THE Three Towns Growers held a workshop on moth identification and recording at their allotments in Elm Park, Ardrossan, on Saturday.

Moth traps were set the night before and local entomologist, Iain Hamlin, and workshop attendees checked the traps the next day to identify and record the moth species found.

Iain talked about the diversity and beauty of moths and also their importance to us.

Did you know that moths can visit flowers open at night and pollinate many plants important to humans?

Many beautifully patterned, large, hawkmoths were captured, including eight polar hawkmoths (laothoe populi).

Iain noted: "The site is very biodiverse. With wildlife ponds built by trustees and volunteers, many mature trees, and composting waste areas, etc.

"It is undoubtedly already a locally important site for wildlife.”

Many other insects were found that day.

Iain said: “The solitary bee species found is an important pollinator for the crops in the allotments; the many ground beetles present are predators of the pests that plague crops;.

"Also the caddisflies, which were in the trap by the pond, are an indication that the wildlife pond recently constructed is already a success.”

Three Towns Growers is a horticultural and green charity based at their Community Gardens and Allotments in Elm Park, Ardrossan.

Future workshops at the allotment site include:

Pollinator workshop with Suzanne Burgess (Buglife) on Saturday, July 27 from 1-3pm. Find out more about our pollinating insects and their benefit to gardeners.

Bat walk with ecologist Frank Clarke (ecologist) on Saturday August 3 from 7-10pm. Learn how to use bat detectors to record echolocation calls to identify bats.

Identify and record butterflies with Suzanne Burgess (Buglife) and Frank Clarke (ecologist) on Saturday, August 10 from 1-3pm. Take part in the Big Butterfly Count.

Come along to these free workshops to find out more about pollinating insects and the fascinating life of bats, their diversity and how to identify the more common species.

Information will be provided on how your findings can be recorded to benefit conservation activities.

This event is not suitable for young children (<11 years) but older children can attend if accompanied by an adult. If young children are interested in butterflies, they can come along immediately after the workshop on August 10, at 3pm and age-appropriate activities will be organised for them. Places on all these events may be limited so please email frank.clarke@threetownsgrowers.org for booking and information.