Rare butterfly spotted laying eggs at reserve

The small blue butterfly has been spotted at Aldbury Nowers.
The small blue butterfly has been spotted at Aldbury Nowers.

A BUTTERFLY that had not been seen in the county for eight years before 2010 has been spotted laying eggs at a nature reserve.

The small blue has made a comeback to Aldbury Nowers Nature Reserve after extensive work to restore chalk grassland.

It was first seen at the 50-acre site, managed by the Wildlife Trust, last year.

In 2008 diggers were used to remove nutrient-rich top soil from the reserve to restore chalk grassland and a flock of Shetland sheep keep the grass at the perfect length to encourage wild flowers.

Wildlife Trust spokesman Sarah Buckingham said: “Butterflies are very fussy about what flowers they lay eggs on and what flowers they feed on.”

So far around three of the butterflies, which feed off Kidney Vetch, have been seen there.

Sarah added: “It is a small number but they were seen laying eggs so clearly that indicates that there could be more and there could be a colony formed there.”