I was delighted to see an article in The Mail on Sunday July 27th ‘My battle to rescue Britain’s magical butterflies’ by Emilia Fox, who is very concerned about decline in British butterflies. The number of butterfly species on the priority endangered list has more than doubled in 12 years, rising from 11 butterflies and 53 moths in 2005 to 24 butterflies and more than 150 moths in 2007.
By chance Emilia met lepidopterist Clive Farrell who also happens to be a good friend of mine and is an inspirational man dedicated to helping our British butterflies, moths and wild meadows.
Emilia, like many of us is concerned about the decline of butterflies but didn’t know what to do to help. Clive suggested:-
Michaelmus daisies plus
and keep existing holly,
and to grow stinging nettles because butterflies love all of these as a food resource and some lay their eggs in the hairs of the stinging-nettle leaves.
Clive’s latest project is a 300ft-diameter glass biodome in St Albans which will be home for 10,000 tropical butterflies covering 250 different species, where visitors will be able to walk through reproduction Mayan ruins and waterfalls to experience the sights and atmosphere of a tropical-rainforest.
On completion in 2011 the Mayan Butterfly dome is expecting to receive one million visitors a year. The biodome will be a fantastic experience as well as inspirational and educational.
We need more people like Clive to encourage and inform us how we can help our British wildlife. Planting the right plants is easy if you know which plant to use.
Clive’s advice is simple, inexpensive and attractive. We all benefit so why not help the British Butterflies before it’s too late as well as brighten up your garden.
Photographs Neil Bromhall – www.complete-gardens.co.uk The interactive Plant advice CD-ROM has hundreds of plant suggestions to help gardening for butterflies.