The rare marsh fritillary butterfly returns to moorlands across the West.
The rare marsh fritillary butterfly is making a remarkable comeback this year, doubling in number at many sites across the West.
Over the last 30 years the striking orange and brown butterfly has suffered a devastating decline of 73 per cent across the UK.
To save the threatened species Butterfly Conservation set up a project five years ago to help farmers and landowners to look after more than 140 habitats of the fritillary butterfly on Exmoor, Somerset.
With some help from the dry and sunny weather of May and June during the butterfly’s flight period, the project has not only increased numbers but has seen colonisation in new areas. Two other species were also targeted.
The high brown fritillary did not fare as well as the marsh fritillary but did re-colonise a site in the Dart Valley and made a new colony in Heddon Valley on Exmoor.
The heath fritillary also increased its numbers and colonisation in several sites.