Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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18 September 2012

Abbots Wood

Grid Ref SO660114



A fine early autumn day was enjoyed by the team. We were a mile into the forest in a remote location and were clearing glades for the butterflies. We spotted quite a few Speckled Wood butterflies so we knew that this was a good site for them. There was a heavy aroma from the wild mint which was growing profusely at this site.

The Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) is a butterfly found in and on the borders of woodland. Females have brighter and more distinct markings than males. The wingspan of both males and females is 44.5 cm, although males tend to be slightly smaller than females. Males are highly territorial and will defend their territory against intruding males. Two basic strategies exist for finding females: some males will vigorously defend a perch and the immediate surroundings, waiting for females to pass by; others will patrol a larger territory.

We also found a dead stag which had been shot by poachers. This stag was about 2-3 years old and had dragged itself away to die and had been there for about 2-4 days. We know it had been shot by poachers as there is currently no cull being done by the FC. The problem with poachers is that they are not very professional and do not fire clean shots which would kill the deer instantly so the deer suffer a slow death. When the poachers do this to the wild boar there is an added danger of angry, injured boar in the forest.







The start of the day with the Forest Ranger beginning to take out the larger trees by the track.





All the branches were cut down to be burnt on the fire.






A lot of sun is now covering the glade and piles of wood are left to rot down for the invertebrates.

















































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