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Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 13:05 UK
Breckland's butterflies to benefit from 126,485 grant
Dingy skipper butterfly (Photo: Alan Barnes)
Breckland is one of only six places where you can find the dingy skipper butterfly

The future of Breckland's population of rare butterflies and moths is being secured thanks to a £126,485 grant.

The funding from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) will help to restore habitats on 15 sites in the Brecks.

Charity Butterfly Conservation, which will carry out the work, is calling for volunteers to help clear the scrubland.

Breckland is home to rare species like the grizzled and dingy skipper butterflies, which have declined by more than half in 50 years nationwide.

Breckland's forest and heathland stretches from Swaffham in Norfolk to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, with Thetford at its heart.

"This is an important part of the country for skipper butterflies," said Butterfly Conservation's project officer Sharon Hearle.

The small grizzled and dingy skipper butterflies can be found in patches throughout the UK, but they are becoming rarer
The dingy skipper is known for its grey-brown wings, mottled brown markings and two rows of small white spots
The grizzled skipper is similar but has stronger black and white markings
Colonies occur in a wide range of open, sunny habitats, but taller vegetation is also required for shelter and roosting
The butterflies are well known for their excellent camouflage

"Now we know where they are surviving we can undertake work to protect them and increase the size of these isolated colonies.

"We need to clear areas of the countryside that have become overgrown so that plants which offer food for caterpillars, and flowers which provide nectar for adult butterflies, will flourish," she added.

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK from funds donated by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) to the Landfill Communities Fund.

Volunteers are needed to monitor butterflies and moths and to carry out practical conservation tasks like scrub clearance.

To find out more contact Sharon Hearle on 01638 731648 or join a guided walk at Barnham Cross Common on Friday, 29 October 2010, starting at the main car park near the playing fields at 11am.

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