Protecting butterflies and moths is no mean feat, our conservation officers are often found scrabbling through ditches, braving Blackthorn and clearing scrub in all weathers. But the rare Marsh Carpet moth takes challenging conservation to a new level.
The adult moth is notoriously shy and hard to spot. Even finding the caterpillars requires specialist training and involves a tricky hunt through tall wet fens.
Donate today and you can provide the training needed to ensure the Marsh Carpet can be protected.
This striking moth is clinging to survival in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, and may already have been lost from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
In November 2019 we plan to hold a Marsh Carpet day, bringing together everyone who can help protect this rare moth. The day will provide them with vital information about the moth, expert training on how to monitor moth numbers and practical advice for creating and maintaining the best habitat based upon sites where management is already working.
We need to hold this day in November to be able to begin work next spring.
As its name suggests the Marsh Carpet lives in marshes and other wetland habitat, where its caterpillars feed on the seed heads of Common Meadow-rue. In order to locate the caterpillars, the plant needs to be identified in June when it is flowering, marked, and then returned to in July or early August once the seed head is visible and the caterpillars have emerged.
The caterpillars will only survive if the seed head of the Common Meadow-rue lives past September. But this beautiful wildflower is often mown, overgrown by reeds or eaten by grazing animals including deer, meaning the caterpillars do not survive.
We need your help to show land managers, volunteers and as many people as possible, how to protect the Marsh Carpet.
Your donation will
- Co-ordinate what management is being done and what is working best
- Give volunteers expert training and provide them with ongoing support
- Produce practical guides for attendees to take away with them
- Bring experts and volunteers together to ensure this work can continue long into the future.