Woodland and Scrub

Woodlands

Woodlands dominated by broad-leaved trees such as oak can support a rich and varied butterfly and moth fauna. Woodlands with tree species ranging in age from saplings to mature trees; with a network of well-structured rides and where active management creates a succession of open clearings and glades, for example through coppicing, will support the greatest number of species. Large commercial plantations, mostly of non-native conifers, can support a distinctive moth fauna.

Broad-leaved Woodland

Key features:

  • Specific trees,shrubs and ground flora for larval food plants such as oak, willow, elm, buckthorn, Blackthorn, Holly, Honeysuckle, Small-leaved Lime and Birch
  • Sunny rides, clearings and woodland edges
  • Age range from young saplings to mature trees including decaying wood

Characteristic butterflies: Brimstone, Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Black Hairstreak, White Admiral, Purple Emperor, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood

Characteristic moths: Barred Hook-tip, Blotched Emerald, Black Arches, Scarce Silver-lines, Great Prominent, Scarce Merveille du Jour, Angle-striped Sallow, Rannock Sprawler

Rides, Clearings and Glades

Key features:

  • Varied structure with bare ground, short and tall grassland, scrub and wood edge
  • Sparse vegetation and warm, sunny conditions
  • Clearings created on rotation through coppicing and/or felling
  • Presence of leaf-litter
  • larval food plants such as Common Dog-violet, common Bird's-foot-trefoil, Wild Strawberry, Primrose, Golden-rod, Wood Spurge, vetches and grasses 

Characteristic butterflies: Chequered Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Wood White, Green Hairstreak, Duke of Burgundy, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Scotch Argus, Ringlet

Characteristic moths: Argent & Sable, Drab Looper, Kentish Glory, Rosy Marbled, Yellow-legged Clearwing, Light Orange Underwing, White-banded Carpet

Scrub and Woodland Edge

Key features:

  • Develops on grassland where conditions allow
  • May be a stage in the succession to woodland
  • Shrubs suitable for larval food plants such as Blackthorn, gorse, Holly, buckthorn and elm

Characteristic butterflies: Brimstone, green Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Brown Hairstreak, Black Hairstreak, Holly Blue, Duke of Burgundy, Dark Green Fritillary

Characteristic moths: Dingy Mocha, Small Eggar, Streak, Brown Scallop, Dark Umber, Sloe Carpet, Early Moth, Figure of Eight

Conifer Plantations

Key features:

  • Interior of plantations too dark and shady for butterflies
  • Possible breeding habitats are usually confined to rides and clearings
  • Broad-leaved trees and shrubs may be present in ride edges such as oak, willow, elm, buckthorn, Blackthorn, Holly and Honeysuckle

Characteristic butterflies: Brimstone, Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Black Hairstreak, White Admiral, Purple Emperor, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood

Characteristic moths: Common Fan-foot, White-spotted Pinion, Netted Carpet, Dark Crimson Underwing

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