Marbled White

Marbled White

High summer is a great time for butterflies in the Park, both in the forest and on Butser Hill they can be found in large numbers. So long as the weather is good they will be on the wing. However on a national scale all is not well.

Peacock

Peacock

 75% of our butterflies are in decline, victims of land use change associated with agriculture and forestry. In addition urban development takes its toll as the population grows. At a local level suitable habitat declines in quality and becomes fragmented, isolating butterfly colonies.

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

QECP has nationally significant populations of rarities such as the Duke of Burgundy and the Silver Spotted Skipper. Numbers are carefully monitored by Park staff as part of a wider monitoring effort coordinated by Butterfly Conservation. This charity, based in Lulworth, Dorset, and with an area office at the country park, is dedicated to saving all butterflies and moths. More information on their web-site www.butterfly-conservation.org

Small White

Small White

 At the end of the year when all the butterflies have gone the Park starts an extensive programme of scrub control on Butser Hill aimed at maintaining the delicate balance required by key species such as the Duke of Burgundy. In addition about 1km of fencing will be replaced to ensure that the cattle and sheep can play their part in this process.

Burnet Moth
Burnet Moth

So if you have enjoyed this summer spectacle then do look out for the ‘conservation work weekends’ in the next events programme to help do your bit for the future.

 

 

 

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