Brighton & Hove Wildlife Forum share what our local wildlife is doing in the summer months.
The height of summer is a time of bustling vibrancy. It is the peak time to see butterflies, bees and dragonflies and Chalk Grassland wildflowers. While out on walks through our city’s and towns’ greenspaces and up on the Downs we are invariably immersed in the sound of humming crickets and grasshoppers.
As lovely as summer can be, like us, wildlife can find the heat of summer sapping at times. So it is important to make sure we leave water out for birds and the bees to bathe in and catch a refreshing drink and when cutting lawns and bushes to ensure that at least 1/3 is left uncut to provide refuge for nature. If you have put a Swift nest box up, it is a good time of year to play their calls as the Swifts will be prospecting for new nest sites for next year before they head all the way back to southern Africa for the winter.
There will be lots of summer nature events and activities to get involved with over the next couple of months, including Benfield Valley Community Nature Day on Saturday 30th July. Benfield Valley is one of Brighton and Hove’s key greenspaces, connecting the inner city to the heart of the Downs via the stunning Benfield Hill Local Nature Reserve. The Benfield Valley Project is hosting a day of nature talks and walks, with stalls from local nature groups and there will be loads of activities for kids to get involved with including bug hunting, arts and crafts and creative writing. Have a look at our What’s On page to see more events happening across the Biosphere this summer.
Citizen science can provide really important data on how species are faring and one of the largest projects is The Big Butterfly Count, which runs from 15th July until 7th August. All you have to do is go out in your garden, to your local park or woodland, or wander up on the Downs and record the different species of butterfly you see in a 15 minute period. Visit the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count webpage for details of how to get involved. It is an excellent way to get to know your butterflies and you can do as many counts as you like!