Butterflies of Bury Ditches

Butterflies of Bury Ditches

Bury Ditches is managed by The Forestry Commission and is a fine example of a well balanced eco system. For more details of the area follow this link www.forestry.gov.uk

To reach Bury Ditches leave Priest Weston, head down the lane towards Churchstoke, then turn left towards Bishop’s Castle. Upon entering the speed restrictions at Bishop castle, turn left at the cross roads and follow the road for about a mile or so until you see the brown heritage sign for Bury Ditches to the right. Follow the hill all the way to the top where you will find an ample parking area.

Start your walk by going through the green Forestry Commission barrier and walking along the wide forestry track. Just past the second wooden bench, if you look carefully, you may be lucky enough to see the delicate and fragile Wood White butterfly. Fluttering between the Silver Birch trees and the dainty flowers of the forest, this Butterfly is a wonderful find. This blog on the subject will give you further images and descriptions. pixiebirding.blogspot.co.uk . In the meantime, here is one of the early arrivals that I managed to photograph a couple of weeks ago.

Continue along the track which now veers to the left. If you look down into the undergrowth to the right, you may see more breeds of butterfly all now starting to come to life after the long winter. Here are a couple of the little beauties I spotted.

Dropping down to the left and following the “Shropshire Way”, you will see a pond harbouring wild ducks and ducklings.

Look at this cheaky chappie.

He hopped down out of the trees at our feet, collecting the insects we were disturbing as we walked. A bit of a chancer, I wouldn’t put it past him to have his eye on the Wood White as a delicacy!!

You can now either follow the shropshire way and turn off right along the public footpath across rolling fields of wheat, or you can continue along The Way and treat yourself at “Tea On The Way” .

If you choose the field walk, be sure to stick to the public right of way. The farmer has cleared a good 3-4 foot strip which makes the walking comfortable. At the end of the field, turn right and follow the forest track which will bring you in a big loop and back towards the carpark.

If you choose “Tea On The Way”, you may wish to take a look at this link https://www.facebook.com/teaontheway/ . I know which is my prefered option!! Then when you have taken in your fill, just have a slow ramble back to the carpark.

Published on 8th May 2017 by Lynn Saxon

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