Butterflies enjoying the warm weather

Over the last few weeks, a lot of our conservation effort has gone into removing non-native and invasive species. Some passers-by think we are destroying bluebells, but the only ones in Ashlawn are the non-native Spanish variety. If left unchecked, they would spread rapidly, to the detriment of more valuable native flowers. It is the native wild flowers and grasses that are of paramount importance to invertebrate life.

Violets in danger of being lost to the expansion of Spanish Bluebells
Now there is room for the violets to spread

The benefits of our conservation work is most visible through the butterfly species that we see in the cutting. Our work party on Thursday 13th April had the benefit of some warm sunny periods that brought butterflies onto the wing. The pictures give close-ups of some sightings. The last picture shows the sunny and therefore warm bank below the zigzag path where most of the sightings took place. Also note how the humble dandelion is a favoured nectar source.