Bringing back threatened species

Adders do not like to be disturbed

Nearly 60% of native British species have declined over the last 50 years. Of the 8,000 species assessed against Red List criteria, 15% are now extinct or on the brink of extinction in Britain. However, there is enormous potential to help our wildlife recover.

The area covered by the Stroud landscape project includes nationally threatened species like the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, greater and lesser horseshoe bats, adders, juniper and pasque flowers to name but a few.

Large Blue butterfly

As our ambitions grow and we improve the grassland habitat on the Commons, there is the potential for us to bring back some of the extinct species. The large blue butterfly sadly disappeared from the Commons about 70 years ago. When we have the conditions right we're looking into a possible reintroduction.

The large blue butterfly was last seen on the Commons in the 1930s
The large blue butterfly was last seen on the Commons in the 1930s
The large blue butterfly was last seen on the Commons in the 1930s

Juniper

The Commons have the largest recorded number of juniper plants on one site in the Cotswolds. Untouched by development and intensive farming, the plants thrive. However, they're under constant threat from scrub and climate climate. We'll be sustaining this strong population by creating new seedling areas on new scraps.

Common juniper is native to the UK but it's in decline
Common juniper is native to the UK but it's in decline
Common juniper is native to the UK but it's in decline

Beetles and bats

Over the past 20 years we've been removing conifers at Woodchester Park and returning the areas back to grassland. The areas are now grazed by cattle which provide the resident greater horseshoe bats with vital feeding grounds. The bats feed off insects and beetles found in the dung. Numbers of bats have doubled since we've been carrying out this habitat restoration work.

Greater horseshoe bats love to snack on dung beetles
Greater horseshoe bats love to snack on dung beetles
Greater horseshoe bats love to snack on dung beetles