Exmoor’s aflutter – 3 Orange Butterflies Wanted!

CommaExmoor Wild Watch 2014 needs your help to learn more about 3 special orange and brown butterflies, so pick up a FREE photo guide to help you identify them, from the 3 National Park Centres or on the Exmoor Wild Watch website. ( www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/wild-watch )

Exmoor National Park is home to several of Britain’s rarest butterflies – but when it comes to monitoring, it is not only the endangered species that count.

The 3 target species are Heath Fritillary, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and, surprisingly, the Comma. Despite Commas being considered common, Exmoor National Park’s records are short of data on this little beauty. So please keep your eyes peeled during the summer months.

Paul Camp, National Trust Ranger explained, “June and July are the best times to spot some of the UK’s rarest and most endangered butterflies.SPBF

“The extremely rare Heath fritillary is found in many of the steep sided combes around Dunkery, Alcombe Common, Grabbist Hill Giant’s Chair and Haddon Hill – 90% of these Exmoor locations are on National Trust land. Commas could be almost anywhere on Exmoor – so please help us map where they are.”

Through the work of organisations such as Butterfly Conservation we now know Exmoor is a vitally important location for these species, particularly the Fritillaries, which are only found at very few sites in the British Isles.

Heath-FritillaryExmoor Wild Watch 2014 relies on local expertise from volunteers and officers of Butterfly Conservation, Exmoor Natural History Society and the National Trust. The project is supported by the Exmoor National Park and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Heart of Exmoor Scheme.

Reporting sightings couldn’t be easier. Just visit www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/wild-watch or ring 01598 752509.