Three-quarters of Britain's native butterfly species are in decline, but a wildlife centre in Lincolnshire is trying to reverse that trend.
The Baytree Owl and Wildlife Centre in Lincolnshire has launched an ambitious new project to protect some of Britain’s butterflies and moths.
Over three-quarters of native species have falling numbers, according to Butterfly Conservation’s report last year.
The causes for this decline aren’t fully understood, but one thing is: conservation efforts can make a serious difference in reversing the trend. Take the Large Blue, for example: it was declared extinct in 1979, but is now thriving once more and is on-course to be removed from the ‘red list’ of endangered species.
To avoid other species getting into trouble, Baytree are hoping to raise £10,000 to turn a disused plastic tunnel into a native butterfly house.
It will contain four distinct habitats: a cottage garden, a wildflower meadow, a wooded area and a scrub area of nettles and brambles, to replicate the diverse environments of the British countryside.
These areas will provide food and shelter for the butterflies, and will also create an educational site for inspiring visitors to do more to help butterflies thrive in their gardens and local area.
“Butterflies and moths are often overlooked in favour of more cuddly creatures,” said the centre’s director Mark Birdsall.
“We want to change that by showing our visitors how important butterflies are and how they can help them to thrive in the wild.”
The tunnel was previously used for birds of prey, so is already standing – but money is needed to add heating, ventilation and UV light to the tunnel, as well as several structural repairs.
Baytree are hoping to raise the money needed via their crowdfunding page, which you can visit here – there are a range of different incentives available for those who pledge money towards the project.