In 2014 we teamed up with the East Midlands Branch for Butterfly Conservation and began a regular Butterfly Transect on the Meadows. Novice enthusiasts led by some experienced people formed teams and arranged to walk the same route every week during the butterfly season. As our interest grew we looked at ways to increase both the number and diversity of butterfly species on our Meadows and it was decided to build a Butterfly Bank from limestone, planted so as to attract butterflies to our area.
Ken, the local organiser for Butterfly Conservation in Derbyshire arranged with Longcliffe Quarries to provide us with some free limestone and in March 2016 it was delivered.
The first sods were cut in June 2016 and a team of fit Derby Park Volunteers set about the bank construction. With a lot of muscle power, barrowing and raking the bank slowly took shape, and a few weeks later the first plants were put in position.
Obviously it takes time for the bank to mature but in 2016 , 26 transects were walked and a total of 788 butterflies spotted covering 16 different species of which the most common were the Meadow Brown and the Ringlet who accounted for 413 of the total.
In June 2017 the bank was expanded and now, in late 2017, the bank has begun to mature with a variety of wild flowers taking hold and some very welcome visitors attracted.
The butterfly transect results for 2017 are not yet available but we are hoping for an increase in both numbers and diversity.
If you are interested in helping out on this project then please get in touch. We need people to occasionally weed the bank and if you are interested in joining a transect then training can be provided.