly confusion around who in terms of statutory agencies and authorities are responsible for and what they are delivering.  Another pleasing aspect was that the regular piece “Ramblings and nature notes of a bog-trotter” in the Thorne Times is well received.  We are reviewing the initial sample returns and plan to refine and revise the questions as appropriate, so watch this space as the views and comments of regular readers will be of particular interest as we assume that you have a better than average understanding and appreciation of these magical moors ….

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