Some of the UK’s rarest and most threatened butterflies and moths have benefited in the North of England from two of Butterfly Conservation’s largest-ever conservation projects.
Following an intensive programme of conservation management in the Morecambe Bay Limestone hills, the High Brown Fritillary has already occupied five new sites. Other species doing well include the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (three new sites), Duke of Burgundy (two new sites) and the Four-spotted moth (three new sites), and there have been at least 20 colonisations by other key species.
On the North York Moors we are now in the penultimate year of a five-year project. Early results show that Duke of Burgundy has colonised three new sites and its numbers at core sites massively exceed those of a decade ago. The species has also been reintroduced at a former site. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary has also occupied three new sites and its numbers have effectively doubled in the last decade.
The upturn in the fortunes of these very special butterflies and moths has happened as a result of a huge conservation effort.
On the Morecambe Bay Limestones hills:
• Conservation management has been carried out on 35 sites
• 15km of woodland rides have been created or managed
• 14 hectares of bramble and scrub have been cut back
• 94 hectares of coppice coupes, glades and wide rides have been cut
• 292 hectares of woodland have been brought into sustainable management
On the North York Moors:
• Conservation management has been carried out on 18 sites
• 1.5km of woodland rides have been created or managed
• 6 hectares of bramble and scrub have been cut back
• 12 hectares of grassland have been brought into sustainable management
• One reintroduction of Duke of Burgundy has been undertaken
In both areas training has been provided for volunteers, conservation staff, foresters and land management advisors from other organisations with whom we work.
We need to raise continuation funding to work on new areas, ensure that the habitat improvements we have already made are maintained andprovide a regular programme of advisory visits with the landowners and other partners with whom we work.
Please help us ensure that the High Brown Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy continue to recover in the North of England.
We know that by restoring and improving large areas of habitat, we can give even the rarest and most threatened species the very best chance to recover. But hard won gains can be quickly reversed if effort is not maintained.
Please help to give the butterflies and moths in these landscapes a lasting future