Silver-studded blues return!
Some very welcome butterfly news from a DWT nature reserve.
Silver-studded blue butterflies have been recorded for the first time at Bovey Heathfield, a heathland nature reserve near Bovey Tracey.
When DWT took on management of this site sixteen years ago, fly-tipping and off-road motorbikes had turned it into a wasteland. But with hard work from staff and volunteers a flourishing heathland was restored using heather seed collected from nearby sites.
Silver-studded blue butterflies were one of the species we hoped to see thriving on the site. But until this year they had never been recorded.
The nature reserve is the largest remaining fragment of heathland in the area - the industrial estate and housing estate at Heathfield would have been heathland a few decades ago. But other tiny pockets of heathland also still exist in the area - if a population of silver-studded blues was hanging on in one of these small areas then it's fantastic news that they are back on a 24 hectare nature reserve where they will have space to thrive.
The return of the silver-studded blue proves how important it is to manage habitats like heathland so they are in the best possible condition for species who are 'habitat specialists', whether they are present on the reserve now or their return is hoped for.
This kind of nature reserves management is exactly what DWT can do with funds raised from the Devon's Beautiful Butterflies Crowdfunder. Thanks to everyone who has supported this campaign so far - 19 days to go!
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