I visited Martin Down – perhaps Hampshire’s most western reserve, ( It is right on the boundary of Hampshire and Dorset ) ,on the 30th May. The day was fairly overcast and windy, and the normal numbers of butterflies that can be seen there were probably down in number due to this ( sheltering down low I expect ) & the cold spring. The best part of the reserve for butterflies was the sheltered paths at the edge of the reserve, that abutted the farmland, where I found a good number of Small Blues down in the grasses.
To give you an idea of what the reserve looks like here are a couple of pictures I took there on the day to show the landscape.
Firstly looking towards the farmland in the distance with the reserve in the foreground.
Then back from the same location in the opposite location looking in the direction of the car park on the A354.
Here are the best shots I got of the Small Blues. I should also note that I was using a monopod for additional support for the first time on this trip.
Martin Down – is not just a great reserve for butterflies – it is also great for flora. I found this beautiful Heath Spotted Orchid near the earth mounds.
And nearby I battled the windy conditions to take this delicate Rock Rose. A smallish flower that is just above the ground.
Flowers that reside higher up were these tree blossom flowers.
The reserve is renowned for being home to Burnt Tip Orchids, and this years they were out in higher numbers than normal. Here are a selection of individual and groups of these pretty plants.
Map of Location