The Devon Wildlife Trust has been awarded £9,000 to help fund conservation work at a number of its lowland heathland nature reserves.
The money from the Pennon Environment Fund, which distributes funds to environmental projects that Pennon subsidiary company Viridor would otherwise pay in landfill tax.
The financial help will go towards two projects, one looking to enhance habitat at Bystock nature reserve near Exmouth to boost the population of silver studded blue butterflies, and the other concentrating on wider restoration work and scrub clearance at five of DWT’s other lowland heaths at Bovey Heathfield, Chudleigh Knighton, Hawkswood, Ashculm Turbary and Lickham Common.
The work at the reserve in Exmouth follows last year’s news that the silver studded blues had been seen for the first time in 20 years at Bystock, a significant milestone for the trust which, with the help of local volunteers, have been managing the site to try and make conditions right for the butterfly. Silver studded blues rely on the help from ants which tend the butterfly’s larva and the ants need open scrapes of bare ground to build their nests. It is this habitat that the project is looking to create.
The funding will also benefit the trust with some of the money helping to replace two chainsaws and purchase a new trailer to help with the day-to-day conservation on the sites.
(from a press release)