Saying cheers to a rare butterfly find

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 27 December 2013 Updated: 27/12 10:05

ALE ENTHUSIASTS have created a special beer to mark the discovery of a rare butterfly on an Astwood Bank farm.

The Brown Hairstreak ale produced by From The Notebook Ltd is now on sale at The Stables Farm Shop following the sighting of the butterfly’s eggs.

Volunteers from the Butterfly Conservation found the eggs on nearby farmland in November and proceeds from sales will go towards the charity.

The hairstreak is a nationally declining species but is doing well in the area, with many sightings reported in Redditch following stories in the Standard appealing for residents to look out for them.

Species champion Mike Williams said: “It is excellent news to find eggs for the first time at Old Yarr Estates which provides further evidence of the butterfly’s advance in the Redditch area.

“Back in the summer, we appealed in the press for the public to look out for the butterfly and received several reports. This is the first confirmation of local breeding success.

“The butterfly’s eggs stay on hedgerows all winter and, providing the hedges remain uncut, most will survive to produce adult butterflies the following year. With Brown Hairstreak ale now on sale in The Stables Farm Shop which is part of Old Yarr Estates, we can all drink to the continuing success of the butterfly in future years.”

Farm shop manager Shauna McKnight added: “We were delighted to learn of the discovery of the brown hairstreak on our farm and it is great to be able to celebrate this by stocking Brown Hairstreak ale in our shop.

“We are committed to wildlife-friendly farming methods and have left many rough field margins where insects and wild flowers can flourish. The arrival of such an important wildlife species as the brown hairstreak shows us that we are on the right lines and we look forward to working with Butterfly Conservation to incorporate the conservation needs of the butterfly into future farm management.”

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