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Nature of Britain Calendar: June

Updated Sunday, 1st June 2008

Follow the Nature of Britain's seasonal hints and tips - this month we look at June, a good time to make the most of the summer rain by installing a water butt

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Do one thing

Conserve water for the summer months ahead. Install a water butt or recycle your bathwater for watering plants.

What to look for

June is the best month for orchids. Common spotted, heath spotted and pyramidal orchids are fairly common on road banks and in old grassland.

This is also the month of the dog-rose and the honeysuckle, which scent the air on warm evenings, attracting moths of all sizes such as the swallowtail and brimstone

Butterflies include common blues, meadow browns and large skippers on downland and road verges.

If you’re lucky you may see glow worms on hedgebanks and along woodland rides, especially in limestone areas.

In the garden leaf-cutter bees carve circles from leaves to create their nests and in the south of England, stag beetles are on the prowl in the leaf litter.

On sea cliffs, young guillemots and kittiwakes jostle for space and gull and tern colonies are loud with hungry youngsters clamouring for food.

Other birds to look out for are pied wagtails and spotted flycatchers busy feeding their families.

On heaths and moorland, stonechat families scold from the gorse clumps and it’s worth looking in sheltered spots for adders (be careful as these are poisonous) and common lizards.

Did you know

The smallest reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust is in Norfolk: Hethel Old Thorn, a 13th century hawthorn.

Habitat of the month: Meadows

Spot butterflies and early summer flowers in these wildlife havens. Traditional meadows are cut for hay in summer to provide winter food for animals. This management leads to a great diversity of plants and animals. Just before they are cut is a great time to visit as they are at their best.

Photo opportunity: Butterflies

Butterflies are abundant now. Spot them early in the morning whilst they rest with wings open to warm up in the sun. If you cannot sneak up close try using a telephoto lens and a fast shutter speed.

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