Golf club receives £91k grant to protect butterflies

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 23, 2021 11:49

A golf club that lies on the border between England and Wales has been given a grant to safeguard several rare species of butterfly that have been spotted on its land.

Llanymynech Golf Club has been awarded £91,000 by Nature Network to help maintain the Llanymynech and Llynclys Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Dr Simon Spencer, a local butterfly expert advising the project, said: “Llanymynech Hill is one of the best sites in Wales for butterflies.

“It currently has dingy skipper, grizzled skipper, wall, green hairstreak, white-letter hairstreak and grayling. Pearl-bordered fritillary and small pearl-bordered fritillary have been recorded on the course and are still found locally.

“Visitors come from far and wide to see the range of butterflies at this special site.”

The small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly

The grant has been awarded to maintain the overgrowth in some of the land which, in the past was controlled by sheep grazing, but this stopped in the 1970s, which has risked some areas becoming overrun with scrub, dense bracken and brambles. The money will fund habitat management work and even the reintroduction of some grazing where possible.

“Sadly, thick overgrowth overwhelms the foodplants of the butterflies, mosses and plants adapted to open sunny conditions, leading to a decline in these rare species and a loss of biodiversity,” said Dr Spencer.

Annual mowing will also occur in autumn to control bramble and maintain grassland as well as actions to control the spread of Himalayan balsam, an invasive non-native species.

Sean Borrett, head greenkeeper at Llanymynech, said: “Llanymynech Golf Club is delighted to be able to improve conditions for the rare plants and butterflies of Llanymynech Hill.”

Isobelle Griffith, environment team officer for Natural Resources Wales, said: “Protecting Wales’ biodiversity and the wealth of species that make it up is a cornerstone of the work we do.

“Llanymynech Hill is an important site that’s home to many rare and unique species and we’re always happy to have partners work with us to safeguard them.

“We look forward to working with Llanymynech Golf Club going forward to protect Wales’ biodiversity and ensure these wonderful butterflies can thrive now and in the future.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 23, 2021 11:49
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