The West Midlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation have published a new guidebook to Mortimer Forest - a beautiful woodland which straddles the Shropshire and Herefordshire border.
The full-colour leaflet, “Life And Times Of Mortimer Forest – In A Nutshell”, has been produced as part of the Heritage Lottery funded 'Spotlight on the Wood White' project. The project began last year and has been very successful in training people to carry out survey work within the Forest while learning about its wildlife, habitats and history.
The booklet provides an in depth overview of the history of the Forest from prehistoric times and shows how this has influenced the character and wealth of the wildlife found there today. The modern Forest is still producing valuable timber and almost 30 species of butterfly can be found there.
Julia Walling, who designed and edited the guide on behalf of West Midlands Butterfly Conservation said:
"We are hoping that the new guide will help people to discover this fantastic area of forest on their doorstep. Mortimer Forest contains a wealth of wildlife including a number of nationally rare species such as the Wood White butterfly and there is so much more still to find. The production of the guide has been a true community effort and we are grateful to the many volunteers and local experts who have contributed so much time and effort to creating it."
Mike Williams, Publicity & Marketing Officer of West Midlands Butterfly Conservation, said: "We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting the production of this guide. Regionally, Butterfly Conservation is working very closely with the Forestry Commission to conserve rare butterflies and moths and we are keen to engage more volunteers in undertaking vital survey and monitoring work.
"We are confident that this booklet will stimulate greater interest in Mortimer Forest and our project has already led to the establishment of a new community group to take forward this work. By working in partnership in this way we can achieve so much more."
Although Lottery funding ends shortly, the work of the Mortimer Forest Heritage Project will continue. A new website has been established and butterfly survey days have already been arranged over the summer, with other exciting plans in the pipeline.
For further information, please contact Julia Walling on 01584 874636 or 07796 596451 or email: Julia@mortimerforestproject.org.uk