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We've got butterflies; iain carter, Countryside Manager for the National Trust in Herefordshire, looks at some of their most colourful visitors...

Byline: iain carter

Summer brings with it an abundance of wildlife, and thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers, National Trust places offer a great environment to go spotting...

Butterflies are a true sign of summer and can be found at most National Trust places, but some specific species can be more commonly found at certain properties.

With spots on its wings that are often said to look like eyes, the Peacock Butterfly is regularly seen at Belton House, Lincolnshire and Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, whilst the red Admiral can be spotted on flowers at Packwood, Warwickshire.

The Comma Butterfly can be a little more difficult to spot, thanks to its trick of hiding from predators by disguising itself as a dead leaf! You can try spotting these at Croome in Worcestershire and also at Brockhampton, in Herefordshire. At Wimpole in Cambridgeshire keep your eyes peeled for marbled Butterflies

White butterflies enjoying the long meadow grass near the folly.

Dragonflies If dragonflies and damselflies interest you more, then you may be able to spot the Blue-tailed damselfly and the Large red damselfly across most of our properties. You should also see the common darter dragonfly at any place with pools. The Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly is a good one for spotters. If perching you may be able to get close and have a good look at the four spots on the wings. This is commonly spotted at Dudmaston in Shropshire and Ilam Park, in Derbyshire. Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire is in fact one of the best places to see scarce dragonfly Wicken spe dragonflies in the uK, with 22 species including the emperor dragonfly and red-eyed damselfly breeding on the Fen.

the BirDy throng Birdsong is one of summer's greatest sounds and a large variety of birds can be seen throughout our patch. Collared doves, wrens and song thrushes can be found widely across our places.

national trust /rob Coleman

Another regular visitor is the robin. It's fondness for live food means it can be seen in flower beds and vegetable patches. Slightly more unusual and a wonderful sight if you're lucky enough to see it is the great spotted woodpecker. It's striking chaser at Fen black and white, with a red rump, can be seen at Clent Hills in Worcestershire and Stoneywell in Leicestershire.

Wicken fen

Vision & footprints Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire has more species of plants and wildlife than anywhere in the uK. It's here that an exciting new heritage project, Footprints, has begun.

made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, it will focus on creating opportunities for local people to access a range of activities, including stargazing, nature walks and school visits, to connect with nature, understand the cultural value of this special place, and be part of its story.

Wicken Fen is an extremely rare fragment of ancient undrained land at the very heart of english natural, cultural and industrial history. By working with local partners, the project aims to celebrate the heritage of those whose footprints can still be traced across the landscape to inspire people in the fen edge communities to connect with this special place and help shape its future.

In may 2019 Wicken Fen celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 'Wicken Fen Vision' and the 120th anniversary of the National Trust caring for the area. The Wicken Fen Vision is driving forward ambitious plans to increase the nature reserve to an area of 53 square kilometres, and create a beautiful, tranquil and diverse landscape for wildlife and people.

As Cambridge is one of the fastest growing cities in the uK, a green space for people to enjoy is vital for the area, so developing a community engagement programme now is helping to address the needs of the expanding population.


Sarah Smith, General manager of the National Trust's Wicken Fen said: "We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident that the project will help people discover new ways to explore the outdoors and the benefits this brings. It will offer new opportunities to participate in the future plans of the National Trust's oldest nature reserve." | To find out more, visit:


Marbled White butterfly

Wicken Fen

scarce chaser dragonfly at Wicken Fen
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:iain carter
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 9, 2021
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