Saturday, January 3, 2015

Marshalls-Heath Nature Reserve

I ran across the Marshalls-Heath Nature Reserve website about twenty years ago.  It was an impressive, early effort.  What is particularly impressive, to me, was not the investment in the website but how they manage to accomplish as much as they do with the resources available to them.

The Reserve documented 1370 species.  That includes 215 plant species, 66 species of fungi, 19 mammals, 71 birds, 29 butterflies, 70 beetles and 667 species of moths.  The remainder of the species are assorted bugs, spiders and such.  Not bad considering it is located about twenty miles (about thirty kilometer) from Charing Cross in the center of London.

Map from HERE


The first few times I combed the site I somehow missed seeing the size of their footprint.  The Reserve is about eight-and-a-half acres.  That is about the size of a 1000 vehicle parking lot or just a freckle smaller than four, standard city blocks or the size of one quadrant of a standard "clover leaf" on the Interstate.  It also slightly smaller than the ERJ homestead.

Plans available  HERE
If you are a geeky-numbers kind of guy they you might wonder why the number of moth species is almost ten times greater than any animal life-form.  The primary reason is that light traps are incredibly efficient at collecting moths.  A secondary reason is that moths are large,  relatively gaudy and easy to key out by species.

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