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Butterfly Conservation fieldtrip

Butterfly Conservation

BC fieldtrip to Fineshade

Butterfly Conservation

Partners in "Building the Links for Rockingham Forest"

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Butterfly Conservation have been very active in Rockingham Forest since 2017, initially through the Back from the Brink programme and now through the "Chequered Skippers - Taking Flight" project.  Our work during Back from the Brink focused on several threatened butterfly and moth species, including the reintroduction of the Chequered Skipper into Rockingham Forest after it disappeared from England in 1976.  We have also worked on several species of threatened plants, birds, bats and reptiles, increasing our knowledge of their abundance and distribution within the forest and working with local landowners to carry out management work to improve habitats.  The Chequered Skippers – Taking Flight project is a critical second phase, allowing us to build on the work of the Back from the Brink project and extend habitat improvement so that we can sustain and expand on the initial breeding success of Chequered Skipper. Work also continues on additional threatened species including Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper and Adder.

  

Engaging with local communities is key in all our work, and we have been running training sessions to enable people to get involved in surveys; offering guided walks, art workshops and community events for people to learn about and appreciate the amazing wildlife on their doorstep; and running conservation work parties for those wanting to get actively involved in improving habitats.     

 

Our work is reliant on working closely with local landowners and other conservation organisations, as well as the support of our fantastic local volunteer branches of Butterfly Conservation who are very involved in survey work and carrying out vital habitat management work. 

Chequered Skipper female, Dave James

Female Chequered Skipper. Photo Dave James

As part of the Building the Links project, Butterfly Conservation is organising:

  • Training courses to teach identification of moths that fly in the daytime
     

  • Guided walks to introduce people to some of our day-flying moths and the plants they feed on

  • Volunteer work parties to improve the habitat for particular moth species
     

  • Support for volunteers to grow food plants for moths from seed and plant them in suitable areas

Liquorice Piercer moth Ben Sale, Butterfly Conservation.jpg

Liquorice Piercer moth. Photo Ben Sale

The Building the Links funding is allowing us to expand our work to introduce more people to the world of day flying moths and the rare Liquorice Piercer moth in particular.  Moths can often get overlooked, but a surprising number of moth species are active by day and are often as brightly coloured and beautifully patterned as butterflies.  We will be recruiting, training and supporting a team of volunteers to identify and help survey day-flying moths on local footpaths and byways.  And we will be getting local communities involved in helping improve habitat for the Liquorice Piercer moth.   

Read the blog article reporting on work done up to February 2024.

Contact details

Susannah O’Riordan
Chequered Skipper Project Manager, 

soriordan@butterfly-conservation.org

Jamie Wildman
Northamptonshire Landscape Officer, 

jwildman@butterfly-conservation.org

In 2023 Butterfly Conservation received funding for Threatened Species Recovery for Northamptonshire's Woodlands.  Dr. Jamie Wildman was  appointed to lead the project as Northants Landscape Officer. Jamie is a familiar figure in the area as he lives locally and recently researched the Chequered Skipper butterfly reintroduction to Rockingham Forest for his PhD.    ( Read Jamie's first blog   )

Work party in Bedford Purlieus

Work party in Bedford Purlieus. Photo Susannah O'Riordan

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