Rare butterflies back from brink in Cumbria

Marsh fritillary butterfly Marsh fritillaries have suffered from loss of their natural habitat

Related Stories

A species of rare butterfly has been successfully re-introduced to Cumbria.

The marsh fritillary was once widespread across the county, but loss of habitat led the the population dying out there in 2004.

A project to return them was started in 2007 by Natural England and Butterfly Conservation, with thousands released in secret locations.

This led to the butterflies making a comeback at four sites, where the colonies are now thriving.

At one of the sites, Finglandrigg Wood National Nature Reserve, a trail and on-site interpretation guides visitors to the colony.

Decline of the marsh fritillary has been caused by the loss and isolation of the wet pastures that are their preferred habitat.

Drainage, agricultural improvement, conifer plantations and neglect have seriously reduced the number and condition of their habitat across the UK.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cumbria



16 °C 11 °C


  • FlagsNational identity

    After the referendum, have two Scotlands emerged?

  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing

  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos

  • Relief sculpture of MithrasRoman puzzle

    How to put London's mysterious underground temple back together

  • Deepika PadukoneBeauty and a tweet

    Bollywood cleavage row shows India's 'crass' side

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.