Duke of Burgundy butterfly receives a boost as wildlife trust secures land to help with its protection

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has bought land in Winchester which will help protect local wildlife including the Duke of Burgundy butterfly.

The Trust managed to raise £130,000 from a public appeal to put towards the purchase of Deacon Hill, a 25-acre (10-hectare) site of scrub and chalk grassland to the east of Winchester, overlooking the Chilcomb Valley.

Deacon Hill is the only remaining stronghold for the Duke of Burgundy butterfly in the area.

The Duke of Burgundy is found in England only with a stronghold in central-southern areas and more isolated colonies in the southern Lake District and the North York Moors. The butterflies have been in decline in recent decades, especially in woodlands where it is reduced to fewer than 20 sites.

Across the valley from Deacon Hill sits Butterfly Conservation’s Magdalen Hill Down nature reserve, now a haven for wildflowers and butterflies following years of careful restoration and management.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust plans to restore Deacon Hill, which is also home to a variety of birdlife, harvest mice and glow worms.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

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