Looking after Croome’s butterflies

Orange Tip Butterfly

A walk through the meadows will reward you with sightings of butterflies such as Brimstone, Skipper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Orange Tip, Marbled White and Gatekeeper to name just a few.

Croome’s parkland is home to a wide variety of plants and flowers which provide an invaluable habitat for many species of butterflies.

Common Blue Butterfly
 Common Blue Butterfly
Common Blue Butterfly

At Croome, we manage over 700 acres of parkland and in early 2000s we reverted over 400 acres of arable land back to pasture.  In these areas we can now find a variety of wild flowers such as white and red clovers, buttercups, birdsfoot trefoil, oxeye daisies which provide essential food for butterflies and their larvae.

Oxeye daisy with butterfly in the parkland
oxeye daisy with butterfly
Oxeye daisy with butterfly in the parkland

In South Park, our tenant farmer uses a method called holistic grazing which allows the plants to flower throughout the season.  Holistic grazing involves the field being sectioned into smaller areas for the cattle to graze allowing the rest of the field to recover and flower. The farmer carefully monitors the grazing and regularly moves the cattle to a new section and thereby preventing overgrazing. 

" As I’ve been working here over the past 12 years, it’s been lovely to notice the increase in butterfly species and a rise in their numbers"
- Katherine Alker, Garden and Outdoors Manager

Elsewhere, we use the historic plant records to guide us in our restoration of the garden.  The garden team have been increasing the variety of herbaceous plants and shrubs which also provides a great source of nectar for butterflies and other insects. 

Butterfly Transect Surveys have been carried out over the past 10 years by volunteers which have shown a marked increase in butterfly varieties and also an increase in numbers.

Gatekeeper Butterfly
Gatekeeper Butterfly
Gatekeeper Butterfly

At least twenty three species of butterfly are known to reside at Croome: Brimstone, Brown Argus, Comma, Common Blue, Essex Skipper, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Orange Tip, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White and Speckled Wood.

Meadow Brown Butterfly
Meadow Brown Butterfly
Meadow Brown Butterfly

Download our Butterfly spotter sheet and take it with you round the parkland

Butterfly spotter sheet (PDF / 0.6MB) download