pun_logo

The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

You are not logged in.

#1 2014-12-10 18:58:25

Judy Webb
Committee
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 412

Cothill Pitt - can you help the Diptera?

There is an old sand quarry site near me in Oxfordshire (Cothill Pitt) that has come under threat of development. It has as yet no protective wildlife designation. It has greened up in the years since sand extraction and now has bare sand areas and short lichen heath areas in a mosaic with longer grass with a variety of flowers and is a very good site for butterflies with many breeding species including small blue. Recent surveys indicate it will be a very good site for solitary bees and wasps because of the hot dry sandy soil and there is an exceptional population of the solitary bee Andrena hattorfiana feeding on the equally large population of field scabious.  It also has glow-worms and great green bush-crickets. Chris Raper and I have just started looking at the flies and when we visited in the summer he was impressed by the abundance of tachinid Cistogaster globosa - one on every wild carrot flower almost, with the host bug Aelia acuminata equally frequent.  Asilidae of such dry hot vegetation are found with my favourite hairy robber fly Dysmachus trigonus seen. It will be a while before all fly identifications are done but Chris thinks it will turn out to be a very good site for Diptera. In addition to flies breeding on site we found individuals of the Clubbed General Soldierfly Stratiomys chameleon (RDB1) nectaring on the parsnip flowers (my adopted 'Fly Guardian' species). These will have flown from nearby Cothill fen SAC and Dry Sandford pit SSSI fens which are the only site for it in England. Without such nectaring opportunities the S. chameleon individuals may not be able to complete their life cycle in the fens.  Chris has posted a short video of the Stratiomys flies in Cothill Pitt on  facebook (UK Diptera group & Chris's timeline).

Time is short to get in objections to the planned development, with comments before 20th Dec requested, but the absolute deadline being 5th Jan.  A campaign group has formed to oppose the development and this is the group's website: http://www.savecothillpitt.uk/  . If you care about saving some important flies (and other invertebrates) give it a look as it gives more detail and how to object. If you want to make any posts on our new community facebook site called Save Cothill Pitt, it seems to have really good reach. Our posts have got to over 7000 people since yesterday alone!  Judy

Offline

 

#2 2014-12-15 11:39:52

Judy Webb
Committee
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 412

Re: Cothill Pitt - can you help the Diptera?

Just an update. There are now template letters available on the website for the group to make objecting easier. One of them focuses on wildlife and environment. Please help us get lots of objections to this potentially damaging development.  Judy

Offline

 

#3 2014-12-21 03:12:40

haematocephalus
DF Members
Name: Martin Harvey
From: Buckinghamshire
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 259
Website

Re: Cothill Pitt - can you help the Diptera?

Thanks for highlighting this Judy. Have sent in an objection. Good luck with persuading the planning dept to make the right decision.


Soldierflies and Allies Recording Scheme
http://www.brc.ac.uk/soldierflies-and-allies/

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson