Southam project to save Small Blue butterfly yields positive results

Small Blue butterfly. Picture by TJ Southgate.
Small Blue butterfly. Picture by TJ Southgate.

A conservation project in Southam has already resulted in a 667 per cent increase in a butterfly species that was in danger of declining.

The charity Butterfly Conservation is leading the work, which is funded by a grant of £74,406 from the Veolia Environmental Trust, awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Work carried out by contractors and volunteers has included creating shallow pools, scrapes and butterfly banks and planting plants that provide food or nectar for the Small Blue butterfly within the Southam Lias Grasslands.

Work will continue until March 2017, but a recent survey undertaken by Butterfly Conservation has shown that 195 adult Small Blues have been recorded at 15 colonies, compared to just 21 at three colonies in 2008. There has been a 667 per cent increase in sightings of the species over the past eight years.

The charity’s project fundraising officer Laura Popely said: “We are delighted that work has started to restore this habitat for the Small Blue butterfly and positive results are being seen. The conservation work will safeguard this charismatic little species in the landscape around Southam, making a significant national contribution to its conservation.”