Saturday 5 December 2015

If you build it, he will come

Hemel & Bovingdon (BMT): I’m fairly certain that the Box Moor Trust didn’t hear whisperings in the cornfield à la Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. There is no predestined certainty here but the passionate hope is that by creating a habitat suitable for the rare Small Blue butterfly, it might just wander on over to Trust land and find a safe haven.

Yesterday morning, 4 of us pulled on our wellies and got properly muddy planting Kidney Vetch at Bovingdon Brickworks. This was the second morning of furious autumn industry. At the end of November, more than half a dozen enthusiastic helpers (from trustees, staff and volunteers) had planted some 350 Kidney Vetch (KV) seedling plugs and sown KV seeds at Roughdown Common. Across both locations, the plants need to survive rabbits, slugs, frost and anything else that might get thrown at them this winter. Then, in the spring, they need to bed in, germinate and reproduce. If the plants and seeds manage all this then they might, just might, attract Small Blues to the sites. Forget a field of dreams, a vigorous patch of Kidney Vetch would do nicely!

For the complete Small Blue story, check out the “BMT Small Blue Project” tab above. If hope and the sheer longing to see rare and scarce wildlife recover were enough, we’d be guaranteed success. As it is, we’ll have to wait and see...


  1. Lucy, I hope to see your photos next year of the plants taking hold and - maybe - a visiting Small Blue? Good luck, a worthy project.

  2. Hi Steve, thank you. It's exciting but you just never know. Here's hoping ;o).

  3. They also need to avoid being blown out of the ground this El Nino winter!

  4. lol, you're not wrong, Si. Very glad I have bricks and mortar for shelter today!

  5. Great work Lucy, hope it pays off!


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