By Dan Santy 25/06 Updated: 02/07 16:16
RARE butterflies are thriving at woodland in the borough thanks to the efforts of conservationists.
A new report shows how 23 years of active management of butterfly colonies at Ryton and Wappenbury woods have helped five of Warwickshire's rarest species to flourish.
Among those are the Wood White - which can only be found at Ryton and Wappenbury woods - and the Purple Emperor.
Also found to be thriving are the White Admiral, White-letter Hairstreak and Silver-washed Fritillary.
And there is strong evidence to show the populations are now spreading out into surrounding woods - a welcome find when these same species are in decline elsewhere in Warwickshire and the rest of the UK due to a lack of woodland management.
Stephen Trotter, chief executive of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: "Woodland management is all about getting the right balance between light and shade - it’s a careful and skilled job which takes years to achieve.
"In many woods the key species have declined because rotational management of the trees has ceased - and the woods have become dark, shady and dead.
"Tall and dense woods may look like woodlands on the surface but they’re missing the plants and animals that should be there. We’ve become used to these dull types of woodland over the last few decades as management has ceased and they’ve slowly started to die from the inside out."
"The great news at Ryton and Wappenbury is that traditional coppicing management has been restored - thanks to the trust’s work and especially the tireless work of our dedicated volunteers and naturalists who have created exactly the right conditions for the maximum number of species to thrive."
The wildlife trust is also working with landowners in the area to look at further ways of improving the area for wildlife by planting new hedgerows to reconnect the existing woodlands, as well as identifying sites to create new woodlands.
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