The Landscape Group Featured in the Newsletter of the Gloucestershire Branch of Butterfly Conservation

ButterflyThe Gloucestershire Branch of Butterfly Conservation have included an article in their latest newsletter. The article is about the work done by Mike McCrae to make the habitat at Stratford Park more suitable for butterflies. See article below:

Mike McCrae, of The Landscape Group, (contracted by Stroud District Council) has been instrumental in helping to create better areas in and around Stroud, and specifically at Stratford Park. Each year he produces a report on butterfly activity in the Park and the information below has been extracted from this report.

Stratford Park comprises 56 acres, but only around 36 acres of this can be considered suitable for butterflies – much of this being in the woodland, rough grass and arboretum areas of the Park. However, flower beds are also planted with nectar rich flowers. Eight years ago the Park was on the brink of losing many of its resident butterflies but now thanks to a biodiversity management plan and a more sympathetic approach the tide has turned. There are now butterfly and moth events in the Park and school children can enjoy the butterflies and moths there.

Twenty six species of butterflies have been found in the Park – 23 of these are considered resident and three are migrants. (You can normally expect to see about 18 species regularly in gardens.) The three migrants are Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady and Red Admiral. Two skippers can be seen: Small and Large Skipper. In the white family there are Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White and Orange Tip. Interestingly there are several Hairstreaks Green, Purple and White-letter. Also Small Copper, Brown Argus, Common Blue and Holly Blue. Of the larger Nymphalids the Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma are regularly seen. Probably one of the most common is the Speckled Wood but also Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath are on the wing in the Park. Sometimes odd individuals pass through the Park and a Dark Green Fritillary was seen in 2013. Once upon a time, prior to 1982, a small colony of Pearl-bordered Fritillary survived in the woodland.

Our thanks go to the Landscape Group, Stroud District Council and the Stroud Valleys Project who have all worked together to improve the Park for butterflies and moths. Long may it continue. Why not go and have a look sometime?