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The Forestry Commission and Butterfly Conservation are looking for help to survey important butterfly species in the Wyre Forest and are offering free butterfly survey training to people, as part of the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme.
2010 butterfly survey days will take place on Saturday 15 May, Saturday 19 June and Saturday 10 July and people interested in becoming butterfly detectives and taking advantage of free butterfly survey training should contact Louise Sutherland on 01299 269048 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book their place.
The workshops will be held at the new Forestry Commission Discovery Centre at Callow Hill and dates have been chosen to coincide with the flight times of the special butterflies that occur in the Forest. Morning indoor sessions provide the opportunity to learn about identification features, lifestyles, food plants, monitoring techniques and recording schemes while the afternoons will be spent outdoors in the forest where participants should be able to observe up to 24 species of butterflies over the three days. The workshops follow on from a very successful series last year.
Wyre is well known for the distinctive fritillary butterflies, which are predominantly orange, with a network of darker markings forming the chequered pattern from which the name ‘fritillary’ is derived. These special butterflies are not common in Britain and some species are extremely rare, so great efforts are being made to better record and monitor the species and involve the local community in learning more about them and their requirements.
Butterfly Conservation’s Senior Regional Officer for the West Midlands, Dr Jenny Joy, said:
“Unless you know what species of butterfly are present in any given locality it is impossible to plan what management might be required, so volunteer survey work is really important.
We hope that as a result of attending the course participants will be able to reliably identify the butterflies they see and assist us in this vital work.”
Bob Griffiths, from the Forestry Commission and Project Manager for the Wyre Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme, says:
“We had a great response to our butterfly survey days last year, so we’re looking forward to even greater interest from wildlife lovers around Wyre in 2010. Recording butterflies in the Wyre Forest dates back to Victorian times and the forest is one of the best recorded sites in all of Britain but we need many more volunteers. Past recording has been crucial in guiding management of habitats in the forest and retaining the richness of wildlife we see today.”
For more information about the Grow With Wyre projects visit www.forestry.gov.uk/growwithwyre
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Images of fritillary butterflies are available by calling 01524-782086.
2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For further information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/westmidlands. The Forestry Commission is the Lead Partner in the ‘Grow With Wyre’ Scheme.
3. The Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme is being delivered by a partnership of the following organisations; Heritage Lottery Fund, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Wyre Forest District Council, Worcestershire County Council, Butterfly Conservation, Shropshire County Council, Wyre Forest Community Land Trust, Wyre Forest Study Group, National Trust and Bewdley Development Trust.
4. SITA Trust - SITA Trust was set up in 1997 and runs two major funding programmes including Enriching Nature – for biodiversity projects in England. Each year, SITA Trust commits over £7 million nationwide through the Landfill Communities Fund, see www.sitatrust.org.uk. Landfill tax was introduced in 1996 to encourage more sustainable ways of managing waste. The landfill tax legislation also brought about the Landfill Communities Fund. This scheme allows landfill operators to voluntarily donate 6.6% of their landfill tax liability to environmental improvement projects. The Landfill Communities Fund is independently regulated on behalf of HM Government’s Revenue & Customs by ENTRUST.
5. Butterfly Conservation is the largest insect conservation charity in Europe with nearly 15,000 members in the UK. Its aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. It runs conservation programmes on over 60 threatened species of butterfly and moth and manages over 30 nature reserves. Further information www.butterfly-conservation.org Much work is delivered through the charity’s regional branches and the West Midlands branch holds an annual programme of events aimed at raising awareness of the region’s butterflies and moths (www.westmidlands-butterflies.org.uk)
6. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a Stage One pass of £1.86 million to the Grow With Wyre’ Landscape Partnership Scheme. HLF enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. They have supported more than 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
7. GrantScape – GrantScape has a twelve-year environmental and community grant-making heritage. It is also a major funder of biodiversity projects across England and Wales (see www.grantscape.org.uk). Since 2005, GrantScape has awarded some £10 million through its Biodiversity Challenge Fund to 25 major projects considered to deliver the most significant gains for UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitats and species. Grow with Wyre’s “Rejuvenating Traditional Orchards, Special Trees and Ancient Hedgerows” project was one of six grant award winners under its 2007 Biodiversity Challenge Fund. The £294,000 grant from GrantScape is also being made available through the Landfill Communities Fund, using monies provided by Waste Recycling Group Ltd.
Bob Griffiths (Wyre Forest Landscape Partnership/Forestry Commission) on 01299-269228 or email email@example.com. Alternatively, contact Alison Coggon (Administrative Officer - Grow With Wyre) on 01584-813828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Jenny Joy (West Midlands Butterfly Conservation Senior Officer) on 01952-249325 or e-mail email@example.com