Knotgrass mothWest Horsley resident, professional nature expert with Surrey Wildlife Trust and friend of West Horsley Place, Mike Waite recently spent an evening investigating the species of moth at West Horsley Place, 

Coronet moth“..Late in the evening on 11th July I took my portable light-trap into the West Horsley Place estate with the vague hope of catching something special. Surrey is the most likely county in the UK to find a particularly rare species known as the ‘Heart Moth’. There are some very old records from hereabouts, but the moth has only recently been found in the Horley/Outwood area. It depends on mature oaks in parkland and hedges - nothing unusual there - so its rarity is hard to fathom. Anyway, needless to say I didn’t catch a Heart Moth, but I did get a Coronet, a Buff-tip, a Broad-bordered Yellow-underwing, a Knotgrass and lots of Common Footmen, Rustics and Dark Arches. Not a bad haul! Up-close moths can be incredibly beautifully marked, as these photos show…”

Buff-tip mothHe took some wonderful photos, which we are delighted to share with you. Our banner image shows a beautiful Broad-bordered Yellow. The first photograph above is a Knotgrass moth. The second image is a Coronet moth. The photographs at the bottom of the post show Buff-tip moth and a Common Footman (against the blue background). The final image shows Mike's moth trap set up. 

Common Footman mothWe'd like to thank Mike for helping us to explore the biodiversity on the estate and learning a bit more about these wonderful creatures! Maybe next time he'll find a Heart Moth. Fingers crossed. 

Mike Waite is Living Landscapes Manager at the Surrey Wildlife Trust. Living Landscapes is The Wildlife Trusts' current landscape-scale conservation programme. Mike's role is to seek strategic opportunities to influence management change to benefit biodiversity beyond the SWT estate.

Moth trapping at WHP