Here are details of some of the projects completed in the last few years that have taken place in across Scotland. In most cases the work is being continued through new projects or through our Branches.
SPECIES ACTION PROJECT 2008-12
This major project took practical action for four of Scotland's most threatened species, identified by the Scottish Natural Heritage 'Species Action Framework' and the Forestry Commission's Scottish Forestry Strategy.
With the enthusiastic help of landowners, we initiated urgent habitat management at many sites for the Marsh Fritillary, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Slender Scotch Burnet moth and Chequered Skipper.
The Marsh Fritillary undergoes dramatic population fluctuations and, when it is expanding, it needs large areas of suitable habitat in order to establish new colonies. Following our advice over 100 sites with good or potential Marsh Fritillary habitat are now being managed under the 'Rural Priorities' agri-environment scheme. This means that there are now over 3000 hectares of land being managed for the butterfly. If dispersing butterflies find the sites that are currently unoccupied, there is a good chance of a successful colonisation.
The project was also able to take advantage of new grant scheme that allows grazing in woodlands for conservation purposes. This will benefit the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Chequered Skipper which are butterflies of open woodland.
Scrub clearance at several sites has opened up habitats for the Pearl-bordered Fritillary in Dumfries & Galloway, and the Marsh Fritillary on the island of Ulva.
The Slender Scotch Burnet moth occurs on only a few steep slopes near the sea on Mull and Ulva (and nowhere else in the UK). Several of these sites were threatened by encroachment of a non-native cotoneaster, scrub and bracken. Contractors and volunteers helped control the scrub, and virtually all the sites are now managed under 'Rural Priorities' to ensure grazing levels are beneficial.
This project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and Butterfly Conservation, and was also supported by Scottish Agricultural College, the Agrimony consultancy and many landowners and managers.
BIODIVERSITY IN GLASGOW (BIG) 2007-9
Urban green spaces often have a bad image, and are poorly managed and under-valued. Yet some are not only very attractive places to enjoy, but are important for wildlife.
Butterfly Conservation and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) ran the BIG project to encourage local people to record the birds and butterflies in Glasgow’s green spaces by providing training, identification guides and support.
There was a tremendous response from the public, and over 100 sites were surveyed for birds, butterflies and their habitats.
The data was collected and analysed in conjunction with other data sets to discover the most important sites in Glasgow, and look at how other sites could be improved.
The aim of the project was to improve future management of green spaces within Glasgow and other cities in Scotland, as well as encouraging more people to get involved in recording wildlife. The final report is available from the BTO website here
BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS MEAN BUSINESS 2004-8
This innovative project aimed to:
- Raise the profile of butterflies and moths
- Encourage recording, and
- Help locals and visitors enjoy their visits to butterfly and moth sites, bringing economic benefits to the rural Stirling area and the Cairngorms.
A programme of free workshops was held each year to train the public to carry out surveys. Several hundred people have now been on workshops and have gone on to become active recorders.
Other workshops were introductory sessions on butterflies or moths for those involved in the tourism business, such as tourist information staff and rangers.The workshops were informal and fun, consisting of an indoor session, followed by a field trip to practice new skills. They also gave participants a chance to meet like-minded people and countryside staff. Workshops focussed on species such as the Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, Mountain Ringlet, Argent & Sable, Northern Brown Argus and Kentish Glory.
Other activities included:
- Developing butterfly trail walks with partners
- Producing free literature and identification guides
Funding was through the EU (via LEADER+ programmes in rural Stirling and the Cairngorms), Scottish Natural Heritage, Cairngorms National Park, Cairngorms Biodiversity Partnership, and Stirling Council's Biodiversity Action Grants Scheme.
ARGYLL ISLANDS SPECIES RECOVERY PROGRAMME 2005-7
Many of the islands in this area have strongholds for key species, including the Marsh Fritillary and Slender Scotch Burnet The latter is only found on a few sites on Mull and Ulva.
This three year project worked closely with communities, farmers/crofters, foresters, landowners and conservation The project focussed on giving advice at sites for key species and hosting workshops to encourage local people to survey and monitor on the islands. bodies to secure sympathetic land management to conserve these important and beautiful insects.
Popular and successful workshops were held on Lismore and Mull where people are now involved in annual monitoring of the two key species.
In addition several new colonies were found on the islands, most excitingly for Slender Scotch Burnet, but also Marsh Fritillary, Argent & Sable and Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth. Funding was by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund through Nadair 2.
BUTTERFLIES AND PEOPLE IN THE HIGHLANDS 2006-8
The Highlands have the lowest human population in the the UK, but has some very important species.
As a result, endangered species including the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Chequered Skipper, Argent & Sable, Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth, Square-spotted Clay and Barred Tooth-striped are little recorded in the region.
Through this project we aimed to raise awareness by hosting butterfly and moth training workshops for local people throughout the region.
Each workshop focussed on the identification and requirements of local species and how to record them, and include an outdoor element.
Demonstration events were also held for land owners and their advisers.
The project has resulted in a remarkable increase in awareness and recording of Highland’s butterflies and moths.
Scottish Natural Heritage has funded Butterfly Conservation Scotland to help conserve Scotland's butterflies and moths since 2002.
- Habitat management advice given to over several hundred landowners and managers
- Dozens of workshops for volunteers, landowners and countryside staff, attended by over 1000 people
- Over 500 active volunteers recruited and supported
- Three nature reserves, two on Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) land, one owned by Stirling Council
- 8 ‘Learn about’ habitat management advice leaflets
- 9 Regional identification guides
- Volunteer’s Handbook reprinted twice
- Co-ordinated several national surveys for Priority UKBAP species
- Recorders’ Gatherings held for volunteers each spring
- Members' Days held each autumn
- Annual colour newsletter for members, volunteers and others
- Membership increasing by 15% a year
- Several postcard surveys for the general public
- Butterflies and moths included as Scottish Biodiversity indicators
- Our lobbying has helped improve agri-environment and forestry grant schemes
- Collaborated in projects with SNH, FCS, RSPB, several local BAP partnerships, BTO
- Supported UK-wide butterfly and moth monitoring schemes
Email our Stirling office for more information on these projects.