Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £74,200 for a new project, which will help get volunteers creating meadows for butterflies in central Scotland.
Helping Hands for Butterflies has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, alongside funding from Scottish Natural Heritage, and will train and empower volunteers to monitor and conserve butterflies in their local communities.
Over the next three years, the project will support and train hundreds of new volunteers, who will be given the skills they need to identify and monitor the butterflies in their areas, and then go on to take practical action to enhance those populations.
There will be conservation events to create new wildflower meadows and maintain existing habitats and strongholds for butterflies.
Throughout the project, a series of meadow discovery days and training workshops will allow people to discover the wonderful world of butterflies on their doorsteps.
The new meadows will be in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Blantyre and Kirkintilloch, but there will be opportunities for new volunteers across the whole of Scotland to become involved in Butterfly Conservation’s work.
There are 59 species of resident and regular migrant butterflies in the UK, but three quarters of them have declined in the past four decades.
Butterflies are vital parts of the diets of birds and bats, and pollinators of wildflowers. Their fortunes are closely linked to the state of natural habitats like wildflower meadows, so new meadows can create havens for them and other insects, and allow them to move through the landscape and respond to climate change.
Butterfly Conservation Scotland’s Project Officer, Anthony McCluskey, said:
“The support given to this project from National lottery players will enable more people than ever to take part in the conservation of butterflies in their own areas. With butterfly populations under threat, this award will help ensure that people can enjoy butterflies in their communities now, and in years to come.”
Commenting from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Caroline Clark, Director, Scotland, said:
“Our natural heritage is a most precious resource and, thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Heritage Fund grants have helped to protect an amazing range of landscapes, habitats, and species of plants and animals. We are delighted to support Helping Hands for Butterflies, as it will stimulate people’s interest in the natural world and help conserve these important, yet declining species.”
Butterfly Conservation volunteers have been monitoring populations of butterflies for over 40 years and Helping Hands for Butterflies will recruit and train a new generation of volunteers in Scotland to support this work.