Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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19 February 2013

Darkhill Iron Works

Grid Ref SO588087



We were alongside the cycle track below the Darkhill Iron Works to open up the space to sunlight in order to encourage butterfly movement. We removed the trees and shrub which will now allow small plants to grow. We particularly wish to encourage the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary which is only sighted now on three small areas within the forest whereas it used to be widespread.

This butterfly is typically found in deciduous woodland containing open areas, such as woodland clearings, that provide the right conditions, foodplants and nectar sources for this species to thrive. This butterfly can also be found in conifer plantations and limestone pavements in some areas. Sites are generally suitable 2 to 4 years after a woodland clearing has been formed, when the foodplants and nectar sources are optimal for this species. However, these sites can quickly become overgrown and, unless there is suitable habitat nearby, colonies will tend to die out.








The team have assembled to assess the area to be cleared.





The chainsaw was used to clear the larger trees and all the smaller shrubs were taken down with loppers and burnt alongside the track.





Harley is the oldest dog who joins us on our day out every week and has been coming out with us for many years.

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