The Forest is the last remaining foothold in Gloucestershire for the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly, a species which has undergone large national declines. Changes in habitat, notably an increase in tree cover, scrub and bracken growth and a reduction in sheep grazing, has drastically reduced the area of suitable breeding habitat.
With this project we hope to create or restore a network of open spaces throughout the Forest for this butterfly to flourish again and potentially reintroduce them into areas of where local extinction has occurred.
In the Forest the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary has been closely associated with two main types of habitat – woodland glades and clearings, and grassland with bracken and/or patches of scrub. Of great importance is the presence of Common Dog violet and Marsh violet – the caterpillar food plants. Substantial areas of tree removal, scrub and bracken clearance, earthworks, and planting are needed to successfully maintain and enhance habitats.
The aims of the project are:
We need volunteers to get involved in undertaking butterfly surveys and habitat improvement works.
Click here to go to the Butterfly Conservation site.
You might be surprised what you find!
From creating habitats for our wildlife or improving our waterways, to recording oral histories or finding old photos, there’s always something going on to get involved in!