News from Ben Knipe for September 2017

  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters....

    14:51 21 September 2017
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe


    The low stone wall on the bridge to St. Catherine's...over Wynlass Beck...was regularly clipped by vehicles and required frequent repairs. 


    We had some 'sleepers' left over after constructing raised beds at St. Catherine's.


    These sleepers were cut to shape and used to replace the vulnerable stone work and after several months are still in place and undamaged.

    Mission accomplished!
  • St. Catherine's 'Moth Night'/Caterpillar Survey.

    15:30 14 September 2017
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder, Ben Knipe

    A 'Moth Night' was held at St. Catherine's in late July. Among other species the rare netted carpet Moth was seen.


    An excellent image of the moth seen on its food plant... Touch-Me-Not Balsam....courtesy of Guy Broome.


    The moth lays its eggs, during its life span, on the underside of the plants' leaves in July and August.   


    Above is an image of the caterpillar during the annual survey that takes place in late August or early September. This caterpillar is probably fully grown and ready to pupate soon.



    In this instance the caterpillar is forming a triangle between the plant stem and leaf. The caterpillars invariably face 'down hill'... particularly when at rest.


    An image of a smaller caterpillar. The caterpillars out-grow and shed their skin 5 times...called instars...before they reach full size.


    The above image shows a caterpillar feeding on a Touch-Me-Not seed pod...the most nutritious part of its food plant.



    Note how well camouflaged the caterpillars are, making it difficult for predators and surveyors alike to spot them!

    Up to 50 caterpillars per 100 plants were recorded in some areas whereas in less densely populated areas only 1 or 2 were found per 100 plants.

    For more information on the moth and its food plant, including the conservation work involved,  please click on the link below.

News from Ben Knipe

Photo of Ben Knipe

I'm the woodland ranger for Central and East Lakes working with the other rangers to manage woodlands in Windermere, Troutbeck, Ullswater, Grasmere and Langdale.
I've worked for the National Trust for over 13 years across many parts of North West of England including Staffordshire, Cheshire and now Cumbria.
My work is very varied and includes looking after ancient trees on busy lakeshore paths to quiet and wildlife rich fell side oak woodlands.

Blog:
http://centralandeastlakesrangers.blogspot.co.uk/
Email:
benjamin.knipe@nationaltrust.org.uk