By Ian Dipple Tuesday 11 September 2012 Updated: 12/09 19:42
A RARE butterfly has been found in Redditch for the first time.
The Brown Hairstreak butterfly previously had only been found in a small area of East Worcestershire.
But several of the insect's eggs were found last winter in Morton Stanley Park by members of national charity Butterfly Conservation, which has been monitoring the butterfly's fortunes over many years.
Now the adult butterfly has been spotted in Blaze Lane in Astwood Bank, the first sighting within the borough.
The butterfly, which lays its eggs on blackthorn hedges and suckers, has slowly been spreading eastwards and conservationists are hopeful now it has gained a foothold in the town it will benefit from the network of green corridors and open space within Redditch and flourish.
Mike Williams, Butterfly Conservation’s Species Champion for the Brown Hairstreak, said: "It is exciting news the Brown Hairstreak has reached Redditch and we feel that, with the support of the local community we can help the butterfly to spread still further.
"The butterfly is very susceptible to annual hedge cutting which destroys the majority of its eggs and the key to success is for blackthorn to be cut on a longer rotation.
"We are looking to work with partner organisations to develop a conservation strategy which will ensure more blackthorn is managed with the needs of the butterfly in mind."
The group is keen to monitor the spread of the Brown Hairstreak within the town and residents are being urged to report any sightings particularly along blackthorn hedgerows or near Ash Trees where adults often gather. The butterfly will remain on the wing until the end of September.
To report a sighting email email@example.com or call the West Midlands Butterfly Conservation on 07802 274552.
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