Close encounter of the Westgate kind


Moth hunt in Toddlers Cove. Picture: Ron Green

Seeing the light – a moth hunt in Toddlers Cove. Picture: Ron Green

The bright light illuminating the darkness of Toddlers Cove in Canterbury on a humid Saturday in August wasn’t  the arrival of aliens. But it was a close encounter with some of the earthly things that do cause a flutter in the night.


About a dozen people accepted an invitation by the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership (KSCP) to spend an evening examining the moths which were lured into a light trap beside the river – along with numerous midges (non-biting variety, fortunately) and other six-legged creepy-crawlies.

Moth expert Tony Rouse, from Densole, hosted the evening. He supplied numerous examples of moths, which he had collected earlier, including the Poplar Hawkmoth, Oak Eggar, Small Emerald and Jersey Tiger.

They supplemented those which did fly by, which included Brimstone, Flame Shoulder, Pale Prominent and the much misunderstood Common Carpet moth, named because it has the appearance of a carpet pattern, not because it likes to eat them. 

The moth evening was the penultimate of a series of free summer events run by KSCP to give families the chance to experience the wide range of wildlife in the parks with expert guidance. 

Sweeping for insects in Westgate Parks. Picture: KSCP

Lizzy and Phoebe Holewell and Tabitha Budden insect sweeping near the river.

The last event, on September 15, will concentrate on finding small mammals, such as voles, shrews and mice.  

Booking, which is  essential, can be made on 01233 813307 or 07740 185224 or at
Mr Rouse, who runs a bug roadshow for schools, birthday parties and other events can be contacted on



Canterbury City Council HLF