Nature in your local patch

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A Common Swift (Hepialus lupulinus) (Photograph: Jon Sadler)

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Flame Shoulder (
Ochropleura plecta) (Photograph: Jon Sadler)

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Lunar Marbled Brown (Drymonia ruficornis) (Photograph: Jon Sadler)

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Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) (Photo © Dave Grundy GMS)
Night time ecology: moths
In the UK there are 56 species of butterfly, but over 2,400 species of moth. However, the more familiar, day-flying butterflies are far more appreciated and receive much more attention than their largely night-flying cousins. This is a shame because as well as being a much more biodiverse group than the butterflies, moths are also important pollinators, are also suffering wide-spread declines in the UK, and have many beautiful species. The best thing about moths for the budding naturalist is that you can use their natural attraction to light to make them come to you! Find out more here.
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Moth Tips leaflets are now available for download!
Moth Tips 1

An introduction to the world of moth-ing, covering field guides, trap types, useful websites and so on
Moth Tips 2

A leaflet to let you identify the mains groups of moths.

OPAL West Midlands are happy to be working in partnership with the Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) to carry out this research. The GMS began in 2003 in the West Midlands, but was expanded into a national scheme in 2006 and included over 100 recorders in 2007. We are supporting the GMS by:
1. supplying resources and materials to make more budding naturalists aware of how they can take part in the scheme;
2. helping the scheme analyse their valuable data in the most appropriate way for the public and wider scientific community.
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Upcoming Moth training:
Training Course Programme for Studying Moths in the West Midlands – 2011

Following a very successful training course programme in 2010, the following programme has been put together to give recorders from Herefordshire, Worcestershire, West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire an opportunity to start up or to improve their knowledge of moths and moth recording. Courses are aimed at total beginners to studying moths and also at recorders of moderate ability. Whatever your skills, the courses will stretch your knowledge.

May 23rd, Monday (T1) – An Introduction to Moth Trapping for Beginners - Introducing moth identification of easier moths, moth traps and books, at Severn Valley Country Park, Alveley, Shropshire, (grid ref SO754840) 10am to 4pm. (Maximum of 25 participants – booking essential).

June 19th, Sunday (T2) – Woodland Moths for Beginners - Moth identification training course for beginners and intermediates, looking at woodland moth species caught the night before at Woolhope Village Hall, Haugh Wood, Herefordshire, (grid ref SO611358) 10am to 4pm. (Maximum of 15 participants – booking essential)

July 17th, Sunday (T3) – Grassland Moths for Beginners - Moth identification training course for beginners and intermediates, looking at grassland moth species caught the night before at the John O’Leary Centre, Marquis Drive, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire (grid ref SK006153). 10am to 4pm. (Maximum of 15 participants – booking essential)

August 7th, Sunday (T4) – Wetland Moths for Beginners - Moth identification training course for beginners and intermediates, looking at wetland moth species caught the night before at Feckenham Village Hall, High Street, Feckenham, near Redditch, Worcestershire (grid ref SP009615). 10am to 4pm. (Maximum of 15 participants – booking essential)

September 13th, Tuesday (T5) – Leaf-mining Moths for Beginners - Moth identification training course for beginners and intermediates, looking at leaf mines, Severn Valley Country Park, Alveley, Shropshire, (grid ref SO754840) 10am to 4pm. . (Maximum of 25 participants - booking essential)

Please make sure that you book for training courses, don’t just turn up, as places are limited.

Please bring a packed lunch for all courses. Training course places will be offered to applicants who apply first. Trainees can book for just one course, several courses or the whole programme of courses (T1 to T5). Trainees that book for all 5 courses should come out of the programme with a good grounding in moth identification and be able to adequately trap and identify moths on any site unaided.

Training courses will all be classroom based, but for the first four events with some examination of live moth specimens (that were trapped the night before). For the last event, at least part of the day will be spent out of doors examining trees for leaf mines – so please bring suitable outdoor clothing for this.

The 2011 Training Course programme is unfortunately not sponsored (due to environmental spending cuts) and therefore places for participants will need to be charged for all dates. The rate for people attending courses is at £15 per day up to £75 for the full 5 course programme. Firm bookings for courses will only be accepted on receipt of a cheque for £15 per person per day. Refund of cheques will only be possible if three weeks of notice is given of your cancellation for an event. Please make cheques payable to D. Grundy.
If trainees wish to purchase a moth trap or other moth-ing equipment, then this will be possible on the course if they contact me before the event.

Please book direct with myself, Dave Grundy, by phone, post or email;
DGCountryside,5, Melrose Avenue, Woodfield Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B12 8TG.
Tel: 0121-446-5446 or Mobile: 0777-898-0924 or Email: dgcountryside@btinternet.com
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To find out more contact us or the GMS.
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