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 email@example.com
Species list for 2013
Large Skipper (new 2013)
Clouded yellow (new 2013)
Brimstone (new 2013)
Green-veined White(new 2013)
Orange-tip (new 2013)
Small Copper (new 2013)
Adonis Blue (new 2013)
Peacock (new 2013)
Ringlet (2012 only)