Sheepdrove rare butterfly project
Nearest town or settlement: Lambourn
Contact detailsContact name: Neil
Organisation: Sheepdrove Organic Farm
Website: Sheepdrove organic farm website
PartnersButterfly Conservation; Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT); Flora locale; Natural England ; Pang, Kennet & Lambourn Valleys Country Project; FWAG
The rare butterfly project builds upon the creation of flower-rich grassland on the farm carried out some time ago, and aims to increase the availability of food plants for Small Blue, Chalkhill Blue and Marsh Fritillary butterflies. The latter species is now confined to a single location in Berkshire, and its population there is isolated and very vulnerable.
Advice was sought from Flora locale and Charles Flower (www.charlesflower-wildflowers.co.uk) and the project funded through Environmental Stewardship via Natural England. The Biodiversity Officer at Sheepdrove arranged local collection and propagation of Devil's-bit Scabious. Horseshoe Vetch was sourced and grown by CFW.The Horseshoe Vetch and Devils-bit Scabious were planted out as large pot-grown plants as this approach has been show to result in a higher success rate.
The planting began in April 2009. Planting was carried out by volunteers. Kidney Vetch has also been introduced as seed, and advice sought on suitable grazing and other management to encourage this species on the created flower-rich grasslands.
Please contact Neil at Sheepdrove for an update on progress or to enlist as a volunteer with this and other projects at Sheepdrove.