Braeburn Park (LWT) holds first public ‘open day’

London Wildlife Trust held a first public ‘open day’ at its Braeburn Park reserve in Crayford, on July 10th. The weather started off overcast but brightened up. Bexley Council’s new Mayor put in an appearance.

The LWT reserve Open Day gets underway at Braeburn Park. (Photo: Chris Rose)

The LWT reserve Open Day gets underway at Braeburn Park. (Photo: Chris Rose)

The reserve surrounds a modern housing estate. (Photo: Chris Rose)

The reserve surrounds a modern housing estate. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Bird walks took place, and Richard ‘Bug Man’ Jones was on hand to interest local children and adults alike in various invertebrates that they could look at under a microscope. There was face painting for kids, and the Crayford Manor House Astronomy Society’s stand proved popular with many attendees being able to view flares emanating from the surface of the sun through their special telescopes that ensure you don’t damage your eyes in the process.

Braeburn Site Manager Shaun Marriott carries a couple of old stuffed Badgers to the Badger Group's stand. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Braeburn Site Manager Shaun Marriott carries a couple of old stuffed Badgers to the Badger Group’s stand. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Three new butterfly species for the site were added to the Bexley Borough checklist in the shape of Ringlet (which was very numerous), Small Heath and Purple Hairstreak. Green Hairstreak has been seen here before as an adult,  but Richard Jones also found a caterpillar of the species.

The ‘Bug Man’ also found an individual of the scarce fly Ogcodes pallipes, which is a parasitoid of spiders, and is a new site record. The larvae overwinter within a spider host and continue growing the following spring, only causing the host to die just before they emerge to pupate.

It is likely that further such events will be held in future, possibly more than once per year.

(Chris Rose)

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