Sutton Wildlife Group
Our first meeting will be held on Wednesday 8th December in the Village Hall at 8pm when Steve Thompson will give an illustrated talk about his conservation work for the John O’Gaunt Golf Club. It will also be an opportunity to learn about and contribute to the Group’s activities.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Mike Kingdon firstname.lastname@example.org or any member of the committee:
Sutton's rich and varied wildlife
One of the most pleasant surprises that came out of the work to produce Sutton’s Neighbourhood Plan was just how rich and varied Sutton’s wildlife is. Further investigation revealed that Sutton’s fauna is supported by a large range of interconnection habitats, 10 of which are on English Nature’s priority list. Factor in the John O’Gaunt Golf Club’s extensive parkland plus Sutton’s many woods, hedgerows, permanent streams, and ditches, and it is easy to see how the parish sustains large resident and migrant populations. With its linear structure and open areas, Sutton forms a vital link in regional migration routes.
Well over 600 fauna species identified
Equally gratifying was the discovery of how much Sutton’s residents and visitors value our indigenous wildlife, and how hard many were prepared to work to record and preserve it. Throughout most of 2020 and well into 2021, households throughout the parish recorded sightings of over ten thousand individual animals. The work also served as an important lockdown interest for many. Once the neighbourhood plan was approved and lockdowns ended, many residents were loath to see the interest in Sutton’s wildlife fade away. A meeting was held at the end of September to assess interest and five people volunteered to take the idea forward:
Recording wildlife sightings
Our draft terms of reference have been agreed by the Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Recording and Monitoring Centre, based at Priory Country Park, so the Sutton Wildlife Group is now official. Over the next few months, all the wildlife sightings you helped to make last year and this, will be submitted to become part of Bedfordshire’s, East Anglia’s, and England’s biodiversity records.
White spotted pinion moth for our logo?
One of our early decisions will be to design a logo for the Sutton Wildlife Group. My nomination is the White Spotted Pinion Moth. While it isn’t on English Nature’s Moth Priority List, most people in Sutton know about it. It lives on elm trees, which remain relatively common in Sutton, but rare to non-existent across much of England. Photograph of the adult moth taken by Steve Thompson.
White spotted pinion moth lifecycle
White spotted pinion moth (Steve Thompson)
Mary and I found and photographed many White Spotted Pinion Moth caterpillars last year and Mary nursed one while it pupated into an adult, before releasing it into one of Sutton’s elm bushes.
White spotted pinion moth caterpillar (Michael Kingdon)
White spotted pinion moth caterpillar that’s made a nest for itself with elm leaves (Michael Kingdon)
White spotted pinion moth caterpillar pupa inside the dried nest of leaves (Michael Kingdon)
Other moths for our logo
Alternatively, you might wish to nominate one of Sutton's spectacular hawk moths:
Pine hawk moth (Steve Thompson)
Small elephant hawk moth (Michael Kingdon)
Poplar hawk moth (Steve Thompson)
Elephant hawk moth (Michael Kingdon)
Privet hawk moth (Michael Kingdon)
Lime hawk moth (Steve Thompson)
What would you like our logo to be?
Of course, the logo doesn't have to include a moth. If you’d like to nominate an animal – mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, insect, etc. – found in Sutton, please forward your suggestion, with a picture, to one of the committee members.
Keep watching for updates,