Could you help us avoid 15 years of wasted effort?

Track between grass verges
Path in Hethfelton Wood. Photo: Lyn Pullen

We urgently need people to help do butterfly monitoring walks at Hethfelton Wood, which is between Wareham and Wool.

You do not need to be a butterfly expert to do this: you will have a list of what butterflies have been seen there before, so you will have a good idea of what might be on the wing.

This walk has been walked every week between 1 April and 30 September for the last 15 years, previously being shared by several people, but we are now down to one lone walker and they need help! Even if you could only do just one walk in the season, it would be of assistance.

Track leading through grass and conifereous trees

Hethfelton Wood. Photo: Lyn Pullen

This butterfly monitoring walk is one of over 60 undertaken in Dorset every year. The results contribute to a huge data base held by the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation and passed onto the Dorset Environmental Record Centre and the National Biodiversity Network. It provides regular statistics for the Government to assess its obligation to protecting biodiversity and measuring the effects of global warming.

The longer a Butterfly walk can survive the more useful it becomes for research. For the walk to cease this year would ruin 15 years of patiently collected data.

Black and whtie map with the route of the walk highlighted

Map of the Hethfelton Wood walk

Hethfelton belongs to the Forestry Commission and is a pleasant walk, consisting of mixed woodland and heathland. Since the walk started in 2000, 33 species of butterfly have been recorded, though these are not all on the wing at the same time. An especially interesting development has been the arrival of the Silver Studded Blue, which is a conservation priority species, in 2008, whose numbers have been steadily growing since, up to 42 last year. Hethfelton is just to the west of the hamlet of Stokeford, on the north side of the A352 (map reference SY 857880 (click to be taken to a map).

Male Silver-studded Blue with open wings, with a female underneath

Courting pair of Silver-studded Blues . Photo: Lyn Pullen

If you can help, or for more information, contact Bill Shreeves email: [email protected] or tel: 01747 852587.


5 thoughts on “Could you help us avoid 15 years of wasted effort?

  1. paul wills

    can you send me a list of butterflies seen in the past & wherabouts in the wood. yes i am interested in butterflies & possibly helping but not much more than once a month weather permitting,

    1. Lyn Pullen Post author

      Thanks very much for the offer, Paul. I’ve replied to you by email so I can copy in our Records Officer.

    2. Mike Woods-Espine

      Hi I can help! Live locally and already do a couple of other recording transects. Mike.


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