Butterfly walk last weekend

Our butterfly walk last Saturday was a great success with many Ringlets and Marbled Whites on show. We also spotted Meadow Brown, Common Blue and Small Heath butterflies, and Six-spot Burnet and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths. A small bung impregnated with Six-belted Clearwing moth pheromone was hung from vegetation in two places where Bird’s-foot Trefoil, the caterpillar’s food plant is plentiful, and on both occasions, male Six-belted Clearwing moths were attracted to the lure. This small day-flying moth, resembling a wasp, is seldom seen although it is relatively widespread on the hillside.

Here are a few photos of some of the species seen, as well as some new aerial photos taken on the walk by Andy Purcell.

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New photos in our Gallery!

We’ve just refreshed our main photo gallery with lots of lovely new photos, all taken by local photographer Andrew Cook who walks around the hills regularly with his camera! Here are a few to whet your appetite; to see them all, click here to visit our gallery.

Butterfly walk, Saturday 30th June

Don’t forget we have our annual butterfly walk in a few weeks’ time on Saturday 30th June, 10:00am -12:00am approx. Join us and the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country for a guided walk around the Rowley Hills. The flowers on the hillside should just about be at their best by this time and if the day is sunny we will see many species of butterflies, including Marbled White; Portway Hill is one of this species’ hotspots in Birmingham and the Black Country. Wear sturdy footwear and ensure you are dressed appropriately for the forecast weather conditions. Meet on St Brades Close at the junction with Tower Road at 9:50am. See you there!

Photos from Netherton Tunnel Pepperpot walk

Our Netherton Tunnel Pepperpot walk on 19th May was a great success, with 15 attendees, two thirds of whom had never been through the tunnel before. Everyone who walked through the tunnel received a certificate from Bumble Hole Visitor Centre to commemorate the occasion. We managed to visit every one of the seven pepperpots, including the one hidden behind the Co-op and the one in Mike P’s neighbour’s field, which the neighbour very kindly allowed us to access through their back garden! Here are some photos taken by Andrew Cook from the walk.

Forthcoming events and volunteering dates

We’ve recently added a new batch of volunteer days and exciting events happening over the forthcoming months, hope to see you at a few!

  • Conservation volunteer day, Portway Hill, Friday 6th April 2018, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country at Portway Hill for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. Meet on St Brades Close; ensure you are dressed appropriately for the forecast weather conditions, and wear sturdy footwear. You will need to bring along a packed lunch but tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Moth trapping event, Portway Hill, Saturday 21st April 2018, 8:30pm – 10:00pm approx. Come along and learn from the experts which moths are found on Rowley Hills at this time of the year. Walking boots are recommended as the paths can be slippery after rain, and don’t forget to bring a torch/head-torch with you. Meet on St Brades Close at the junction with Tower Road at 8:15pm.
  • Dawn Chorus, Portway Hill, Saturday 5th May 2018, 5:30am – 7:00am approx. Join local bird expert Nick Horton for a dawn chorus walk around the Portway Hill site. Last year 38 bird species were seen or heard. Can this be bettered in 2018? One of our target species, Ring Ouzel, is known to use Portway Hill as a migration stopover site. We will also be on the lookout for Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Peregrine, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the early morning weather conditions.  Meet on St Brades Close at the junction with Tower Road at 5:20am.
  • Netherton Tunnel Pepperpot Walk, Saturday 19th May 2018, 10:00am – 1:00pm approx. This over and under walk takes approximately 3 hours to complete and includes a visit to Bumble Hole Visitor Centre mid-way through the walk. Sturdy footwear, a waterproof coat, and torch/head-torch are essential, as there will be constant drips from the brickwork and parts of the tunnel towpath are flooded. Meet outside the Co-op at the junction of Regent Road/Oakham Road at 9:50am.
  • Conservation volunteer day, Portway Hill, Friday 1st June 2018, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country at Portway Hill for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. Meet on St Brades Close; ensure you are dressed appropriately for the forecast weather conditions, and wear sturdy footwear. You will need to bring along a packed lunch but tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Conservation volunteer day, Portway Hill, Saturday 16th June 2018, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Join the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country at Portway Hill for a fun day out meeting new people, helping the environment and learning new skills. Meet on St Brades Close; ensure you are dressed appropriately for the forecast weather conditions, and wear sturdy footwear. You will need to bring along a packed lunch but tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. No need to book, just turn up!
  • Portway Hill Butterfly walk, Saturday 30th June 2018, 10:00am -12:00am approx. Join us and the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country for a guided walk around the Rowley Hills. The flowers on the hillside should just about be at their best by this time and if the day is sunny we will see many species of butterflies, including Marbled White; Portway Hill is one of this species’ hotspots in Birmingham and the Black Country. Wear sturdy footwear and ensure you are dressed appropriately for the forecast weather conditions. Meet on St Brades Close at the junction with Tower Road at 9:50am.

Conservation volunteer days are run by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country; for further information please contact The Wildlife Trust, telephone 0121 454 1199 or email info@bbcwildlife.org.uk. Their Portway Hill reserve is located within the dotted black square on the map below.

Rowley Hills map showing paths and access points

Snow on the Rowley Hills!

Here are a few photos taken by Mike Poulton last weekend of the snow-covered Rowley Hills!