The Devon Wildlife Trust has this month completed work on a three year £44,100 project to help protect one of Britain’s rarest butterflies. The money has been spent on habitat management work at the charity’s popular Dunsford nature reserve to boost numbers of the high brown fritillary.
The site is the only colony of the species remaining in the Teign Valley and one of only 50 sites in the country to support this rare insect. It has seen the greatest decline of any of the British butterfly species over the past few decades.
The work at Dunsford has been focussed on targeted management of bracken to increase the numbers of violets, the food plant of the butterfly’s larva. A concerted effort has also been made to control scrub and open up the reserve’s woodland glades.
Devon Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves officer, Andrew Bakere said: “This is such an important species of butterfly that it is vital that we do all we can to protect and enhance its habitats here in Devon. We hope over the years to come there will be a significant increase in numbers of the butterfly following this work.”
The money was awarded by Biffa through its Biffaward fund. Biffaward is a multi-million pound fund which awards grants to community and environmental projects across the UK. The fund’s money comes from landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.
(image: Devon Wildlife Trust Managment work at Dunsford Nature Reserve)