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Butterfly charity celebrates 50th anniversary with conservation volunteer event

PUBLISHED: 13:31 11 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 11 March 2018

To mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike Gasson

To mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike Gasson

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To mark the 50th anniversary of one of the world's oldest insect conservation charities volunteers helped prepare habitats for a new season of butterflies.

To mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike GassonTo mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike Gasson

The UK-wide day of action had events across the country included one in a cut off channel near Thetford where the public were invited to join the efforts of the Butterfly Conservation charity.

Even Sir David Attenborough threw his weight behind the campaign calling for volunteers to join the Norfolk event.

The regional officer who helped organise Norfolk’s event, Sharon Hearle, said: “Without events like these the site would become overgrown due to natural processes causing the butterflies not to return.

“In particular we are working to conserve the population of the dingy skipper butterfly which is quite rare.

To mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike GassonTo mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike Gasson

“It is a pretty little thing and it is almost like a moth but it is quite uncommon and declining in Norfolk.”

The volunteers worked to create small shelters and clear any overgrown parts of the site at the anniversary event on Saturday.

They were treated with cake while they worked to create the habitats which are also suitable for small birds.

Butterfly Conservation was founded in March 1968 and is one of the largest insect conservation organisations in the world.

To mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike GassonTo mark 50 years of the Butterfly Conservation charity, people across Norfolk came together to ready the habitats of butterflies for the season. Photo: Mike Gasson

It runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species, as well as conserving hundreds of sites and reserves across the country.

Last week the broadcasting stalwart Sir David said: “Half a century ago a small group of naturalists became so concerned about the plight of the UK’s butterflies that they decided to join forces to protect them.

“That organisation became Butterfly Conservation and 50 years later the need for people who care about our butterflies and moths is greater than ever before.”

The site the volunteers were working on was also created in the 1960s and stretches from Mildenhall to Feltwell and up to Denver near Downham Market.

Green hairstreak butterfly. Picture: Rob SolomonGreen hairstreak butterfly. Picture: Rob Solomon

It also operates as a flood alleviation area and provides drinking water to houses in Essex via a pipeline.

For more information on Butterfly Conservation’s work in Norfolk visit their website at butterfly-conservation.org/291/norfolk-branch

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