The Brilliant Butterflies team work mainly at Hutchinson’s Bank, but they also work at Dollypers Hill, another chalk grassland area which is perfect for butterflies. This is because the nutrient deficient soil allows for a diverse range of plants to grow, including wild flowers, which is what the butterflies feed on. The habitat for butterflies is a grassy meadow glade, catching the sunlight bringing brightness under the tree canopy.
One glade is full of ant hills, all made by a few colonies of ants. Did you know that one ant hill can have 8,000 to 14,000 individual ants occupying it? If the temperature of the anthill is not right then the ants will create another hill as the temperature is important for egg development. Sometimes, the ant hills are used for different roles in the colony, so one hill may be for the worker ants, and another where the queen lives. In the glade we worked in, I counted at least 30 hills, I wonder how long they’ve been there for.
There are also currently some cuttings in the glades which is where a shallow or deep pit is dug to remove the nutrients from the soil to see what plants grow. The nutrients are removed so that species that overpopulate the area find it harder to grow, allowing different species to appear, and increase the biodiversity of the habitat.