Orchid ProjectIn 2016 the Society decided to celebrate the 70th Anniversary (in 2018/19) with the publication of a book on local orchids from Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough. The project was managed by a small team of members, Barry Dickerson, Lynne Farrell, Roger & Sarah Orbell and Peter Walker. After three years of research and field work the book was published in 2019.

HFFS Members and the public provided details of orchid sites, members of the project team visited known and possible orchid sites, collected grid references and took photographs for use in the book. Museums, herbariums, literature, record centres and natural history societies were all consulted to gain information; many land owners gave us access to their land to search for Orchids. All records were catalogued and the data used to create distribution maps.

The contents include historical data and details of some early botanists who recorded orchids. Descriptions of the geology, soil and habitats of the study area are included. Reports on several past and current monitoring projects are also presented. Basic botanical details of orchids are explained and each of the local Orchid species has a section that includes background information, local data including maps and a description with photographs. Orchid sites with Public access are also listed.




CHEQUES PAYABLE TO: The Huntingdonshire Fauna & Flora Society.



WANTED: all records of Butterflies and Moths found in the county of Huntingdonshire. A book is being written about the Butterflies and Moths of Huntingdonshire, which it is planned to be published in 2020.


There are many gaps on the distribution maps of some of our common butterflies; species that should be recorded in all areas. I have visited most areas myself but cannot cover every area in the county at the right time, that is, when each butterfly species is on the wing, to record them all, so I am asking for your help. I require records of every species, lists from your garden are just as important as others, so please make a list of any butterflies that visit your garden and send them to me. Also, when you are out and about in Huntingdonshire and see a butterfly make a note of the species, where seen and the date. If you can give me a four-figure grid reference or post code, if available, that would be appreciated, so I can make sure the record is placed in the right area. As an example, sites like Brampton Wood and Monks Wood cover four recording squares (tetrads), so to plot the position of a record on a map I need the area of the wood the record was made: i.e. four figure grid reference. However, don’t let this put you off sending in records because I can usually sort out where the record has been made with a little help from you.


The map below shows the distribution of the Orange-Tip butterfly, a very easy species to record. The red dots are the most recent records. As can be seen from the blank areas on the map there are many sites where this species has never been recorded.

Please send any records to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Orange Tip Distribution        Orange Tip

Map showing the distribution of the Holly Blue. A species that is a regular visitor to gardens in May and August.

holly blue1x        holly blue2x

Recording the moths is more specialised than recording the butterflies, but everyone can still help with some species. There are several species that are often found in houses, such as the Brown House-moth and White-shouldered House-moth. Most people squash them when they see them. What I am asking is that you place them in a pot and put them in your freezer for a couple of hours. This will kill them, but keep them in good condition for me to identify. You can then either photograph them and e-mail me the picture or save them and hand them to me at a later date – perhaps at a HFFS meeting. If you intend to store them to hand to me later keep them dry, so they don’t get attacked by mould and also be aware of other insects that may eat them like museum beetle larvae. I require the same details as with the butterflies, where found and the date, so they can be plotted on the maps. I also want any other records of moths you are able to identify or are willing to collect or photograph and e-mail to me for identification, that you may see in your garden or while out and about. Silver Ys are very common some years, but like some species of butterflies are not recorded from many areas.

The map below shows the known distribution of the Brown House-moth, a moth that most probably occurs in every house in the county. The red dots are the most recent records, so from this map you can see how under-recorded this species is.

brown house moth1x        brown house moth2x

The map below shows the known distribution of the Silver Y, a very common migrant moth that is also greatly under-recorded.

silver y1x        silver y2x

From time to time the Society undertakes projects either of its own volition or on behalf of others. Collating records and undertaking surveys of sites and species, has resulted in reports contributing to:


Detailed projects have resulted in important books, which are available to purchase (see Publications):

2003 - The Flora of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough by Terry Wells;

2005 - Brampton Wood, A Natural History by the Huntingdonshire Fauna and Flora Society, produced by a group of HFFS members, each contributing to their speciality subject;

Other surveys

Reports contributing to:

2016 the Brampton Parish Biodiversity Project

Between 2014 and 2015 members helped survey a number of individual ‘hot spots’ in Brampton Parish. Individual reports can be viewed on the National Biodiversity Network web site. See in particular reports for - Brampton Park Golf Club; St Mary Magdalene Churchyard and River Lane Pits.

Location of all the biological ‘hot spots’ in Brampton Parish, Huntingdonshire District

2018 - Chris Packham’s UK Bioblitz - Nature Reserves Are Not Enough!

In July 2018 Chris and his team of experts visited 50 wildlife sites around the UK to highlight the extent to which the nation’s wildlife is under threat. These included a ‘Nature friendly Farm’, near Papworth Everard when two members (HHFS and Wildlife Trust Hunts. Local Group) helped survey the plants on the farm.

2019 - At the request of members of Great Gidding Parish Council, in June we surveyed Jubilee Wood. Just over a hectare of new woodland (planted in 2002) this was established on waste ground. The wood is owned by the Parish Council which, with the guidance of the Forestry Commission, planted a mix of indigenous trees such as oak and ash to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

2019 Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Currently the Society is collating the results of previous surveys of Hinchingbrooke Country Park from 2003. In August 2019 we carried out a resurvey of some elements of these surveys to update the information on the park. This will help with management decisions in the future.

Current and recently completed Projects are:

2019 - The Orchids of Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough by Barry Dickerson, Lynne Farrell, Roger & Sarah Orbell and Peter Walker.

2019 – 2020 The Lepidoptera Project, Barry Dickerson.

If you are interested in taking part in any further studies please contact the Chair, Dr Pat Doody, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..