On a sunny mild but very blustery afternoon in early July I'm strolling through lush meadow land in Bushy park.

All around me, small and Essex skipper butterflies are literally 'skipping' from flower to flower ( hence the name 'skipper') choosing between yellow bird's foot trefoil and pale pink field bindweed or their favourite ragwort, where they are joined by small copper butterflies.

Also here are meadow brown butterflies demonstrating their rather lazy flopping flight among the grasses.

The first grasshopper species to appear from mid-June is the common green and there are many here stridulating away merrily. Their 'song' consists of a continuous ticking, rather like the sound made by a free-wheeling bicycle. Soon, other grasshopper species will emerge each with his distinctive 'song' and sitting in a meadow on a warm day we can be surrounded by a chorus of them creating a soft buzzing sound.

Later in summer roesels bush crickets join in the chorus with their continuous rattling hiss.

Then I'm thrilled to hear skylarks. They don't really like ascending and singing in strong winds so some are performing on the ground or a few metres above it, but nevertheless it is still a joyful sound. The main period of lockdown coincided with the nesting season. So, with fewer people, un-controlled dogs and cars visiting both Bushy and Richmond parks the iconic songster should have benefitted from much less disturbance than usual and hopefully been able to increase its hitherto dwindling population. Fingers crossed that this will indeed be the case. The photo shows a skylark in Bushy park.