Butterflies, Bees and Dragonfly etc
Why on a heritage website should we have anything about wildlife?
Good question, but surely Canvey’s wildlife is part of our heritage. Long before Canvey was heavily populated in the twentieth century, Canvey was famous for its insect life with Victorian amateur entomologists coming from afar to collect them.
Buglife has worked hard to get Canvey Wick designated as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Canvey Wick has been described as ‘a little brown rainforest’ by Natural England Officer Dr Chris Gibson. For the uninitiated a rainforest is one of the areas where the biodiversity (the variety and richness of the number of species) per square foot is much higher than other areas. Although Canvey Wick is not exactly a rainforest it should not divert us from the fact that the number and variety of invertebrates cannot be found anywhere else in the UK. There are also many grassland plants such as Orchids, who would of thought we had Orchids growing on Canvey!
The RSBP has purchased the West Canvey Marshes from Morrisons to make into a nature reserve eventually connecting up to Wat Tyler Country Park via the Pitsea Tip which will become part of a much larger Country Park. Ambitious but it is what Canvey needs and it will be good for Canvey’s people and wildlife.
We have a newly formed Canvey Island Wildlife Conservation Group who are particularly interested in the damage done to the banks by speed boats and the effect litter has on the wildlife in Tewkes and Benfleet Creek.
Then we should not forget the wildlife in our own back yards. I have many neighbours of the Flora and Fauna families living in my garden. I have a fox living next door, who loves to sun himself in the garden. I get loads of butterflies and lots of birds with my favourite being the Robin. I have found frogs, toads and hedgehogs. I even had a badger in my front garden. Then there are the usual snails, slugs and caterpillars, not to mention earwigs (I just hate those). I recently found a slow worm whilst thinning out one of my shrubs, thinking at first it was a snake I just about managed to stop myself from running so that I could have a good look making mental notes for identification. Imagine my relief when I found out it was just a slow worm (legless lizards). Phew………………………..
Below are just a few of the “wildlife” I found in my back garden. What is in yours?