Butterfly conservation project for Midlands

A new three-year conservation project aims to reverse the decline of butterflies and moths in the West Midlands.

The small pearl-bordered fritillary is one of the butterfly and moth species helped
The small pearl-bordered fritillary is one of the butterfly and moth species helped

The charity Butterfly Conservation is teaming up with Severn Trent.

Butterfly Mosaics will form part of the water company’s Great Big Nature Boost – a scheme that aims to look after water by looking after nature too.

The partnership will focus on developing the habitats of eight target butterfly species in areas across the region, working with local authorities, land owners and other organisations to ensure there are butterfly-friendly plants and habitat in place.

The project will work across more than 60 sites across the region and include butterfly banks, scrub and tree removal as well as the planting of larval food plants.

Rhona Goddard, regional conservation manager for the West Midlands at Butterfly Conservation, said: “We’re incredibly excited to announce this partnership with Severn Trent and are eager to get started with helping to reverse the declines of so many important butterfly species in this area.

"As well as being fantastic creatures in their own right, butterflies are also powerful indicators of the health of our environment. So, by investing in this conservation work, we will be benefitting wider local biodiversity too.

Species

“Thank you to Severn Trent and to our incredible force of conservation volunteers across the region who are enthusiastic to get started. We will especially look forward to measuring how populations start to flourish in spring next year, once the works are well underway.”

Butterfly Mosaics will protect and enhance populations of rare butterfly species across the West Midlands area namely the Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Wood White, Grayling, Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, Small Blue, Brown Hairstreak and Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary. Other butterfly species also likely to benefit from management works include Silver-studded Blue, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath and White-letter Hairstreak.

High priority moth species will benefit from the project too, including Drab Looper, Welsh Clearwing and Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth.

Zara Frankton, senior biodiversity co-ordinator at Severn Trent, said: “This is an exciting conservation project which we’re proud to support through our Great Big Nature Boost scheme.

“Our partnership with Butterfly Conservation is a really important one because we share the same ambitions to look after nature, which means looking after water too."

She added: This project is the perfect example of how we’re trying to lead the way in green recovery and help the Midlands to build back better, as we continue to re-emerge from the pandemic.”

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