Last year I wrote about our involvement with the chequered skipper reintroduction project that’s happening in north Northamptonshire, and specifically the work of University of Northampton postgraduate researcher Jamie Wildman. For the past month we’ve been sitting on some news that we were not allowed reveal: the reintroduction has been a success! That is to say, adult butterflies emerged in May this year, having overwintered as pupae, and have been seen breeding in Rockingham Forest. The secrecy was to prevent hordes of butterfly twitchers (buttwitchers?) descending on the site and possibly doing unintentional harm as they searched for the adults. The population just isn’t large enough to be able to withstand that sort of pressure.
In a time when the media is dominated by profoundly depressing stories about wildlife and the environment it’s great to be able to end the week with some positive news. Here’s to the long-term success of this lovely little critter!