The cache is NOT at the co-ordinates above. Please see notes at the bottom of this page.
Continuing a series of caches which are intended to draw attention to some of the butterflies to be found on Ashtead Common.
Further general information on the common is available on the link below:
The Brimstone is often the first butterfly to be seen in the spring and is a welcome suggestion that the long, dark evenings are finally coming to an end. It's able to get out and about so early because it is one of the few species that hibernates as an adult, as opposed to spending the winter as an egg, caterpillar or chrysalis.
Apart from colour, the Brimstone can be identified by the exquisite wing shape, perfectly matching a leaf when roosting overnight or hibernating within foliage. They always settle with their wings closed so you will only ever see their undersides.
As soon as there is any warmth in the spring sun, the butter yellow males venture from their winter hiding places. They then start patrolling woodland edges and hedgerows looking for the much paler, almost white, females. The females lay their eggs on Buckthorn bushes which are the foodplant of the green caterpillars. After a few weeks of gorging themselves the caterpillars pupate and in August the new adults emerge.
This area of Ashtead Common has many Buckthorn bushes and is a good place to find Brimstones in the spring.
The co-ordinates will take you to a structure loosely connected with the cache title and with a Buckthorn bush growing at its base. Unhelpfully the bush had just been cut back to ground level at the time of setting, but it will grow back (I hope!).
Geocaching guidelines prevent the siting of the cache itself at the stated co-ordinates therefore it has been offset 20 metres SE of the structure. Sorry about that - 1/2 point has been added to the difficulty rating as recompense....
Ashtead Common is a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
This cache is placed with the kind permission of Natural England and under licence from the City of London who own the common.
Nearby are a number of other caches on both Ashtead and Epsom commons. Many attractive paths criss cross the commons to allow access - some of these paths can become very muddy in winter so choose carefully or bring boots!
Free On Street parking is available at the waypoint shown. Please be respectful of local residents if you use it.
You are searching for a small ‘Lock and Lock’ plastic container suitable for swaps and small Travel Bugs.
Remember that the cache is 20 metres SE of the stated co-ordinates. The hint refers to the final cache site.