Melbury Down

Hills and valley
Melbury Downs. Photo: Lawrie de Whalley

Guide to this top Dorset butterfly site, including: location, description, species of interest and photo gallery.

Green Hairstreak butterfly, side view

Green Hairstreak. Photo: Dave Law

Male Orange Tip on a dandelion flower

Orange Tip. Photo: Dave Law

Dave took both these shots at Melbury Down on 07/04/2017. He reports that there were two Green Hairstreaks, both holding a territory. The Green Hairstreak is the only green butterfly in Britain, so you cannot mistake it, but it’s not around for very long.

Dark Green Fritillary (female). Photo: Dave Law

Dark Green Fritillary (female). Photo: Dave Law

This almost immaculate female Dark Green Fritillary was found at Melbury Down by Dave Law. He believes and we agree with him that the butterfly had only just emerged hours before. Dave adds that after sunning itself for a few moments, it flew off very clumsily before being chased by several males, disappearing shortly after. Photo taken on 13/07/2016.