Urban and Post Industrial

Garden

The urban landscape including gardens, parks, churchyards and verges, as well as brownfield and other post-industrial sites such as disused quarries, railways, mine spoil, sand and gravel pits often support strong colonies of butterflies and moths. The combination of caterpillar food plants, nectar sources for adults, bare ground and shelter, provide the right conditions for warmth-loving species.

Gardens, Parks and Churchyards

Key features:

  • Abundant nectar sources
  • Sheltered conditions
  • Larval food plants such as brassica, nettle, Holly, Ivy, Dark Mullein, Hop and grasses

Characteristic butterflies: Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Purple Hairstreak, Small Copper, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown

Characteristic moths: Striped Lychnis, Broad-barred White, Buttoned Snout, Varied Coronet, Burnished Brass

Road Verges

Key Features:

  • Larval food plants, including grasses, Dark Mullein, Common Bird's-foot-trefoil and bedstraw
  • Presence of adjacent hedgerow and shelter

Characteristic butterflies: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown

Characterisitc moths: Six-spot Burnet, Shaded Broad-bar, Green Carpet, Striped Lychnis

Railway Lines and Embankments

Key features:

  • Warm and sheltered conditions
  • Presence of short, sparse vegetation and scrub
  • Variety of larval food plants such as Common Bird's-foot-trefoil and knapweed

Characteristic butterflies: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Wood White, Green Hairstreak, Small Blue, Common Blue, Wall, Marbled White, Ringlet

Characteristic moths: Fiery Clearwing, Chalk Carpet, Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion

Disused Quarries

  • Thin dry soil with bare patches
  • Larval food plants such as Common Bird's-foot-trefoil and Kidney Vetch
  • Presence of warm south-facing slopes
  • Presence of scrub and shelter

Characteristic butterflies: Small Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Northern Brown Argus, Common Blue, Wall, Marbled White,  Grayling, Meadow Brown, Small Heath

Characteristic moths: Six-belted Clearwing, Chalk Carpet, Annulet, Small Ranunculus, Straw Belle

Urban and Derelict Industrial Land

Key features:

  • Varied structure of low-growing and tall, often weedy vegetation with bare ground and scrub
  • Good variety of larval food plants and nectar sources

Characteristic butterflies: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Wall, Meadow Brown, Small Heath

Characteristic moths: Mullein Wave, white Ermine, Cinnabar, Wormwood, Toadflax Brocade

 

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