Yesterday we held a Butterfly recording and monitoring training day in East Haven. Funded and arranged by Sustrans, the charity who manage the cycle path network, David Lampard from Butterfly Conservation delivered the training. This involved improving our identification skills and understanding about the types of butterfly we can expect to find in not just in Scotland but locally here on the coast. Laura White from Sustrans supported us on the day and helped residents map out a transect (walking route) which we will use to monitor and record butterflies on a regular basis throughout the year. As many of you know, National Cycle Route 1 runs right up the Angus coast and provides a wonderful opportunity to observe all kinds of wildlife and our improved Butterfly ID skills will enable us to upload recordings from our transect to the UK Butterfly Measurement Scheme web-site. Why not join us on one of our monthly Sustrans Bumble Butterfly walks? See our diary of events for details
Monday 26th March saw a group of us from East Haven, SNH and Butterfly Conservation walk 18km along the coast to plant Kidney Vetch which is the sole food plant of the Small Blue butterfly. Last year we planted patches of the plant towards Carnoustie to help create a food corridor by linking up areas of the plant. The Small Blue is the UK's smallest butterfly and a priority species which has suffered severe declines in recent decades. However, it has been found at many sites on the Angus coast from Buddon Ness to Kinnaber North of Montrose. In a real partnership between Tayside Biodiversity, Butterfly Conservation, SNH and local residents our work has strengthened the food corridor to enable this important butterfly to extend it's habitat and preserve it for future generations.
Last week saw us in Edinburgh delivering a presentation to other communities interested in developing resilience. It was only in about 2015 that the term resilience crept into our vocabulary. It is worth noting that the term means very different things to different people and to different communities depending on what their challenges are. For some comunities it is about a single issue but in East Haven we have worked to reduce risks posed by a number of challenges from dealing with power outages to protecting the fragile coast line to ensuring access to a defibrillator and emergency services. East Haven has a comprehensive resilience plan in place which we have shared with other communities to support them to be stronger and able to manage their own challenges.
This week we welcomed 60 children from Our Lady's Primary school in Perth to undertake a big Beach Clean and MCS survey. The children have been learning about the impact of marine plastic on wildlife and the marine environment. The timing of their visit could not have been better as the 'Beast from the East' brought in an unprecednted amount of marine litter. On Saturday we lifted all the heavy items and on Tuesday the children collected hundreds of small items including, plastic, cloth, bottles, cotton bud sticks, net and rope. Every item was carefully recorded and weighed. At the end of the day the children had collected 24 kilos of litter. It was a wonderful day and all involved had a brilliant time. Well done to all the children from Our Lady's.