One of Worcestershire’s rarest and most attractive butterflies – the Brown hairstreak, has been celebrated with the launch of a distinctive homemade jam.
Hairstreak Jelly, made from sloes gathered from local blackthorn hedges by volunteers from West Midlands Butterfly Conservation, has been produced by Elspeth Robertson at Wayside Farm Shop in Wickhamford near Evesham.
Brown Hairstreaks lay their eggs on blackthorn and the launch of Hairstreak Jelly is aimed at raising awareness of the butterfly and its conservation.
Mike Williams, Brown Hairstreak Species Champion for West Midlands Butterfly Conservation said: “The Brown Hairstreak is a declining species and Worcestershire is the only place in the region where it occurs.
“The main threat facing the butterfly is winter flailing of hedgerows which destroys many of the Brown Hairstreak’s eggs. We see the launch of Hairstreak Jelly as an original and delicious way of getting across our important conservation message to the wider community.
“For the last few years, we have been running a ‘Hedgerows for Hairstreaks’ campaign aimed at improving hedgerow management for the Brown Hairstreak and other wildlife.
“Our message is that cutting hedgerows on rotation rather than annually creates a more wildlife friendly countryside, saves farmers money and produces larger crops of sloes. This has to be good news all round.”
Elspeth Robertson, owner of Wayside Farm Shop, said: “It has been great to get involved with this initiative.
“We make many kinds of jams and chutneys through our shop and specialise in making unusual and unique preserves which celebrate our local food heritage.
“Each jar has a colourful label which features the butterfly and is very eye-catching. We have been very pleased with the response from our customers and hope that we can support this important cause through making more Hairstreak Jelly in the future.”
Hairstreak Jelly is available from Wayside Farm Shop (www.waysidefarmshop.co.uk) and every jar sold raises money for the conservation of the Brown Hairstreak butterfly.
For further information and images contact Mike Williams on 07802 274552 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Butterfly Conservation is the largest charity of its type in the world. Our aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. We run conservation programmes for more than 100 threatened species and manage over 30 nature reserves.
Much work is delivered through the charity’s regional branches and the West Midlands branch holds an annual programme of events aimed at raising awareness of the region’s butterflies and moths www.westmidlands-butterflies.org.uk