Nature thrown a lifeline thanks to lottery award

High Brown Fritillary Heddon Valley
Published : 23 Jan 2018

The High Brown Fritillary, the UK’s most endangered butterfly, is one of a variety of species being helped by new conservation projects funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The National Trust and partners are embarking on ambitious plans to develop 60 hectares of lowland heath and wood pasture – the butterfly’s favourite habitat – to give it a fighting chance for the future. The project is possible as part of a generous award of £750,000 made by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Over the last 50 years, the UK population of High Brown Fritillaries has declined rapidly, with climate change almost certainly contributing to the demise. Overall, the UK population has declined by 66 per cent since the 1970s.

Matthew Oates, nature expert and butterfly enthusiast, said, ‘We’ve witnessed a catastrophic decline of many native butterfly populations in recent decades but initiatives like this can really help to turn the tide.

‘The support we have from players of People’s Postcode Lottery for nature conservation, alongside continued support for Heritage Open Days, is a wonderful boost to our work in 2018.’

As well as helping secure the future of High Brown Fritillaries, the award will be used to fund several other conservation projects, along with continuing support for Heritage Open Days. These projects include:

  • Woodland management, pond creation, building bat boxes and installing infra-red cameras to monitor bat populations in the South Downs.
  • Restoring wildflower meadows along the Durham coast to help ground nesting birds such as skylarks and lapwings.
  • Planting hornbeam, beech and field maple trees at Woodside Green near Hatfield Forest.
  • Restoring grasslands and wildflower meadows along the North Pembrokeshire coast, helping birds including chough.
  • Protecting and restoring chalk grasslands at the White Cliffs of Dover, following players’ support towards the acquisition of land immediately behind the cliff face in 2017.

The National Trust is working with its tenants and partners to reverse the alarming decline in UK wildlife, aiming to restore 25,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat by 2025.

Conservation work, Solsbury Hill

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