Duke of Burgundy in the News
A nature conservation charity has bought land in Winchester to protect its wildlife habitat.
Deacon Hill, a 25-acre (10-hectare) site of scrub and chalk grassland, is home to the area's only stronghold of Duke of Burgundy butterflies.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust raised £130,000 from a public appeal to put towards the purchase.
The charity plans to restore the site, which is also home to a variety of birdlife, harvest mice and glow worms.
The charity launched a public appeal to raise the £130,000 needed to buy the land
Debbie Tann, from the charity, said "we are delighted" and thanked those who had finally made a "dream a reality".
The trust said it bought the land - for an undisclosed price - using money from the public appeal together with grants from Hampshire County Council and the South Downs National Park and a gift in the will of two local residents.
The wildlife trust competed the purchase on Friday.
Rare butterfly, the Duke of Burgundy, wins MP’s vote
Not specifically Isle of Wight related, but given our MP, Bob Seely’s interest in wildlife, perhaps he’ll become species champion for the Isle of Wight butterfly, the Glanville fritillary.
Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, has ‘adopted’ one of the UK’s most threatened butterflies in a bid to boost its numbers.
The Duke of Burgundy has declined by 40% since the 1970s, but wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC) has helped landowners across Hampshire to turn the county into a stronghold for the butterfly.
Ms Nokes has agreed to work with BC as a ‘Species Champion’ for the Duke of Burgundy.
Butterfly Conservation Officer, Rachel Jones, said:
“The Species Champion project is about MPs promoting species, habitats and positive management within their constituency and in Parliament.
“There are now 42 MP Species Champions across England and we’re really grateful that Ms Nokes has chosen to support BC and in particular, raise awareness of this declining butterfly.”
MP: “Thrilled to be working with BC”
The Hampshire MP recently joined BC staff on a visit to a Duke of Burgundy site near Stockbridge which is being looked after by woodland management company Tilhill Forestry.
“I’m thrilled to be working with BC to raise the profile of this rare butterfly and I’m hoping that by being a ‘Species Champion’ I can contribute to securing its future in Hampshire.
“We’re very lucky to be the national stronghold for this lovely butterfly and it was eye-opening to see how important it is for woodland managers like Tilhill Forestry to work together with others – not just on their land, but across an entire landscape – to conserve some of our rarest wildlife.”
Helping owner improve the woodland
Tilhill Forestry Senior Forest Manager, Stephen Taylor, said:
“We’ve been helping the owner of this particular woodland to maintain and improve conditions for the Duke of Burgundy and it was a pleasure to show Ms Nokes the work that has been carried out here.”
The Duke of Burgundy can be found across Hampshire throughout May and June with some of the best sites on the South Downs between Winchester and Petersfield.
The butterfly is fiercely territorial and despite measuring less than three centimetres across, will attack any flying insect that crosses its path.
The Duke’s upper wings are orange and brown, overlaid with a network of dark bars and stripes, while its underwing is a mix of burnt-orange and pale ochre with distinctive flashes of white.
Females are elusive and spend much of their time resting or flying low to the ground looking for suitable egg-laying sites. Eggs are laid on the caterpillar foodplants, either Cowslip or Primrose.
Monday, 21st August, 2017 12:03pm