How this rare butterfly is making a comeback on the Norfolk Broads

The Swallowtail butterfly has been spotted on the Norfolk Broads. Picture: Mark Rayment

The Swallowtail butterfly has been spotted on the Norfolk Broads. Picture: Mark Rayment - Credit: Archant

A rare species of butterfly has been making appearances in Norfolk.

The Swallowtail butterfly, which is exclusively found on the Norfolk Broads, was spotted at Strumpshaw Fen over the weekend.

Tim Strudwick, site manager at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, said: "It's a big thing to celebrate for us.

"People travel from all over the country to see them. Once we had someone drive up from Devon in the early hours of the morning."

While not an unusual sighting in Norfolk, the butterfly has suffered from waning numbers after the First World War.


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It can only inhabit areas that are abundant in milk parsley - and the crop suffered from depletion after the First World War following ineffective fenland management.

The Swallowtail is the UK's largest species of butterfly and typically emerges from late May to early September.

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It emits a pineapple scent when found in a threatening situation.

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