The Grizzled Skipper has lost 64% of its UK population over the last 25 years. The furthest north it now occurs is North of Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire.
In Leicestershire this butterfly has been found at fewer than 15 sites in the last three years, with its main stronghold being the Vale of Belvoir where it is largely restricted to disused railway lines.
Most sites on which the species is now recorded receive very little conservation management. Encroaching scrub is swamping the few remaining small patches of good habitat.
Urgent action is now required to prevent the Grizzled Skipper from disappearing altogether from the East Midlands.
Butterfly Conservation have been planning a major project in the Vale of Belvoir, to improve habitat at sites where the Grizzled Skipper can still be found or where it is likely to re-colonise. The butterfly will also be encouraged to spread into new areas through the creation of habitat ‘stepping stones’.
But we cannot do this work without your help
Funding is required to pay contractors to carry out scrub clearance and to purchase 20 tonnes of recycled railway ballast which will be spread to create bare ground patches where the butterfly’s larval foodplant, Creeping Cinquefoil, will regenerate.
With your support, we will work closely with local land owners to create and improve habitat for the Grizzled Skipper along the disused railway line which runs south from the county boundary with Nottinghamshire, near Kilvington to Stathern in the heart of the Vale of Belvoir.
This project will create links to a network of Grizzled Skipper sites over the county boundary in Nottinghamshire where a similar project has been successfully completed, enabling this butterfly to build a resilient metapopulation.
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