Rare species thrives again, thanks to grant
THE future of a dainty white butterfly species living discretely in woodlands near Wellingborough has been assured – thanks to help from an earthworks company.
Works have been carried out at Hardwick and Sywell Wood to restore its flower-rich clearings, enabling a habitat supportive of rare species of butterflies, such as the Wood White.
Following a £20,000 investment from Mick George Ltd, developments took place, consisting of 1.5km of ‘ride’ clearance, reinstatement and seeding of ditches and improvements to main tracks. And all that has led to substantially increased sightings of the endangered species.
Since the project completion a year ago, the woods – managed by the Forestry Commission – have seen major transformation, with an abundance of beautiful flora and sightings of the Wood White butterfly increasing from just three to 42 viewings along both rides, as well as more than 100 at Sywell Wood last year.
Sharon Hearle, senior regional officer at Butterfly Conservation, said: “Northamptonshire is a national stronghold for the Wood White butterfly which has suffered significant decline. The Mick George grant enabled Butterfly Conservation to undertake woodland ride clearance to allow the Wood White butterfly to thrive in two woodlands.”
The Wood White is one of the UK’s fastest declining species and is now found on less than 50 sites across the UK, with the most recent data revealing a contraction in both the range and number, so this is a major breakthrough.
Jon Stump, finance director at Mick George, said: “Over the years, we have supported a number of conservation developments, working alongside some fantastic charities such as the RSPB and Woodland Trust, and it has been no different on this occasion with the Butterfly Conservation group.
“The results have been fantastic! It’s always nice when we can see the results, tangibly, from our investment and even more so when it is something that can be enjoyed by so many of the local community.”
Pictured above – DELICATE DELIGHT: Sightings of the Wood White butterfly have increased since the works, which were supported by a grant from Mick George Ltd.