Hi, first post from Steve Proud Warden on West Exmoor using Julian’s login as I couldn’t figure out how to get mine to work!
The slideshow above shows an exciting conservation project to re-instate coppicing in the Heddon valley for the benefit of the very rare High Brown Fritillary (HBF) butterfly. Earlier in the year contractors felled 120 trees next to a viable HBF breeding site with the aim to restore coppice for the benefit of this butterfly.
Historically, most of woodland in the Heddon Valley was in a coppice rotation which provided timber for a variety of industries including leather tanning and lime production. The butterfly utilised these areas of coppice as a breeding habitat, and the population has suffered a massive decline as the coppice has turned to woodland over the last 100 years.
Our objective is that the felled area will return to viable coppice and the HBF will migrate from the neighbouring site and start to use the new area. The pictures also show our Volunteer Tom learning some new walling skills as he repairs the wall next to the site.If you fancy helping out with our butterfly conservation work or having a go a walling check out the Working Holidays holidays we have each year on Exmoor www.nationaltrust.org.uk/workingholidays/.