The Project

The project is to build and create a habitat for butterflies on ten acres of suitable land on the South Downs of Sussex, England. It is absolutely vital that we keep the butterfly habitat safe from foxes, deer, badgers, dogs and human feet.

A fenced-off area of ten acres where the preparation and planting of flowers, plants, shrubs and grasses will create a wonderful butterfly sanctuary – leading to a significant increase in the survival of butterfly eggs.

On average a butterfly lays about 100 eggs. Only 4 or 5 eggs mature to become butterflies. We want to change this and increase the number of eggs that survive.

We believe that the infrastructure planned for the 10-acre site, including the fencing, will cause butterfly predators to be reduced by at least 50%. This will keep a substantial number of predators off the whole 10 acres of land permanently.

 

Birds will be discouraged from flying over the land using Hawkeye bird deterrents. These deterrents are not harmful to birds in any way, but as they are the number one butterfly predator, we aim to discourage birds from the site.

The number of eggs maturing to butterflies should increase by 15-20 eggs per 100 after the first year of planting – and after the second and third year, we should see another increase in the butterfly population where butterflies have made this 10-acre site their permanent residence.

So after four years and more, imagine what size the butterfly population will be!

Butterflies have little or no protection in the wild. On our ten acre butterfly habitat we offer much safer protection, much safer conditions for our butterflies’ survival, much safer than the wild environment can offer.

Orange Tip Butterfly showing a Bee hovering overhead. The Bee, the Wasp and the Hornet are all Predators of the Butterfly.
Photo taken by: Trevor Goodfellow –
The Orange Tip Butterfly survived the encounter!

The build and infrastructure assembly

  • The 10-acre site will be propagated and plowed, removing all obstacles on the land plus any underground roots that might regenerate.
  • The land will be measured and one main centre pathway laid, with 11 smaller paths leading from the main pathway, accessing the 20 plots.
  • We will be taking advice from landscape design and professional gardening experts.
  • We will then begin to erect the fencing.
  • Wild plants, wild seeds, bushes and flowers will be purchased and organised.
  • Then the planting will begin together with laying of compost.
  • Depending on weather conditions we can complete a large amount of this work in the first year.
  • It will take approximately two years to finalise the butterfly habitat project.

Project costs

We will be looking for volunteers to help us with the project.

Do you have an interest in butterflies and nature? Or a knowledge of gardening and looking after the welfare of wild plants, grasses and shrubs? We’d love to hear from you!

We will ask you please to be patient with us whilst we gather funds around £100,000 which will enable us to begin this project, we expect this to happen during May / June 2024.

After that we will be very pleased to meet you and have your hands-on support.

However . . . if you have experience in fundraising and you wish to support our project, please get in touch with Robert Harding at contact@butterflies-forever.org.uk

Peacock Butterfly

Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet?

 

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