Published: 05/03/2018 21:59 - Updated: 05/03/2018 22:01

Highlanders will help endangered butterflies

Sir David Attenborough 

Sir David Attenborough is urging people across the Highlands to spend Saturday (March 10) taking action for butterflies to mark the 50th anniversary of wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC).

The charity is celebrating its landmark birthday by holding a UK-wide conservation day of action, where it’s hoped a record number of people will carry out practical work to improve and create habitats for their local butterfly and moth species.

More than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies and two-thirds of our larger moths have declined in the last 40 years.

BC President Sir David Attenborough said: "Half a century ago a small group of naturalists became so concerned about the plight of the UK’s butterflies that they decided to join forces to protect them.

"That organisation became Butterfly Conservation and 50 years later the need for people who care about our butterflies and moths is greater than ever before.

"You can do your bit for butterflies by taking part in Butterfly Conservation’s Day of Action. By working together we can all take some simple steps to provide butterflies with a future."

Conservation tasks for the Highland area include cutting back vegetation and raking up excessive bracken to improve the habitat for the pearl-bordered and small pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies.

Butterfly Conservation has a branch covering the local area and senior conservation officer Tom Prescott invited people from across the Highlands to join them at Glen Orrin, near Muir of Ord: "Please join us to celebrate our special birthday and help us maintain this wonderful site for our local butterflies.

"Both species occur on the south facing slopes of An Dun and we’re asking volunteers to bring a packed lunch, gloves and any rakes or secateurs if they have them, but we will also provide tools, as well as tea and cake!

"BC Branches from all over the UK will be holding similar anniversary events, so this could end up being one of the biggest conservation days in BC’s history."

BC was founded in March 1968 and is now one of the largest insect conservation organisations in the world.

The charity runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species, as well as conserving hundreds of sites and reserves across the country.

The local branch event takes place between 10.30am and 4pm.

More info: www.butterfly-conservation.org/events

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