Grant of £15,000 secured to help protect butterfly habitat in Vale of Belvoir

Grizzled skipper butterfly. Photo: Nigel Kiteley,Butterfly Conservation
Grizzled skipper butterfly. Photo: Nigel Kiteley,Butterfly Conservation
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A butterfly conservation group has received a grant of £15,288 to help secure the preservation of the grizzled skipper in the Vale of Belvoir.

Butterfly Conservation’s East Midlands Branch will undertake a project to restore and enhance habitat for the Grizzled Skipper focussing along a 10km stretch of disused railway line in the vale. Volunteers will help with scrub clearance, tree removal and reduction and the creation of 15 open clearings, in the hope this will encourage the butterfly to breed. The project will also provide important links between two of the four currently separate populations of Grizzled Skipper in Leicestershire.

This declining species is easily identified from its upper wings, which are a checker-board of black and white, outlined along the edges with black and white bars.

Butterfly Conservation’s local branch organiser, Bill Bacon, said: “The East Midlands Branch has been working hard to stem the decline in numbers of this charismatic and locally rare butterfly, which is at the most northerly part of its national range around the Vale of Belvoir.

“The money will enable us to undertake habitat improvement in Leicestershire that will lead to an increase in numbers - not only of the Grizzled Skipper - but of other butterflies, including the Brown Argus and Small 
Copper.”

Jools Granville of SITA Trust added: “We are delighted to have been able to support this project through the Landfill Communities Fund and are happy to be contributing to the safeguarding of this important and rare species.”

SITA Trust provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund. This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.3 billion.