Third Annual Summer Environmental Fayre

Saturday 12 July 2008. 11am to 3pm

Stringer Way Lawns and Brian Foster Environment Centre,
Off Draxmont Way, Surrenden Road.

The now well-established Summer Fayre at Dorothy Stringer High School is this year focusing on the biodiversity for a good reason. The long-standing environmental projects going on at this Green Flag Eco-School were given a boost last year with a lottery-funded award through the BBC's Breathing Places Scheme. An area of sloping land behind the school has been designed to create habitat rich in plants and animals that are characteristic of established chalk grassland. The slopes have been topographically modified to change the temperature at ground level. For example, the south-facing slopes, which are exposed to direct sunlight, will be warmer than the north-facing ones, and similarly for the west- and east-facing slopes. Consequently, a range of different temperatures will allow rare Downland butterflies the opportunity to develop their complex life cycles under near-perfect conditions. In addition, thousands of wildflower plugs have been planted and seed sown to provide foodplants and nectar sources for the butterflies.

This links in with the Brighton & Hove Biodiversity Action Plan and the Big Biodiversity Butterfly Count.  A natural world with a high biodiversity is one that is able to supply a whole host of invisible services that make life on Earth possible for us. For example, it provides us with clean water and air, pollinates our crops and disperses seeds, protects us from extreme weather, controls pests and disease-carrying organisms. In other words, biodiversity supports our daily lives; in return our every action affects biodiversity. Butterflies and moths respond quickly to any small changes in their habitats and microclimates and, since they are representative of all insects, they act as fantastic indicators of the health of at least half of the biodiversity of the planet. They are also quite easy to identify. If we know what is happening to butterfly populations, we have a good idea of what is happening to the rest of the ecosystems in which they live.

As part of the Summer Fayre and the Big Biodiversity Butterfly Count, David Bellamy will be opening the Butterfly Haven at Dorothy Stringer, along with a ceremonial planting of elm trees to attract the White-Letter Hairstreak Butterfly.

The Summer Fayre is open to everyone and there will be a wide range of activities and stalls. There is a general theme of celebrating positive work that goes on in our community. We have the usual fun and games of a traditional fayre, along with a farmers' market, theatre in the woods of the school

nature reserve, organic beer tent, local and national environmental organizations, local charities, pond dipping, Fair Trade Cameroon Café, cakes, plants, books, craft, the human fruit machine and lots of prizes.

We will also have the reopening of the Brian Foster Environment Centre, with new solar panels and the human hair insulation experiment.

There is a competition for the best outfits created from recycled materials with prizes for under-11s, 11-14s, 15-18s and over-18s. If you would like to get involved, belong to a local organization that wants to have a stall, or just want more information, please contact Rob Sandercock at sdk@dorothy-stringer.co.uk or go to www.dorothy-stringer.co.uk.

For more information about the Big Biodiversity Butterfly Count, contact  Martin Pett  at
martin.pett@brighton-hove.gov.uk
 

Posted: 28th of June 2008