Crater cutting

Friday, August 24th 2018

We've spent a good portion of today preparing the Crater for the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) migration; this has involved cutting Net Rides and paths ready for upcoming bird ringing activities on the site where hundreds upon hundreds of these little passerine birds can be caught on a good year.

The Crater was created using spoil that was removed when Catterick Garrison Tesco was made, with the site sitting upon one of the many routes taken by Meadow Pipits as they migrate south.

Although being one of the most common upland breeding birds in Britain, the Meadow Pipit has been placed on the IUCN Amber list of Conservation Concern due to declining numbers since the mid-1970s.

Aside from the transient Meadow Pipits the site is also home to a number of interesting invertebrates, in no time at all we heard the Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus), and saw a number of Bumblebee species, as well as this Wall Butterfly (Lasiommata megera). 

Unfortunately the Wall Butterfly has suffered a similar fate to that of the Meadow Pipit in recent years, with numbers declining substantially in many inland areas over the last decade.

It's good to know that these threatened species have found a safe place to call home on the MoD Training Estate. 

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