Butterfly numbers bloom in Crow country

14:23 16 April 2014

Chalkhill Blues are a rare species of butterfly in the UK but have a stronghold inTherfield Heath

Chalkhill Blues are a rare species of butterfly in the UK but have a stronghold inTherfield Heath

Archant

A rare butterfly’s numbers have soared at a nature reserve within the space of a year.

Therfield Heath saw a huge increase in the Large White, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies last yearTherfield Heath saw a huge increase in the Large White, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies last year

Members of the Butterfly Conservation group recorded 6,642 sighting of the rare Chalkhill Blue butterfly at Therfield Heath in 2013, a rise of more than 50%.

Latest records for other more common butterflies also saw large increases including the Large White, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell.

In 2012 numbers counted at the site were six, five and four for each of the three species, which rose to 80, 15 and 81 respectively in 2013.

Andrew Wood, chairman of Butterfly Conservation for the Hertfordshire and Middlesex branch, said there that Chalkhill Blue butterflies build up tight colonies and are abundant in a small area, unlike other species who spread out more sparsely.

He added: “Hertfordshire’s butterflies fared well in 2013, despite the long cold spring, a particular winner was the rare Chalkhill Blue, whose local stronghold is Therfield Heath.

“Numbers were up by more than 50% on 2012 and almost 900% compared to 2005-2009. There were so many, that almost uniquely, they were found at over a dozen sites far away from their normal chalkland habitats and caterpillar food plants.

“Familiar garden butterflies such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock were much more abundant than in the last few years when fears had been raised for their long term future.”

For more informationabout the conservation group visit www.butterfly-conservation.org

More news stories

12:47
Addenbrooke's Hospital

An investigation has been launched into the finances of the NHS trust responsible for Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Julia Brooks

The new chairman of Royston and District Chamber of Commerce says her number one priority is to unite the town’s businesses.

11:22
Members of the club are snap happy. PICTURE: David Hatton.

It was a fitting end to yet another successful year for Royston Photographic Society when the group set off on a field trip to Essex to take photos of a brilliant display of rare orchids growing at an Essex Wildlife Trust reserve near Thaxted.

14:45
Standon Calling, which has a Tale of Two Faces theme, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Stevenage band Waste kicked off Standon Calling this afternoon, as the three-day festival marks its 10th anniversary.

”North

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition today E-edition