Butterflies at Hutchinson’s Bank

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHutchinson’s bank is located five minutes from New Addington tram stop or off Farleigh Dean Crescent, Featherbed Lane, Addington. However, this road is narrow and there is no parking on site. If exploring the site please beware that the paths can be narrow and the gradient is very steep.

The bank is one of the largest areas of chalk grassland remaining in Greater London. It is found on thin soils over chalk rocks and was originally created by clearance of trees and shrubs and grazing of livestock over eight thousand years ago.

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Kidney vetch

Photographing the small blue butterfly proved problematic as like most butterflies they don’t stay still for long. The blue is UK’s smallest resident butterfly although the blue colour is not very distinctive, it is more of  a tinge. The common yellow was, as its name suggests, easier to identify but the most distinctive butterfly was the brown peacock.

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Yellow and blue butterflies together

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The brown peacock butterfly below has large eyespots that can startle predators and give it a much better chance of escaping foes than relying solely on camouflage. It can also rubs its wings together to produce a hissing sound that is audible to humans.

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Volunteers at Hutchinson’s have spent much time clearing the area and fitting fencing and benches.

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Overlooking Addington Court golf course with Heathfield in centre background towards Croydon.

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Shorn sheep help to keep the grass mown. The two sheep in the foreground are Herdwick sheep the same type as at Heathfield.