An airy place to stretch your legs, Rodborough Common is perched steeply over Stroud, on the edge of the Cotswolds. Any time of the year is good for extensive views of the Severn estuary and Welsh mountains on the horizon, but spring to summer are best, as the carefully managed chalk grassland is a haven for butterflies and wild flowers. Continue reading Rodborough Common: walking among orchids and butterflies
This summer there’s good reason to be optimistic about the Duke of Burgundy (Hamearis lucina), on the list of endangered British butterflies. With the destruction of its preferred woodland habitat, the species hung on in areas of undergrazed downland in the south of England, favoured by the crash in the rabbit population. What’s unusual this year is that a second generation of the butterfly has appeared in one of its more northerly outposts, Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire, owned by the National Trust. Climate change seems responsible for the butterfly emerging earlier every spring and for this appearance of a second brood in summer, as occurs in southern Europe. Read more at the BBC, where you can also listen to the clearly thrilled conservation advisor Matthew Oates, as he talks about the revival of the Duke of Burgundy.