This week, I went to visit a BTCV project at Pembrey in Carmarthen. This year, BTCV received an Environment Wales biodiversity grant to help create more habitat suitable for the butterfly population. Working in partnership with Forestry Commission Wales and Butterfly Conservation, BTCV have been working with a dedicated group of local volunteers to clear scrub and open up butterfly rides. The money from Environment Wales has not only paid for some hand tools to make this possible but also for some monitoring equipment so that volunteers can learn to identify the species that they see out in the field. The project has been a great success, with 30 volunteers working on site managing 2km of verge, to maintain bright sunny areas containing specific food plants.
Recent surveys undertaken indicate that 27 of the 42 nationally recognised species of butterfly are present at Pembrey including some which are on the edge of their range or survive in small isolated communities. The grizzled skipper colony is particularly important in the Wales context, being the largest of a handful of colonies in Wales.
Julie Furber, BTCV Development Officer