Once common butterfly and moth species are now becoming increasingly rare.

The Gatekeeper has suffered a 44% decline since the 1970s. Habitat loss is a major factor in such declines so our ambitious new Building Sites For Butterflies Project will promote the creation of wildlife habitat as a part of urban development.

We will work with construction, mineral and waste industries as well as major infrastructure projects, public utility providers and local government, using case studies to show how simple and cost-effective it can be to create wildlife-friendly habitat. Volunteers will be trained to provide advice on habitat creation across the UK and will also help monitor the positive impact on butterflies and moths. Roadside verges provide some of the best case studies demonstrating the success of habitat creation.

Striped Lychnis moth populations saw a 30-fold increase as a result of work on verges near Winchester, allowing the caterpillar’s foodplant, Dark Mullein, to thrive. The banks of the Weymouth Relief Road in Dorset have been colonised by 23 species of butterfly and have no maintenance costs for the Council. Innovative habitat creation schemes like these have the potential to make a real difference for the future of widespread butterflies and moths whilst reducing construction and maintenance costs. We look forward to reporting back on the success of this innovative new project in the future.