White-letter Hairstreak Survey 2017
The White-letter hairstreak breeds where elms occur in sheltered hedgerows, mixed scrub, and the edges of woodland rides, and also on large isolated elms preferring the open woodland habitats associated with traditional woodland practices. The butterfly declined during the 1970s when its food plants were reduced by Dutch Elm Disease, but is recovering in a few areas. Its range has in recent decades expanded into the Durham and Gateshead area.
A Need for Survey
Butterflies used to thrive in the dynamic, varied habitats of traditionally managed woodland. As coppicing and other woodland practices have declined and woods have become shadier, or replaced by conifer woods, many species of butterfly have been lost from our woodland habitats. This has been just as true for moths and other invertebrates as it has been for butterflies.
With the recent development of woodland restoration projects, as part of the Land of Oak and Iron Landscape Partnership, Durham Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation are keen to gather information on the extent woodland butterfly species are present in the woodlands of the Derwent Valley. With the development of training and promotion of traditional woodland management techniques delivered by the partnership, a number of specialist woodland butterfly species stand to gain significantly. We wish to set a baseline on which to base future monitoring and to inform future woodland management for the conservation of butterfly and moth species.
June 3rd @ Swalwell Visitors Centre with a site visit along the Derwent Walk (10am Start, 3pm Finish)
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