The butterflies of Brighton and Hove – exclusive report Part 3: Hollingbury & Patcham

Painted Lady

This is part 3 of an exclusive report specially commissioned by Brighton & Hove News on the butterflies of our city and so you may wish to save all of the parts for future reference!

Ringlet

Brighton and Hove Butterfly Sites – Hollingbury:

Council repairs

Hollingbury Park:

Essex Skipper

Overall number of butterfly species recorded on site: 20 species.
Site description: A mixture of lawn, meadow, woodland and glades. Largely flat terrain, some uneven paths throughout the woodland, scattered with Elm trees. Located off Ditchling Road near Varndean High School.
Main butterfly species to look out for: Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Essex Skipper, Marbled White, White-letter Hairstreak, Ringlet and Comma.

Red Admiral

Best butterfly locations: Along the exposed edge of Hollingbury wood where bays of Bramble and Creeping Thistle are in flower in July, enticing the small sized White-letter Hairstreaks down to observable levels during warm and wind free days, typically from 10:30 am to 1pm and again in particularly calm, hot afternoons from 3:30pm to 5:30pm, this site is one of only a few is Sussex which reliably records these butterflies at such close quarters. A small localised colony of Essex Skippers may be seen in July just off Ditchling Road, on the grass bund on the edge of the park green behind the green bus shelter opposite Surrenden Road. Additionally the top northern meadow where long grass is left to grow and the various network of glades within the wood produce sightings of a variety of butterfly species.

Comma

Travel Directions:
Pedestrian entrances: There is open access to the park green between the playing area to the South, right up to the start of Hollingbury Park Golf Course to the North, from the Ditchling Road. Additionally from Hollingdean cutting up the slope through the wood via an entrance from the bottom end of Hollingbury Rise West.

White-Letter Hairstreak

Parking: Free parking along Surrenden Road, just off Ditchling Road. Furthermore, free parking is adjacent to Woodbourne Avenue over the Ditchling Road with parking spaces next to the Hollingbury Recycling Point at the Northern extreme of the park where meet by the golf course. Additional parking spaces can be found opposite the houses situated within the wood on the East side of the park near the allotment edge. The access road to the parking spaces intersects the park green between Surrenden Park and Hollingbury Copse off Ditchling Road.
Buses: 26, 46, 56.
Useful links: http://www.fhbw.org.uk/

Marbled White

Hollingbury Hillfort:

Overall number of butterfly species recorded on site: 26 species.
Site description: Short and Long areas of Chalk grassland with Gorse and Hawthorn scrub. Circular chalk and grass pathways, slopes and ditches, some areas of uneven ground. Large panoramic view across Brighton and Hove, taking in the coast further East and West.
Main butterfly species to look out for: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Marbled White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Painted Lady and Dark Green Fritillary.

Main moth species and caterpillars to look out for: Six-spot Burnet and Dusky Sallow (adults typically rest on Knapweed flower heads).
Best butterfly locations: Best butterfly spots are on the North and East sides of the Hillfort which includes the outer facing banks and grassland areas.

Small Skipper

Travel Directions:
Parking and Pedestrian routes: There are three parking areas nearest to Hollingbury Hillfort, one is at Hollingbury Park with parking adjacent to Woodbourne Avenue over the Ditchling Road with parking spaces next to the Hollingbury Recycling Point at the Northern extreme of the park where meet by the start of Hollingbury Park Golf Course. From the car park walk East following the edge of the road that continues past the recycling point towards the Hollingbury Park Golf Club building, on left side of the road by the Club car park head onto the green turning sharp right walking along the edge of the training
area, at the end go through the gap in the trees and turn left heading uphill, continue to follow the grass paths heading uphill to Hollingbury Hillfort.

Large Skipper

Another is by heading slightly further North along Ditchling Road, parallel with Cuckmere Way, park on the gravel roadside on the right hand side of Ditchling Road, along the edge of the golf course, before being met by woodland on the left hand side of Ditchling Road. From the edge of the golf course follow the pedestrian right of way path via the side of the metal gate, that cuts across the golf course, keeping to the main chalk path which turns to grass will lead you up to Hollingbury Hillfort.
Lastly there is further parking further North off Ditchling Road in the parking crescent adjacent to Ditchling Crescent. From the car park follow the edge of the adjacent field running along the edge of the golf course, for safety cut through the top woodland path, along the path you will come to a right turning with an information board, heading up hill around the edge of the golf green. By heading uphill on any of the paths it will bring you out onto Hollingbury Hillfort from the East side.
Buses: 26, 46, 56.

Small Copper

Brighton and Hove Butterfly Sites – Patcham:

Ladies Mile LNR:

Common Blue

Overall number of butterfly species recorded on site: 26 species.
Site description: Open chalk grassland gradually slowing steeper towards the North where meet by increasing pockets of scrub and a woodland strip. There is a sandwich of woodland and additional pockets of grassland running along the back of Braeside Avenue and the edge of the A27, access to the continuous undulating paths, steep towards the East runs along the full length, access is via the far East end of Mackie Avenue / through gates at the far North-East corner of the chalk grassland field by Carden Avenue roundabout or via the East facing path leading from Horsdean Recreational Ground located at the Northern end of Vale Avenue.

Gatekeeper

Main butterfly species to look out for: Marbled White, Common Blue, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Holly Blue, Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow.
Best butterfly locations: The butterflies of this site perform best during July and August on the North and far East sections of grassland which are infused with a selection of wildflowers.

Dark Green Fritillary

Travel Directions:
Pedestrian entrances: Off Carden Avenue where the road turns into Crowhurst Road, the far East end of Ladies Mile Road, the far East end of Mackie Avenue and from Horsdean Recreational Ground located at the Northern end of Vale Avenue.

Brown Argus

Parking: Far East end of Ladies Mile Road/ by Horsdean Recreational Ground along Vale Avenue and along Carden Avenue by Asda (Hollingbury).
Buses: 5, 5A, 5B, 26 and 56.
Useful links: http://www.lnr.naturalengland.org.uk/Special/lnr/lnr_details.asp?C=0&N=&ID=887

Holly Blue

About the author of these exclusive reports:

Small Tortoiseshell illustration by Jamie Burston

Jamie Burston is a local resident and Brighton based artist. Wildlife is one of his key subjects and appropriately Jamie’s most recent series of work covers the subject of butterflies. His highly detailed illustrations are based on photographs that he has taken of local observations of the butterflies he encounters in Brighton and Hove and wider Sussex and thus forming the reference of his drawings and paintings.

Visit Jamie’s online shop here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JamieBurstonArt

Acknowledgment:

Thank you to the following people for providing information towards the article: Jamie Burston, Paul Gorringe, Peter Whitcomb, Geoff Stevens, Tessa Pawsey, Dan Danahar, Annabeth Horsley, Bob Foreman and Neil Hulme (who took these wonderful photos).

Clouded Yellow

 

By popular request, the previous 7 articles can be located by clicking the links below:

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 1:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/06/10/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-have-got-it-covered-exclusive-report-part-1/

 

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 2:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/06/10/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-exclusive-report-part-2-coldean-stanmer-falmer/

 

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 4:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/06/16/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-exclusive-report-part-4-moulsecoomb-bevendean/

 

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 5:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/06/19/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-exclusive-report-part-5-waterhall-westdene/

 

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 6:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/06/24/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-exclusive-report-part-6-whitehawk/

 

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 7:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/06/29/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-exclusive-report-part-7-woodingdean-ovingdean-rottingdean/

 

Butterflies of Brighton & Hove – Part 8:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2017/07/01/the-butterflies-of-brighton-and-hove-exclusive-report-part-8-hangleton-portslade-north-west-hove/

 

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