Worcestershire Record No. 22 April 2007 p. 34


Harry Green

An edition of Worcestershire Record without mention of Noble Chafer is almost unthinkable! This is the usual appeal to readers to contact me if they see the flying beetles and also if they can gain access to any old orchards. The chance to examine old fruit trees for evidence of Noble Chafer is always welcome.

We have recently added another site to the county list by finding Noble Chafer frass in a decaying apple tree in an old orchard near Clows Top. This is an interesting link between known sites around Ribbesford and others near Menith Wood.

Many readers will also be aware of the importance of the old orchard near Tiddesley Wood, part of the Worcestershire Wildlife Reserve. This old plum orchard is nationally one of the most well-known sites. Many of the plum trees are derelict and collapsing. During the winter 2006-2007 some of these old trees have been propped up to keep them going for Noble Chafers. The orchard has also been cleared of piles of junk which came with site and the grass has been trimmed. About 50 young plum trees have been planted in gaps within the old orchard and a new plum orchard of 101 trees has been planted next to the old one. Local varieties of plums have been used and hopefully these trees will eventually decay and provide future sustenance for Noble Chafers. Besides the work in the orchard new fencing has been erected to gain better control of grazing in the orchards and the nearby field, and new interpretive boards have been prepared. Most of this work has been grant-aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Nationally another important national initiative is being undertaken by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species who are lead partners in the the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for Noble Chafers. This is aimed at finding all the old orchards in several English counties and encouraging their use and conservation as well as protecting the beetles.

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