Volunteers recognised for work on butterfly conservation

Work by the South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service to support local butterfly populations around Winchester and Petersfield has been recognised by Hampshire & Isle of Wight branch of Butterfly Conservation.

Volunteer John Walton, who volunteers at the western end of the National Park, collected the branch Conservation Award 2018 ‘in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Lepidoptera conservation’. The award is for chalk grassland management tasks that the volunteers have carried out on Butterfly Conservation reserves.

The Volunteer Rangers can often be spotted on sites such as Magdalen Hill Down and Bentley Reserve where their work to conserve rare chalk grassland habitat supports 34 species of butterfly, including major breeding colonies of brown argus, green hairstreak and chalkhill blue.