Wildlife trusts’ conservation work at Foxley Wood to give butterflies a boost

Conservation workers at a Breckland woodland hope efforts to encourage more brambles to grow will boost butterfly numbers.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust site at Foxley Wood, between Dereham and Fakenham, is a haven for white admirals but an increasing number of deer are taking away their favourite snack.

John Milton, woods field officer for the NWT, said: 'All the deer species browse brambles as a winter food plant and we've noticed a decline, particularly in the woodland. It's the major food plant for the white admiral.'

As part of the trust's conservation efforts at the Foxley reserve – which is also a key bluebell site as well as home to plants like early purple orchid and other butterflies – workers are stepping up their attempts to thin out parts of the woodland.

By letting more light reach the ground, it should encourage growth and replenish the stocks of brambles, helping the white admiral to flourish.

To help with that work the trust was yesterday given a new Stihl chainsaw by RG Maintenance, based at Yaxham, near Dereham.

The donation will help the NWT team clear even more woodland and will benefit a number of animal and plant species, as well as the white admiral butterflies.

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Mr Milton said: 'With so much habitat work to carry out on our reserves we go through an awful lot of equipment.'

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