Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

A look-back to our Limestone’s Living Legacies project 2019

 

2019 has been another busy year for Limestone’s Living Legacies so here’s a little look back over some of our highlights from this past year!

  • After trying and failing in 2018 to locate the Rock-rose Pot Beetle at its two known Gloucestershire sites, we finally found it on both sites in 2019. This has been possibly the most elusive of our rare species, but thanks to Liam from Buglife and some intensive days of surveying, he finally found it on both sites. A huge relief to know it still exists here and we’re now looking forward to returning in 2020 to see if we can find more.

 Andy Brown

  • Surveys for Cotswold Pennycress, one of our target plant species have also been successful this year. Having been known from 13 sites previously, our surveys with the help of Plantlife have added another three new sites to the list. Work to clear encroaching scrub from some of the key areas for this species has also taken place this year in the hope that this will help the plant to spread further.
  • We had a great day back in the summer with Kew Garden’s Millennium Seed Bank team collecting Pasqueflower seed. The Pasqueflower is known from a handful of sites in the Cotswolds but has seen declines in recent years due to lack of grazing. Although we have now got grazing back onto one known Pasqueflower site, we were also able to collect around 6000 seeds from one of the best sites in the county. These are now safely stored back at the Millennium Seed Bank and could provide a ready source of seed should we decide to try reintroductions to the Cotswolds in the future.

  • Our Rugged Oil Beetle surveys are now in full flow having started again in October and already our intrepid volunteer surveyors have discovered another new site to add to the list. This now takes us up to eight new Rugged Oil Beetle sites since our surveys started in 2017. This shows the importance of surveying as this is likely to be a result of under recording, but it also shows just how important an area the Stroud valleys are for this beetle. It is still nationally rare but clearly has a stronghold in this part of the Cotswolds.

Emma Burt

 

  • Targeted paddock grazing, which began in 2018 has now been introduced to six Duke of Burgundy sites and two potential Large Blue reintroduction sites in order to restore the grassland habitat for these rare butterflies. At the same time 210 Marjoram plants and 4000 marjoram seeds were planted at one of the potential Large Blue reintroduction sites to increase the amount of food plants available for the Large Blue caterpillars.

 Keith Warmington, BC.

 

  • A 72m2 scrape was created with the help of contractors this year to help Juniper. Juniper berries need to land on bare soil in order to germinate so this new expanse of bare ground will help the surrounding mature bushes produce the next generation of Juniper seedlings. It should also help Rugged Oil Beetles by providing the bare ground for solitary bees on which they rely, to make their nests.

 Jennifer GIlbert, BftB.

The Limestone's Living Legacies project is based in the Cotswolds and consists of numerous sites and is made up of a partnership of conservation organisations.
If you're interested in getting involved next year - meeting like-minded people, getting outdoors and doing something amazing for our rare wildlife - why not come along to a project day? Get in touch here, or keep an eye on our events page!

See you there,

 

Jennifer Gilbert

Colour in the Margins Outreach Officer

 

 

Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.

 

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