The school summer holidays are imminent & for people looking for "stuff to do" this summer what better way to spend the day than at the RSPB Dungeness. Approximately 300m from our Visitor Centre, on the main trail, is a grassy area we call the Discovery Area. You can walk straight through this area heading back to the Visitor Centre however why not turn left, leave the trail and spend a few extra minutes to take a closer look at the wildlife living amongst the long grasses and wild flowers. We have recently added some new interpretation to the area including some activity sheets to get you started in your explorations.

Over the past few weeks there has been an abundance of damselflies, butterflies, moths and dragonflies fluttering amongst the increasingly tall willow herb. There were literally hundreds of the blue striped lackey moth caterpillars gorging themselves on the vegetation through early summer and we are now seeing some of the moths out and about - look out for them in the Discovery Area!  

      

Lackey Moth RSPB Dungeness

There have been several species of butterfly sighted at Dungeness over the past few weeks including marbled whites and gatekeepers and our regular volunteer Dave Clarke captured this great photograph of a peacock butterfly this week.

Peacock Butterfly - Dave Clarke

The Discovery Area is bursting with colour at the moment with wonderful wildflowers including various species of vetch, willow herb and clovers.

   

Photos - RSPB Dungeness

We have hosted several groups of children at the reserve through May, June and July - schools on their educational visits, local scouts groups and our Nature Tots have all enjoyed spending time pond dipping, bird watching and in the Discovery Area. In the Discovery Area they have spent time hunting for bugs and butterflies but have been lucky enough to see grass snakes under the corrugated iron and newts under the logs and sleepers. Why not consider bringing your local group along or asking your school if they have considered RSPB Dungeness for their educational visits?

The Discovery Area is not just for the kids - there is lots for everyone of all ages and interests to explore. So, next time you are walking the trail, heading back to the Visitor Centre for that cooling ice-cream or warming cuppa, take a detour around the Discovery Area and see what you can find.

Anonymous