Planting will help save rare butterfly

Thursday 07 February 2013 Updated: 07/02 13:13

DOZENS of bushes will be planted next weekend to help save one of the county's rarest butterflies.

Members of Butterfly Conservation, Wychavon District Council staff and residents are combining forces on Saturday, February 16, to plant 140 blackthorn bushes in Flyford Flavell.

The site on the edge of Bourne Close Green Space will provide a new habitat for the rare Brown Hairstreak butterfly which is found nearby.

The Brown Hairstreak is one of the UK’s fastest declining butterflies and is only found in this small area of the Midlands.

It is a butterfly which mainly lives on farmland and has been seriously affected by annual flailing of local hedgerows which destroys most of the butterfly’s eggs.

Mike Williams, Brown Hairstreak species champion for West Midlands Butterfly Conservation, said: "The work follows a survey of all of Wychavon’s green space undertaken by Butterfly Conservation volunteers last year and the site at Bourne Close was identified as having the most potential for the butterfly.

"It is close to Grafton Wood, a nature reserve managed by Butterfly Conservation and the Wildlife Trust which supports a healthy breeding population"

The planting session, which has been organised by the Butterfly Conservation's West Midlands branch with blackthorn plants supplied by Wychavon District Council, gets underway at 10am.

Alex Morris, parks monitoring assistant at Wychavon District Council, added: "We are delighted to be able to support this community project and hope that local residents will get involved.

"Most of Worcestershire’s Brown Hairstreaks are found in the Wychavon district and it is one of our most important and attractive butterflies. We want to do our bit to help protect it."

Plenty of tools and gloves will be available on the day but any extra spades would be useful. Refreshments will also be provided.

For more information call Mike Williams on 07802 274552 or e-mail mike@stagborough.fsnet.co.uk.

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