For a number of years, Graves Park has had two or three good patches of meadow land left completely untouched, creating a precious haven for a variety of butterflies, moths and insects in which to breed.
On Tuesday, August 16, I decided to pay one of my regular visits to the area in the hope of photographing and seeing a butterfly or two. When I got there I could have cried, the whole lot had been mowed completely flat to the ground.
Why? Butterflies are on the decline and we are being encouraged to create a wild patch in our own gardens to help them, so what does Sheffield Council do? It decides to wipe out two or three precious habitats.
Why did they waste time and money, that could be put to better use, on something that didn’t need touching? If for some very important reason the grass had to be cut, why did they not find out when it was the best time to cut it?
All I saw on my visit was one solitary meadow brouwn butterfly flitting around looking for some source of food. These wild patches were also good for a variety of flowers, harebells, bird’s-foot trefoil and field scabious which is a favorite for small skippers, large skippers and burnet moths.
Any caterpillars that were preparing to hibernate over winter ready for next years emergence are now destroyed.
It may seem as though this letter is all about me and my love of butterflies, but it isn’t. I just hate to see unnecessary destruction on natures creations, and at a cost.
I know in the past the council have had a lot of complaints thrown at them for bad decisions that they have made, but I will give them credit where it’s due, the one thing they are really good at is wasting money and resources.
If it wasn’t the council’s decision to flatten the grass, then I do apologise, anyone else, shame on you.