Environmental — 24 July 2016

PLANTS used by rare butterflies as a food source have been safely translocated within Barratt Homes’ latest Staffordshire development to ensure the on-going protection of the species in the area.

000_0527 butterfly habitat

The Dingy Skipper Butterfly, which is becoming increasingly rare across the UK, uses the common Bird’s-Foot Trefoil plant as the primary food source for its caterpillars, which are hatching around this time of year.

A large number of the plants were found at Barratt Homes West Midlands’ Holly Blue Meadows development in Chasewater as part of the ecological mitigation works on-site.

As a result the developer, working in partnership with Lichfield District Council, commissioned experts The Environment Partnership (TEP) to move the plants to the site entrance, on Robins Road, where they will be safe from construction activity.

Roughly 800 metres of grassland containing Birds-Foot Trefoil, which produces yellow flowers, was lifted from within the site and replanted at the development entrance on the eastern boundary.

TEP Ecologist Andy Nyul said, “By translocating the grassland, and also the topsoil and subsoil, any Dingy Skipper Butterfly chrysalises will also have been moved and should be emerging as adult butterflies right now.

Andy added, “The Dingy Skipper Butterfly, which is moth-like in appearance with a subtle wing pattern of brown and grey, is sadly becoming increasingly rare so their protection is incredibly important.

“Great consideration was taken in deciding the destination for the plants at Holly Blue Meadows and they were carefully and safely moved to an area of the development where they will be protected from any construction activity and will be able to thrive.”

About 780 metres of heather was also translocated to the site entrance to protect another of the UK’s declining butterfly species – the Small Heath.

Andy said, “The work was carried out last summer and by later August the heather was flowering beautifully and attracting several butterflies and bees.”

Adrian Farr, Managing Director at Barratt Homes West Midlands, said, “As a company, it is our philosophy to take into consideration the environmental impact of a new residential scheme and we go to great lengths to ensure we protect and reduce any risk to the local ecology.”

133 new homes are being built at Holly Blue Meadows, and there are currently two three and four bedroom homes available there, priced from £127,995 to £256,950. For more information call the Sales Centre on 07739 702 373 open Monday 12.30pm to 5.30pm and Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5.30pm.

Alternatively call the Sales Information Centre on 0844 811 9933 or log onto the website at www.barratthomes.co.uk/hollybluemeadows

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