Reconnecting the Wyre Forest

Pearl B Frit

The Wyre Forest consists of 2,634 hectares of ancient woodland and is one of the most ecologically diverse in England. Over 60% is designated SSSI and over 50% is a National Nature Reserve (NNR).

Target Species

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is one of the fastest declining butterflies in the UK with the most recent analysis showing a distribution loss of 43% (the second greatest in the UK) and a 42% decline in abundance between 1995-1999 and 2005-09. The Wyre Forest is one of just three remaining English strongholds where the Pearl-bordered Fritillary has occupied or continued to occupy at least 68 sites from 2002 to 2011.

Work To Be Undertaken

The project will carry out a landscape-scale, targeted programme of coppice restoration and ride management in lowland mixed deciduous woodland within the Wyre. The aims of the project are: 

  • To restore economically viable coppice which will provide sustainable breeding habitat for the butterfly.
  • To improve connectivity across the forest thus increasing the chances of natural recolonisation of new habitat as it becomes available.
  • To continue to enlarge the volunteer network so that it can continue to undertake maintenance management and monitoring under the supervision of the West Midlands Butterfly Conservation Branch both during and after the project.

Outcomes Hoped For


Read The Full Report

For more detailed information about this project and others across the UK please read the full report: Landscape-scale Conservation For Butterflies And Moths: Lessons From The UK.

45.3 hectares of restored and better connected habitat to include;


  • coppice restoration
  • ride widening
  • scrub clearance
  • conifer felling
  • stump grinding
  • culverting

More volunteers leading a programme of;

  • Habitat management
  • Survey and monitoring for a variety of butterflies and moths

Close partnership working and involvement in the production of a strategic management plan for the Wyre Forest.


For further information on the project contact the project manager Jenny Joy 01952 249325 For further details on the involvement of Butterfly Conservation’s West Midlands Branch contact the branch landscape area champion for the Wyre Forest Mike Williams 07802274552


The project is funded by SITA Trust with partners including Forestry Commission England, Natural England, Wyre Community Land Trust and the Wyre Forest Study Group.