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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Conservation Updates

The following Conservation initiatives have been instigated by the Warwickshire branch Butterfly Conservation Team

12 June 2013

by Mike Slater

  1. Wider Countryside - 3 new survey areas established.
  2. 3x HLS Survey’s Woodbine Farm Grandborough - Report produced regarding creating habitat on disused rail line for Grizzled and Dingy Skippers. HLS survey Oversley Hill farm to inspect works for Brown Hairstreak. HLS survey Cow Common Farm re Dark Green Fritillary and White-letter Hairstreak.
  3. Wild Strawberry - Plant 500 Wild Strawberry plants to assist Grizzled Skipper at Ryton Wood.
  4. Dog Violet - Plant a further 500 Dog Violet to assist fritillaries at Ryton Wood.
  5. Probation Service assist key species - Arrange work at Ryton Wood Meadows, Southam Bypass North and Harbury Spoil bank South with Probation service to assist key spring species.
  6. Nelson's Wharf - Meeting with new owner of Nelson’s Wharf (Stockton Works) to produce habitat plan to assist Small Blue, Grizzled Skipper Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak.
  7. Work Parties - 3x work parties at Harbury Spoilbank to deal with scrub re-growth and treat stumps. 1x work party at Ufton Fields to treat stumps. All to help Small Blue, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skippers.
  8. Bioblitz at Sutton Park - Survey Bilberry etc. patches for Green Hairstreak.
  9. Guided Walks - Bishops Hill, Harbury Spoilbank and Oversley Wood. Branch open day at Ryton Wood Meadows.
  10. 6x Work Parties - Ryton Wood Meadows to assist various species.
  11. Biological Offsetting - Attend multi-agency biological offsetting meeting.
  12. Newton Cutting - Meeting to discuss habitat creation for Dingy and Grizzled Skipper.
  13. Talks - Talk given to Baggington Garden Group.

10 May 2013

by David Brown

  1. A male Emperor Moth by Steven Cheshire.Emperors Reign - Over the last couple of weeks, David Brown has been conducting a survey of Emperor Moth in our region by using a captive bred female as a lure to attract wild males.

    On the 29 April as part of David's 'Winged Splendour' course, a visit to Oversley Wood resulted in a captive female attracting two wild males, an exciting record as the moth has not been recorded at Oversley for 53 years!

    A female Emperor Moth by Steven Cheshire.With perfect weather conditions and four obliging (calling) captive reared females, David visited several sites in Warwickshire where the habiat held some potential for the species to be present. Burton Dassett Hills drew a blank but the woodland ridge above Warmington village revealed a single male attracted by the pheromones emitted by the calling females. David then moved to the other end of this escarpment with his ladies to Edge Hill where he knew of an open sector of woodland containing Bramble by the roadside. Bingo !!!!....a male arrived after only 5 minutes suggesting that the Emperor reigns all along this ridge.

    On the 3rd May, the females failed to bring in any male Emperors on the Lias grasslands at Bishops Hill, Harbury Spoilbank/adjacent railway cutting and Ufton Fields. However, on my return home to Charlecote at 2pm I left the cage of females hanging in my garden. At 4.30pm a male arrived to the cage. This is the first David has recorded here since 14th May 1974 when a male was also assembled to a female.

    As David suggested in his book"The Larger Moths of Warwickshire" ...Emperor may survive at low density over a wider area of the County...

    Background History
    The last Oversley Wood record of this species back in 1960 was by D.W. Scott who found 4 larvae on Blackthorn. It is quite feasible that this species could have remained in Oversley Wood or around the edges of the woodland all these years undetected.

    A captive bred female Emperor Moth by Terry Southgate.During the 1960's there was evidence that this moth existed in suitable habitat away from large tracts of heathland in Warwickshire. R. Evans found larvae on bramble at Claverdon railway cutting.

    In the 1970's " ample sized" males were assembled to caged females at Hampton Wood and to a Charlecote garden.

    Find out more about the Emperor Moth
    View Photographs of the Emperor Moth

30 April 2013

by Phil Parr

  1. Healthy Living WalkHealthy Living Walk - 5th & 6th May in conjunction with Rugby Group of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Wildflower plug planting and seeding of the ‘Healthy Living Walk’ newly created through woodland and meadow areas on Ashlawn Cutting near Hillmorton Road. Orange-tip, Common Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Burnet Moths etc. should benefit. Visit for more details.

29 April 2013

by Mike Slater

  1. Ryton Wood - The final woodland management task has been completed. In total 24 coppice projects were completed. All 17 coppice cycles had at least 1 project completed.
  2. Sherboune Farm - To support the farm's Higher Level Stewardship, volunteers helped to plant a native shrub understorey in a plantation woodland. A butterfly scallop cut into the side of a plantation has provided an opportunity to plant native wild flowers to encourage woodland and grassland species.
  3. Ryton Wood Meadows - 450 blackthorn, 100 hawthorn and 75 alder buckthorn whips were planted to create new hedges to support Brown Hairstreak and Brimstone butterflies. 3000 dog violets were planted to create extra habitat for the Silver-washed Fritillary.
  4. Stockton Cutting - Following extensive clearance at Stockton Cutting the area has been seeded with birds-foot trefoil and kidney vetch to help the Small Blue, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak and Common Blue butterflies.
  5. Oxhouse Farm - Meeting were held to discuss scrub removal from calcareous grassland and a disused rail line to help the Dark Green Fritillary, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper.
  6. Wood White - 4.5 kilo’s of meadow vetchling seeds were distributed in key locations in the Princethorpe Woodland area to help the survival this at risk species. Only a single wood white was recorded in the whole of Warwickshire in 2012.
  7. Hunters Lane Wildlife site, RugbyHunters Lane Wildlife site, Rugby - Liaison has begun with SUSTRANS following the creation of a new cycle route on the route of a disused railway line. Bare areas have been seeded with birds-foot trefoil to create suitable conditions for colonisation by the Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak. Abundant creeping cinqufoil is already present a work party is planned to ensure this cinqufoil presents suitable egg laying opportunities for the Grizzled Skipper.
  8. Forestry Commission - Meeting with the friends of group has taken place. A plan is developing to create far more habitat for the the rare Argent and Sable moth and White Admiral butterfly. A new butterfly transect has been established on the this site. As part of this project a new transect has also been stabled at Weston and Waverley Wood.
  9. Talks - A talk has been given on the conservation of butterflies to the Rugby High School for Girls.
  10. Partnership meeting – One was held with the Princethorpe Woodlands working group.
  11. County Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) - Comments were made on the County LBAP plans for the Argent and Sable and Chalk Carpet moths.
  12. Stamford Hall - Following advice on their Higher Level Stewardship violets were planted at Stamford Hall.
  13. Malpass Quarry - Further advice was given on the mitigation plans for the climafuel plant.
  14. Draycote Water - Butterfly Conservation displays were at Draycote Water for there open day. Discussions were held on the ongoing management for the habitat created for Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper.
  15. Woodbine Farm - Advice was given regarding possible habitat creation for the Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper. Discussions were also held on how the farmers rare breed livestock could be used for conservation grazing to benefit butterflies and moths.

Working in Partnership

This work has been made possible thanks to major funding from a variety of organisations, charities and individuals including but not limited to:

SITA TrustCemexBiffaward

SustransTubney Charitable TrustBritish Trust for Ornithology

Centre for Ecology & HydrologyLA FARGECarillion

Countdown 2010Network RailBarclays

Stratford-on-Avon District CouncilBishops Itchington Parish Council

Forestry Commission England
Natural EnglandWarwickshire Wildlife Trust

Butterfly ConservationBritish WaterwaysHSBC
Marks and Spencers
WaitroseThe UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
Butterfly Conservation Europe