Bicester 2020 funded by Butterfly conservation
This site is excellent for wildlife and is especially good for birds and butterflies and in particular species that rely to a lesser or greater extent on scrub which means we have a wide variety of warblers on site as well as Nightingales and at least four of the five Hairstreaks. The site is closed off from the public and its deer population is heavily controlled therefore the wildlife has limited disturbance and the scrub itself doesn’t have the distinct browse line that you can see at most sites throughout the UK.
Thanks to Butterfly conservation we were able to continue our conservation work at St. George’s Barracks, Bicester in October when we took a group of volunteers to create a blackthorn hedge for two of our rare hairstreak butterflies. We started by clearing the front edge of the blackthorn down to ground level, we then laid the blackthorn behind this and left the thorn behind this as it is. In addition we went to the opposite side of the blackthorn (behind the thorn we had left standing) and coppiced a large amount of the willow that was growing there.
As a little bonus the work also allowed enough space for a digger to get through and clear a patch of a very overgrown pond where Great Crested Newts have been found, a little side project that is also going on to improve the site for aquatic species too.
Brown Hairstreak Male
Brown Hairstreak female