Families came from as far as the Cooley mountains to learn more about Butterflies and Moths in their gardens at the Ring of Gullion Event on Thursday 8th August in Jonesborough’s Pastoral Centre. And they weren’t disappointed with the elusive Garden Tiger moth, the colourful rainbow-like Mother of Pearl Moth and even a moth that looked very much like bird poo! found as part of the night’s adventures!
The excellent Catherine Bertrand of Butterfly Conservation NI made the world of Moths come alive for the children with her passion and enthusiasm. Therese Hamill, Ring of Gullion officer said, “Summer moths are bold and beautiful, and it was great for everyone to see, just how many types of moths there are out there. Catherine always does a great job and she makes it seem very easy to identify, which moth we are looking at, but with 600 types of moths, it is far from easy!”.
One of the families who took a moth trap home were able to catch 31 different types of moths! The information on the moths will help scientists monitor what moths are in the Ring of Gullion and further afield. Catherine met with the families again on Friday morning to identify and release all those caught moths.
Michelle, who took a trap home with her, commented, “Butterfly and Moth Night event was fantastic! We really enjoyed it. The children loved helping to release the moths and we were able to see how beautiful they are. It is amazing to see what is in the garden and we didn’t even know it!”
Catherine Bertrand of Butterfly Conservation NI said, “It’s been a pleasure to come back to the Ring of Gullion area. We are creating a team of budding Lepidopterists (moth and butterfly enthusiasts) in the area and slowly building up very useful information on the moths in the area.”
She added, “I love how excited the people of the area get about the moths! Moths are an under-valued and unappreciated part of our rich and varied ecosystem, providing food for lots of other creatures and helping us to understand the health of our environment.”
This free event was supported by Newry and Mourne District Council, NIEA, and Butterfly Conservation NI.
To find out more information about upcoming events visit www.ringofgullion.org. And if you just can’t wait why not visit www.bcni.org.uk and find out what you can do to help!
If you find something and don’t know what it is, post it on the Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland Facebook group and someone will be back to you within the hour