It's blooming fantastic - 20 species of butterfly found alongside Weymouth Relief Road

It's blooming fantastic - 20 species of butterfly found alongside Weymouth Relief Road

IN BLOOM: Kidney Vetch in full flower along the bridleway

NATURE: The rare Small Blue butterfly

First published in News by

An amazing 20 species of butterfly have now been found on the sides of one of the busiest roads in Dorset after wild flower seeds were planted on its flanks.

The Weymouth Relief Road, which links the resort with Dorchester, has even attracted rare species such as the Adonis Blue and Small Blue.

During road construction cuttings were left bare of topsoil and seeded with wildflowers.

One of these flowers is Kidney Vetch and the banks above the road are now a riot of yellow in the summer months.

Butterfly Conservation’s Dorset Branch has been monitoring the area to determine if butterflies are being attracted to this new habitat.

The latest monitoring has revealed that 20 species have now been found, including four species of blue butterfly: the Adonis Blue, the Small Blue, the Common Blue and the Brown Argus.

Lyn Pullen, from Butterfly Conservation, explained: “These blue butterflies tend to stay close to home, so providing a good habitat for them does not guarantee they will turn up.

“It is therefore very pleasing that the Small Blue has arrived, as it is only known locally on Portland and occasionally at Maiden Castle.”

There are hopes that other butterflies, including the rare Lulworth Skipper and the Dingy Skipper, may colonise the site in future.

Butterfly Conservation aims to continue the monitoring in 2014 and are hoping to design a formal butterfly monitoring walk.

More volunteers are needed.

If you would like to help or would like a detailed report of the records please contact Georgie Laing on georgie_laing@yahoo.co.uk

Species list for 2013

Large Skipper (new 2013)

Clouded yellow (new 2013)

Brimstone (new 2013)

Large White

Small White

Green-veined White(new 2013)

Orange-tip (new 2013)

Small Copper (new 2013)

Small Blue

Brown Argus

Common Blue

Adonis Blue (new 2013)

Red Admiral

Painted lady

Small Tortoiseshell

Peacock (new 2013)

Wall

Marbled White

Gatekeeper

Meadow Brown

Ringlet (2012 only)

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