Since the Weymouth Relief Road opened in 2011, 30 species of butterfly have been recorded by volunteers from Butterfly Conservation on the low-fertility chalk grassland slopes created next to the road. That’s over half of the species known to live in Britain, and includes Small Blue, Adonis Blue and Chalkhill Blue.
There is now a UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme transect on the Weymouth Relief Road, and over the coming years and decades we will be able to document accurately how each butterfly species is faring as the slopes develop into chalk and limestone grasslands.
Small Blue's can be found laying eggs on the flowers of Kidney vetch. This species arrived within 18 months of sowing Kidney Vetch seed. The nearest population is 4 miles away, showing that even this tiny butterfly can travel across inhospitable countryside to find a home.