Save Dorset’s Dukes!

Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy. Photo: Iain H Leach

One of Britain’s most rapidly declining butterflies is in trouble, right here on our doorstep. The Duke of Burgundy butterfly once held Dorset as a stronghold but since the 1980s colonies have dwindled by a worrying 75%, becoming non-existent in its traditional woodland habitat.

Here in Dorset we are now limited to just seven colonies of these charismatic butterflies. Many are in danger of disappearing altogether due to their small size and increasing isolation. The time to act is now, with the extent of losses observed leading to real concern that we could be facing the extinction of the Dorset Dukes.


Cowslips. Photo: Ken Dolbear

Grant funding will cover most of the project costs but we need an additional £20,000 to cover the shortfall in funds! Your kindly donated money will help Butterfly Conservation to not only protect the remaining colonies but to manage and increase suitable habitat and breeding areas on both woodland and grassland sites, to reconnect the butterflies in the Cerne and Sydling valleys. The creation of open, sunny conditions, interspersed with sheltered spots, will form perfect conditions for an abundance of Cowslips (pictured above), the Duke’s primary foodplant on grassland sites.

Help save the Duke of Burgundy from extinction here in Dorset by donating to our project appeal: please call 01929 406015 to donate by phone or Text ‘DUKE15 £5’ to 70070 to donate £5 and help save Dorset’s Dukes and safeguard their future – Thank you.

Leave a Reply