The Upper Thames Branch is involved in many conservation activities, most of which are organised by the Branch's largest Committee, the Conservation and Recording Team (CART).
The purpose of CART is to ensure that the efforts of the Upper Thames Branch lead to a greater number of better managed spaces for butterflies and moths, and therefore to more of both. As its name suggests this Committee concerns itself primarily with two functions: seeing that the sites we believe are most important are being properly managed (conserved) and that local changes are being recorded.
In the execution of the first function we act both directly, for instance on our own reserve at Holtspur Bottom and through the advice we give to various partner conservation bodies and private owners of key habitats. CART members make site visits to assess habitat quality and suggest methods to improve conditions for a range of butterfly and moth species.
Our recording effort is equally important and immensely successful. No other local recording scheme achieves comparable results. Not only do we collect data about all the species flying in each 10km square within the UTB area, but we also monitor species' abundance through transects. Recording also feeds back information about the condition of the site to allow managers to fine tune their work to be more effective.
CART considers all manner of opportunities and threats to our butterflies and moths. We respond to planning applications and advise on regional conservation initiatives such as the ONCF's Landscape Scale Conservation Strategies.
If you can spare some time to get involved in our conservation efforts, then your help at one of our work parties, recording butterflies and moths, or transect walking will be greatly appreciated. You don't need to be a member to join in with the Branch activities but we hope that, once you've found out more about what we do, you will want to join us.