Category Archives: Conservation

Back From the Brink and the Barberry Moth

Barberry Carpet Moth
Barberry Carpet Moth. Photo: Ian Hughes

The Barberry Carpet Moth suffered from the eradication of its food plant, Common Barberry, due to it being host to the wheat rust fungus. There are now rust-resistant wheat varieties, but almost too late for the moth. There are thought to be just ten populations of this moth left in the UK, mostly in Wiltshire, but also in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Dorset.

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The Large Blue – a conservation success

Large Blue. Photo: John Woodruff

The Large Blue is aptly named, being indeed the largest and also rarest of the ‘blue’ butterflies in Britain but sadly, absent from Dorset. It is easily distinguished from other blues by the row of black spots on its upper forewing, the underside consisting of a pale brown colour dotted with a further array of black markings. Continue reading

New record for Weymouth Relief Road

Dingy Skippers have been recorded for the first time on the wildflower banks lining the bridle path of the Weymouth Relief Road. This was an exciting discovery for the guided walk on 17 May. Common Blue was seen in abundance and at least 3 separate colonies of Small Blue.

Dingy skipper on kidney vetch

Dingy skipper on kidney vetch. Photo: Allan Neilson

The branch has been monitoring this site since its creation in 2011. The cutting is now a delight with horseshoe vetch in full bloom creating a carpet of golden yellow. There has been a year-on-year increase of butterfly species seen. Who knows? – maybe the next will be the Chalkhill Blue.

If you would like to help with our survey please just walk the bridle path from the Ridgeway down to the Bincombe turning. We are also recording the banks alongside both of the lay-bys. Please let Georgie Laing know you would like to help so she can send you a recording form, using our Contact Form.

To get to the main walk along the bridleway, park at the truncated end of the Broadmayne road. The bridleway goes along the side of the hill. Map: SY674859