By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 23 August 2013 Updated: 23/08 13:57
NATURE-LOVING residents are being urged to keep their eyes peeled for a rare butterfly moving into the area.
An appeal was put out in the Standard last September for readers to look out for the brown hairstreak butterfly, following which it was spotted in Stoneleigh Close in Oakenshaw South.
A follow-up visit by Butterfly Conservation led to the discovery of the eggs on Grangers Lane.
But now the charity believes the butterfly could be establishing itself in Redditch, with further sightings of eggs in Morton Stanley park.
The brown hairstreak, which lays its eggs on blackthorn hedges and suckers, has only been seen in the town for the past two years but conservationists are hopeful now it has gained a foothold in the town, the butterfly will be able to benefit from the vast amount of open space.
Species champion Mike Williams said: “It is exciting news that the brown hairstreak has reached Redditch and we are keen to find out, with the support of the local community, just how far into the town the butterfly has managed to colonise.
“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 working closely with Redditch Borough Council to develop a conservation strategy which will ensure that more blackthorn is managed with the needs of the butterfly in mind.”
Anyone spotting the butterfly is asked to e-mail email@example.com or call West Midlands Butterfly Conservation on 07802 274552.
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