Butterfly conservation boost

Tuesday 21st November 2017 7:00 pm
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Rare species like the marsh fritillary butterfly and willow tit bird have been given a conservation boost, with Natural England officially recognising the Mid Cornwall Moors as one of the country’s most important wildlife sites.

Following a four-month public consultation, Natural England has confirmed the designation of the Mid Cornwall Moors - including areas like Red Moor near Lostwithiel - as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), giving the area legal protection for its important wildlife and habitats.

The organisation says this brings certainty and purpose to conservation work in Mid Cornwall, where the rich mix of heathland, woodland, and wildflower meadows provides a vital sanctuary for wildlife.

Wesley Smyth, manager of Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly team, Natural England, said: ‘This rich and diverse landscape of Mid Cornwall is home to an array of rare plants and insects, alongside one of the highest densities of willow tit breeding pairs in England.

‘That’s why we’ve designated this area as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, recognising its vital contribution to our natural heritage and helping its precious wildlife thrive for generations to come.’

Natural England is working with landowners and local organisations, such as the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation, to create the perfect conditions for the rare marsh fritillary butterfly.

With further help from the Eden Project and Highways England, swathes of devil’s-bit scabious – the main food plant for the marsh fritillary caterpillars – have been grown and planted alongside the A30 road corridor.

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