A female Meadow Brown basking at Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, Warwickshire. © 2017 - 2019 Steven Cheshire.
In the right habitat, the Meadow Brown can be the most abundant butterfly on the wing. They are often seen in large numbers feeding on Bramble alongside other grassland species such as the Gatekeeper and Ringlet. Like the Ringlet, the Meadow Brown will also fly in dull weather, even when its spotting with rain, when most other butterfly species are inactive.
The Meadow Brown occurs in a wide variety of grassland habitats such as meadows, roadside verges, hedgerows, woodland rides and clearings. It will also occur in urban habitats such as parks, large gardens, and cemeteries where grassy areas are left to grow tall.
Meadow Browns like all other grassland butterfly species do not form breeding colonies on roadside verges or other grassy areas if they are regularly mown as this reduces the number of grass species, favours the stronger coarser grasses and removes vital nectar sources.
The larvae of the Meadow Brown feed on Bents (Agrostis spp.), Fescues (Festuca spp.) and Meadow-grasses (Poa spp.). Some coarser grasses are also used including False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata) and Downy Oat-grass (Helictotrichon pubescens).
The Meadow Brown can be found...######