Planting day is high flying success

By Nigel Slater Thursday 21 February 2013 Updated: 21/02 13:08

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Buy photos » Mike Williams from West Midlands Butterfly Conservation and Simon Primrose join volunteers Jenny Tonry and Pauline Jennings planting the bushes in Flyford Flavell. 0813006MMR

DOZENS of bushes were planted in a Vale village to help save one of the county's rarest butterflies.

It was a day of community spirit as members of the Butterfly Conservation, Wychavon District Council staff and residents in Flyford Flavell came together on Saturday (February 16) to plant 140 blackthorn bushes to help provide a new habitat for the rare Brown Hairstreak butterfly.

The bushes were planted on the edge of Bourne Close Green Space in the village where the Brown Hairstreak butterfly is found nearby.

The work follows a survey carried out by the Butterfly Conservation volunteers last year which found the site to have the most potential for the butterfly to live and lay eggs.

The butterfly is one of the UK's fastest declining butterflies and is only found in this small area of the Midlands. It mainly lives on farmland but 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 day-long event proved a great success.

"The planting day went brilliantly and we planted up around 140 blackthorn plants. We just got to wait now and hope that the Brown Hairstreak butterflies will find the blackthorn and lay their eggs this coming summer.

"From our point of view it was really successful and provided a good opportunity to talk to local people about the butterfly and why it was so important to preserve it in this part of Worcestershire."

For more information about the butterfly and the work of the West Midlands Butterfly Conservation visit www.westmidlandsbutterflyconservation.org.uk.

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Buy photos» The Brown Hairstreak Butterfly. (s)

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