Insects

This portion of Bepton Down Conservation Group’s website includes invertebrates of the winged varieties such as bees, wasps, hoverflies, lacewings, crickets,  butterflies and moths.

Chalk grassland such as that found on the Downs is one of Britain’s richest habitats available to nectar loving insects and yet it is the single greatest victim to highly mechanised farming with only the most inaccessible slopes difficult to use machinery on being spared.  Many such areas are now protected by their status as SSSIs. However these still require year on year maintenance and appropriate practices.   A good number of these belong outright to conservation charities such as the National Trust and the Wildlife Trust.   These are doing an excellent job ensuring the chalk downland under their management thrive by using tried and tested methods such as the use of native breeds of sheep and cattle (Belted Galloways are just perfect) to ensure the invasive species of thorny scrub, which modern breeds  will not tackle, are kept under control.  Others are leased from local landowners and are managed in much the same way.  Both the Wildlife Trust and the Murray Downland Trust have land in their care under this scheme.  The remaining SSSIs in the area owned by landowners come under the watchful eye of Natural England through the SDNP.  The one common problem faced by all these areas is fragmentation meaning that insects found on one may not be found elsewhere and may no longer be able to bridge the gap.  The long term solution to this is the tried and tested method of wildlife corridors but this may be difficult to implement.

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