Best in Show for Launceston Parish Wildlife

banner and awardThursday 17th July dawned bright and breezy for Jen and Pete Bousfield, who were at Launceston''s showground by 7.30am to make the display for Parish Wildlife''s stand. All was ready for the public by 9am and an initial trickle of visitors swelled to a steady stream by late morning. At times it was a struggle to accommodate them all and by the end of the day more than 150 people had viewed the exhibits and discussed different aspects of local wildlife with the volunteers. Jen was on duty most of the day and was assisted variously by Brenda Hooton, Dave and Mary Groves, and Sue Morey with help from Brenda Parker during dismantling.

Dave and Jen at the stand
The themes for this year were butterflies and moths, dormice and umbelliferous plants; however, many of the children were more interested in the slightly gruesome contents of owl pellets. Dave''s wasp nest - manufactured by worker wasps from scrapings off his and Mary''s garden furniture - also proved fascinating to many.

Visitors were invited to record their butterfly sightings for the current year and their experiences largely tallied with those of the group as a whole with early spots being mainly of speckled wood, holly blue, orange tips, other whites and red admirals and more recently meadow browns, ringlets, gatekeepers and occasional fritillaries.

The breeze proved a little troublesome at times (blue tack was very helpful) and some visitors made conversation a bit tricky, such as the rather deaf gentleman who, having finally understood the shouted query "Are you interested in local wildlife?" replied "No, not really" Another man, having been congratulated on having otters in his river answered somewhat morosely "I''m a fish farmer." Still these just added spice to a very enjoyable event.

The general success of the day was sealed by the award from the judges of Best Non-agricultural Stand in the show, an exciting moment for us all and a tribute to Jenny''s creative touch, not to mention hard work.