Small Blue - Heath McDonald

An amazing 20 species of butterfly have now been found on the sides of one of the busiest roads in Dorset after wild flower seeds were planted on its flanks, Butterfly Conservation has revealed.

The Weymouth Relief Road, which links the seaside town with Dorchester, has even attracted rare species such as the Adonis Blue and Small Blue.

Weymouth and Portland hosted sailing events for the 20212 Olympics with the Relief Road opening in March 2011.

During road construction cuttings were left bare of topsoil and seeded with wild flowers. One of these flowers is Kidney Vetch and the banks above the road are now a riot of yellow in the summer months.

Butterfly Conservation’s Dorset Branch has been monitoring the area to determine if butterflies are being attracted to this new habitat.

The latest monitoring has revealed that 20 species have now been found including four species of blue butterfly: the Adonis Blue, the Small Blue, the Common Blue and the Brown Argus.

Lyn Pullen from Butterfly Conservation explained: “These blue butterflies tend to stay close to home, so providing a good habitat for them does not guarantee they will turn up.

“It is therefore very pleasing that the Small Blue has arrived, as it is only known locally on Portland and occasionally Maiden Castle.”

There are hopes that other butterflies including the rare Lulworth Skipper and the Dingy Skipper, may colonise the site in future.