Holt

Bumper year for rare butterflies in Norfolk

Just Regional
Sep 24, 2013 2 mins read

This summer has seen record numbers of butterflies throughout Britain, and Norfolk has enjoyed high numbers of one specialist butterfly species across several heathland sites around the north of the county.

At Kelling Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is managed by Norfolk County Council and the Kelling Heath Trustees, conservation bodies and local volunteers have been rewarded for more than 10 years’ work managing the habitat and recording the population of silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) butterflies, with record numbers of the species and evidence that they are colonising new areas.

Local naturalist John Wagstaff and heathland contractor Kevin Jones have been working together to create the perfect conditions for the butterflies. The rare silver-studded blue butterfly is a priority species for conservation in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The distribution of this species is restricted to lowland heathland, coastal habitats and chalk grassland, and is also dependant on the right food plants such as heather (ling), bell heather and birdsfoot trefoil being present to lay the eggs on.

This year the annual count of silver-studded blue butterflies on Kelling Heath by John Wagstaff, recorded 562 butterflies, compared to only 162 on the same day in July 2012.

Silver Studded Blue Butterfly

Silver Studded Blue Butterfly

 

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