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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140511031 |
|Title:||Helping the butterflies of Yorkshire|
|Author:||Yorkshire Wildlife Trust |
|ID & Publication:||20140511031 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
As the weather warms up the gardens, woodlands and grasslands of Yorkshire are coming alive with butterflies, conjuring up images of sunshine and green spaces teeming with life. This spring Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has a number of exciting nature reserves where you can encounter large populations of butterflies, along with helpful tips on what you can do to help butterflies.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has a number of sites with vast numbers of butterflies including Askham Bog near York where populations of orange-tips are impossible to miss during the spring months. Populations of small tortoiseshell and brimstone can be seen basking in the sun at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve near Doncaster and peacocks and orange-tips are regularly seen at North Cliffe Wood near Market Weighton. These are just a few of the Trust’s 95 nature reserves, management of which is only made possible due to the support of its 36,500 members and support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Butterflies have had a tough few years and UK populations have declined dramatically since the 1990’s due to intensified farming, increased use of pesticides and mismanaged grasslands, which is especially alarming when one considers that butterflies are often considered to be good indicators of environmental health. This is because their fragility makes them quick to react to even the smallest changes to their environment, meaning that their decline and struggle to survive is a serious warning about the health of our environment.
Kat Woolley, Education Officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust explained: ‘we had a fantastic summer for butterflies in 2013, with the long spells of warm, sunny weather during July and August providing the perfect conditions to boost butterfly populations. This meant that we saw many more than in previous years; butterflies have had a tough time of late so we hope that the weather might once again be kind to them this year too!’
Butterflies are attracted to nectar-rich gardens where plants such as primrose, buddleia and thyme flourish in sunny but sheltered spots, and by gardening with butterflies in mind and letting wildflowers grow in abundance and avoiding chemicals, you will further encourage these welcome visitors. Now is the perfect time of year to plant nectar-rich plants in your garden and help butterflies. If you want to find out more about how to make your garden butterfly friendly then download the Trust’s Butterfly Gardening factsheet from their website www.ywt.org.uk.
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