Projects - Sutton Park Green Hairstreak Project
One of the actions in the Warwickshire Conservation update was to determine how many colonies of Green Hairstreak butterflies are present in Sutton Park (OS Grid Ref SP097971).
Sutton Park represents the most northerly site in Warwickshire (VC38) where the Green Hairstreak occurs. Sutton Park holds 2 colonies (as of 2010) which represents 17% of all known colonies within the whole of Warwickshire. It is also unique in Warwickshire because it uses a different larval food plant to all the other meta-populations in Warwickshire.
There are many questions which remain to be answered about the Green Hairstreak at Sutton Park, not least key questions about its habitat requirements. Without this knowledge it is impossible to implement habitat management techniques in order to ensure its survival here.
Volunteers Wanted for Green Hairstreak Butterfly Survey
In order to ascertain the abundance and extent of breeding colonies across Sutton Park, Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire is looking for volunteers who can regularly visit or live near to Sutton Park and who would be willing to conduct survey's in the identified areas of Cowberry and Bilberry for Green Hairstreak during its adult flight period (early May to end June/early July).
Full training will be given to anyone interested in helping. For more information or to register your interest in taking part, please contact:
Mike Slater (01788 335881), Keith Warmington (01827 715873) or Steve Cheshire (07870 598691).
Sutton Park Survey 2009 to present
In August 2009, Mike Slater conducted a GPS (Global Positioning Survey) of Sutton Park. Areas of Cowberry and Bilberry were mapped and assessed for breeding suitability in order to help Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire establish cohesive monitoring of potential Green Hairstreak breeding colonies within the park.
In August 2010, Mike Slater, Steven Cheshire, Keith Warmington and Terry Southgate conducted another wider GPS survey. Areas of Cowberry and Bilberry were again mapped as were areas of Cranberry and Crowberry.
Sutton Park Green Hairstreak Habitat Survey Report 2009
One of the actions in the Warwickshire Conservation update was to determine how many colonies of Green Hairstreak butterflies are present in Sutton Park and what foodplants the larvae utilize.
Sutton Park Habitat Survey Report (2009) .
What does it eat?
One of the most fundamental questions which remains unanswered is which larval food plant the Green Hairstreak utilise at Sutton Park?
Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is believed the primary larval food plant at Sutton Park although this is based on a single observation by John Roberts of a female egg-laying a few years ago. Most adult butterfly sightings are in the vicinity of Cowberry.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is presumed to be a secondary food plant but this is yet to be confirmed.
Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus) may also be a larval food plant. Cranberry is much scarcer in Sutton park. Its presence is often associated with patches of Bell Heather and sphagnum moss in wetter areas.
Crowberry (Empetrium nigrum) is particularly rare in Sutton Park.
Gorse (Ulex europaeus).
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus).
Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus sp).
Sutton Park Green Hairstreak Species Transect
A species transect for the Green Hairstreak in Sutton Park was conducted by Harvey Skelcher in 1998-9 and 2003-2006. Transect 1 is known as the Blackroot Heath Transect while transect 2 is known as the Bracebridge Transect.
UKBMS link to Sutton Park Transect 1 and Sutton Park Transect 2.
We also receive casual records from across Sutton Park of sightings of Green Hairstreak and other butterflies.
|UK BMS Week No||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||Total|
|Transect 1 - 2006||-||-||1||-||-||2||8||6||-||17|
|Transect 2 - 2006||-||9||12||-||18||7||21||13||-||80|
|Grand Total 2006||99|
|Transect 1 - 2005||-||-||2||2||1||8||2||-||-||11|
|Transect 2 - 2005||-||1||20||27||10||23||2||-||-||93|
|Grand Total 2005||109|
|Transect 1 - 2004||-||-||1||12||8||10||1||1||-||33|
|Transect 2 - 2004||-||-||-||25||7||17||5||-||-||54|
|Transect 3 - 2004||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||1|
|Grand Total 2004||92|
|Transect 1 - 2003||-||-||-||-||-||9||6||-||-||15|
|Transect 2 - 2003||-||-||-||1||2||14||7||4||-||28|
|Transect 3 - 2003||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||4||-||10|
|Grand Total 2003||53|
We do not have any transect data for 2000, 2001 and 2002.
|Transect 1 - 1999||-||-||-||-||11||9||-||-||-||20|
|Transect 2 - 1999||3||-||-||-||26||3||3||-||-||35|
|Grand Total 1999||55|
|Transect 1 - 1998||-||-||-||-||5||5||4||2||3||19|
|Transect 2 - 1998||-||-||-||-||2||3||-||-||-||5|
|Grand Total 1998||24|
|Overall total of transect sightings of Green Hairstreak since 1998||432|