The Natural History of Uckfield by Wendy Tagg

We are now past the “June slump” between the spring and summer butterflies

Last weekend, Mum and I found a magical scene at the Uckfield end of Buxted Park – clouds of brown and orange Meadow Browns rose from the long, pink Yorkshire Fog grass as we walked by. The meadow was full of butterflies – including Small Heaths, Skippers and Common Blues.

Small Heath

The sunshine turned some of the smaller fluttering butterflies into gold. These were Small Heaths, which are fussy enough to be an indicator of a high quality habitat. When we met at Saturday’s Parkrun, David Hall of the Uckfield Local Nature Reserves Supporters Group told me that he saw plenty over at West Park Nature Reserve amongst the glorious spread of wildflowers at the Prince’s Close end. He also saw Marbled Whites, which are patterned black and white.

I was really excited to see a Painted Lady butterfly while I was on business in Reading. They migrate from North Africa and take a number of generations to fly North. There have been some Uckfield sightings since they first started crossing our coast a couple of weeks ago so look out for them in gardens and on thistles. In autumn, they fly back ready to start all over again.

If you enjoy looking at butterflies, consider taking part in the Big Butterfly Count, which starts on the 19th of July: https://www.bigbutterflycount.org/