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02 April 2022

Butterfly Conservation in Wormwood Scrubs

In December 2021, the Friends of Wormwood Scrubs organised an event with Butterfly Conservation to search for butterfly eggs on the young blackthorn adjacent to the wildlife hedge. To their excitement, they discovered a brown hairstreak egg – the first formal record of this elusive species on the site!

The brown hairstreak was once widespread across Wales and England but has gone through severe declines due to the loss of hedgerow and woodland habitats. Because of its dependence on hedgerows, this butterfly is particularly sensitive to hedge removal and cutting frequency.

butterfly egg

The discovery of this rare butterfly egg has inspired a partnership between Butterfly Conservation and idverde to help fulfil the aims of the Big Cities Butterfly Project. Butterfly Conversation is a British charity devoted to saving butterflies, moths and their habitats throughout the UK and has over 30 Nature Reserves all over the United Kingdom.

We plan to host a butterfly identification workshop and walk with the aim of establishing regular butterfly recordings on site. These records will be used to inform management practices with the aim of increasing the diversity of butterfly species in Wormwood Scrubs.

Management aimed at increasing butterfly diversity will also provide benefits for birds and other pollinator species. Working with Butterfly Conservation will help to implement long-lasting benefits for the wildlife that relies on Wormwood Scrubs.