All the Moor Butterflies aims to save some of the south-wests most threatened butterfly and moth species. The project will work with landowners to help them conserve these target species, as well as engaging with communities to show them the wonder of their local wildlife.

All the Moor Butterflies will work across some of the regions most spectacular moorland landscapes. Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor host nationally important populations of some of our most threatened species. The project will focus on the following species:

These wonderful species depend on the specialised and rare habitats found on these nationally important moorland areas. The project will work to conserve three main types of habitat, which are of national conservation importance:

  1. Purple moor-grass and rush pasture. This species-rich, wet grassland (often called Rhôs pasture or Culm) contains a lush tussocky sward, that is home to many species of flowering plant. It often holds lots of Devil’s-bit scabious, which is the foodplant of the Marsh fritillary and Narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth. Marsh violet is also found in this damp grassland, which is a food plant for the Small pearl-bordered fritillary. Up to half of this vital habitat has been lost, with Dartmoor remaining one of its last remaining strongholds.
  2. Upland heathland. 10-15% of the world’s moorland is found in the UK, though much is degraded and has been lost. The heath on Exmoor hosts a nationally significant population of Heath fritillary.
  3. Bracken/grass mosaic. Many of these moorlands steep valley sides contain swathes of bracken, accompanied by violets growing through. These warm, sheltered conditions are ideal for the High brown, Pearl-bordered and Small pearl-bordered fritillaries that require the heat to develop and survive. 

Project Aims

The project is supported by a major grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as many other partners, and will run over 3 years, finishing at the end of 2019. The project has several aims:

  1. To conserve existing populations of the target species, by working with landowners to help them manage their land for these species.
  2. To restore suitable habitat patches within existing metapopulation networks, with the aim of increasing the number of occupied sites.
  3. To raise awareness of the target species, ensuring people become more connected to these rare and threatened species.
  4. To bring people and wildlife closer together, giving people the opportunity to explore these magnificent landscapes and discover new wildlife.
  5. To train local volunteers in how to monitor the target species, as well as carrying out practical conservation tasks to manage the habitat. 


Conservation in the South West Uplands: Challenges and Solutions - Tuesday 26th November 2019. Book by 30th September for an early bird price of £15 (includes lunch and refreshments).

We have an exciting programme of events and workshops coming up across Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor this winter. Please check back regularly for news of new events.

Latest News

9th April 2019

2018 was generally a good year for our target fritillary species. Highlights included a Heath Fritillary boom on Exmoor and the drier summer meant our volunteers managed to get to more marshes and discover even more Marsh Fritillary colonies on Bodmin Moor. You can read more about the results here.

We are now in our third and final year of the project so if you haven't joined in already now's your chance! We have a full programme of events and opportunities to get involved with so please come along to one of our free workshops or public events this summer. If you are interested in volunteering and helping survey beautiful places for these special species then we would love to hear from you. Please contact us on the details provided below. 

Find Out More

To find out how you can get involved with the project please contact one of the Project Officers:

Simon Phelps - Conservation Officer - / 07717 653968

Megan Lowe - Community Engagement Officer - / 07827 460767


National Lottery Heritage Fund, Dartmoor National Park Authority, Exmoor National Park Authority, Cornwall AONB, Natural England, The Burton Foundation Trust, The Doctor & Mrs Alfred Darlington, Butterfly Conservation Devon Branch, Environment Agency, Butterfly Conservation Somerset Branch, Dartmoor Preservation Association, Kate Ashbrook.