Flora and Fauna on The Hawkshill Freedown
A local environmental and conservation group of volunteers meet twice monthly, to maintain the Walmer Hawkshill Freedown on the picturesque Deal Dover and Sandwich Coast.
The Freedown consists of five hectares of rare chalk grassland that supports a host of flora and fauna. It is used by the local community for quiet enjoyment and relaxation. In order that the long terms future of the Freedown is secured,many tasks are undertaken by the environmental and conservation group of volunteers who help there.
These tasks include:
Details of events and community projects on the Hawkshill Freedown can be obtained from The Clerk at Walmer Parish Council where all enquiries and volunteers are welcome.
Hawkshill is of particular interest for it's flora due to due to the fact that it is an area of chalk grassland.This mean that it attracts a plant community which is easily threatened if neglected.
To encourage rich diversity it is necessary to keep grass short at appropriate times thus creating a suitable habitat. Eddie Turner is a member of the environmental and conservation group maintaining the Freedown and he has surveyed a number of species worth mentioning which include:
If you would like to volunteer meetings are the first Sunday and third Monday of every month. Environmental and conservation group members meet at the Liverpool Road Car Park for 10.30am.
Butterflies on the Hawkshill Freedown
For such a relatively small area, Hawkshill Freedown has a remarkably rich diversity of butterfly species, mainly because of the different habitats that occur there.
Over the past ten years 28 species of butterfly have been recorded there by local voluntary environmental and conservation groups,and another was found only a short distance away; a very uncommon visitor from Europe, the fabulous Camberwell Beauty.
The most numerous are the grass-loving species and those that prefer the field and scrub margins; these include Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Gatekeeper.
The short chalk escarpment is home to small numbers of Adonis and Chalkhill blue, which are uncommon and restricted to isolated areas of chalk downland in the South of England.
The top field holds a good population of Common Blue and Brown Argus. Small numbers of migrants from Europe such as Red Admiral and Clouded Yellow and occasionally as in 2009, large numbers of Painted Ladies can be found anywhere.
In 2007 another rare visitor,a Swallowtail, was seen and an extremely rare variant (ab formosa )of Green-veined White only the 2nd ever seen in the U.K.
The wooded areas to the North of the Freedown hold good numbers of Holly Blue and Speckled Wood, though the latter was scarce last year.
Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma can be found anywhere. The best time to see most of the butterflies of Hawkshill is in late July and early August though Orange-tip can only be seen in Spring.
For information on volunteering, community events, butterfly walk times, and other projects please contact the parish Clerk on 01304 381506
Please mention the Best Of Deal Dover and Sandwich
When you volunteer to help preserve the Walmer Hawkshill Freedown
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