Conserving the Painswick Valley’s Rare Butterflies Project -Biffa Award

Butterfly conservation in Gloucestershire to receive major grant
21 November 2012
A project to conserve the habitats of rare butterflies in Gloucestershire has received nearly £50,000 in funding from Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.Butterfly Conservation will use the money to restore limestone grassland in the Painswick Valley to support two rare species of butterfly, the Large Blue and Duke of Burgundy, and help to re-establish them within the county following successful experimental reintroductions in 2010.

The Large Blue has been the subject of the longest running and most successful insect conservation project elsewhere in the UK, while the Duke of Burgundy is in desperate need of help having seen an 82% decline in the Cotswolds over the past 30 years.

Works will include habitat condition assessments to determine where different approaches will be applied and it is predicted that the project will involve the propagation and planting of 8,000 wild thyme and primula plants.

Monitoring of butterfly and ant populations will be carried out throughout the project by specialists with the help of volunteers.

Dr Nigel Bourn, Director of Butterfly Conservation, said:

“This project is an exciting new phase in there-introduction of the Large Blue butterfly to the UK. We hope it will ensure this beautiful creature remains a wondrous sight of the British summer.”

Robert Wolstenholme, Natural England Gloucestershire Senior Reserves Manager, said:

“Natural England is very pleased to be a partner in this important project. The limestone grasslands are amongst the jewels in the Painswick Valleys crown. This project will help to return many of these sites to their former glory as prime sites for the Duke of Burgundy and Large Blue butterflies as well as a wealth of wildflowers.”

Cath Hare, Biffa Award Acting Programme Manager, said:

“Biffa Award is keen to support projects which support and enhance the biodiversity of the UK. It is vital that we conserve the natural habitats of these rare butterflies and we are delighted to be able to support the work being done by Butterfly Conservation in the Painswick Valley.”

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