Butterflies on Crook Peak

A view from Crook Peak

For those of you who were out exploring the Mendip Hills this summer, you will have noticed that Crook Peak is been a fantastic place to see butterflies.

We take part in butterfly surveys which are completed using a line transect. This is a set walk, and butterflies are recorded if they are seen within 5 meters of the path. The data collected is sent to the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) which is used to assess how butterflies are doing on a national scale. This is done weekly over summer months to monitor trends.

A Large Blue butterfly
A Large Blue butterfly
A Large Blue butterfly

When walking the slopes of Crook, Wavering Down and Cross Plain, you pass through the woodland, scrub, grassland and heath. This variety of habitat means a huge diversity of butterflies can be encountered.

Painted Lady nectaring on a scabious flower
A painted ladt butterfly nectaring on a scabious flower
Painted Lady nectaring on a scabious flower

From the dappled orange wings of the silver washed fritillary to the mottled monochrome a marbled white. To the beautiful painted ladies determinedly powering along the ridge. Each habitat creates their own community of wildlife species and the opportunity to thrive.

Silver-washed fritillary
Silver-washed fritillary
Silver-washed fritillary

This is the reason the hills are managed as a mosaic of habitats, where open areas are long side tussocks of bramble, gorse and bracken. This provides a diverse range of homes for wildlife and ensures the greatest variety of butterflies can thrive there. 

Marbled white butterfly
Marbled white butterfly
Marbled white butterfly