In 2019 the first English born Chequered Skipper butterfly emerged in Rockingham Forest for 43 years. It was the triumphant result of four years of work and proof that we can successfully reintroduce species after they have become extinct.
This year we saw the third year of successful breeding within the Forest, but sadly funding for this critical project is ending.
It is vital that our work continues so this great progress is not lost. Although the early signs are promising, there is much more work to be done – if we don’t act now and leave a small population on a single site, we are at risk of losing this species once more. A single population is always vulnerable to accidental or unpredictable impacts, such as extreme weather or restrictions on habitat management.
Please donate today to help us deliver a new phase of work to ensure the Chequered Skipper can thrive once more in England’s woodlands.
Although a reintroduction programme is very exciting, it is not a quick fix - many invertebrate reintroduction programmes fail a few years down the line because habitat management has not been sustainable.
The next 10 years will be the most critical for the Chequered Skipper in England and your support will make a big difference to this species survival.
Your support will enable us to:
Deliver the crucial second phase of restoration, focused on creating more extensive habitat and improving the connectivity of woodlands so this beautiful butterfly can expand and move into new areas.
Help the rare Dingy and Grizzled Skipper butterflies that also reside in the same landscape.
Undertake a further visit to Belgium in 2022 to collect more Chequered Skipper butterflies to release. This will enable us to build genetic diversity within the populations to develop their resilience.
The secret location of the Chequered Skipper
As well as protecting these precious species, we also want to help the public to visit and enjoy this wonderful conservation success story.
The exact location of the new Chequered Skipper population has so far remained secret, to reduce any risk of disturbance during the early stages of the reintroduction programme.
As part of the next phase of this work we aim to work with our local partners to improve public access and provide an exciting opportunity for people to connect with nature in a safe and sustainable manner.
With the only surviving UK colonies of the butterfly near Fort William in Northwest Scotland, we anticipate this landscape becoming a regular highlight for wildlife enthusiasts, in the same way that the Large Blue butterfly currently is in the southwest.
Please donate to help secure the future of the Chequered Skipper and help more people to celebrate this wonderful conservation success story.
If you would prefer not to donate online you can:
Phone us on 01929 406015.
Send a cheque made out to Butterfly Conservation to Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, BH20 5QP.
Donate by text message: Text SKIPPER to 70085 to donate £5. (Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text SKIPPERNOINFO to 70085.).