Sheep protect Brighton Brown Argus butterflies

A Brown Argus butterfly. Picture by nutmeg66 on Flickr

A Brown Argus butterfly. Picture by nutmeg66 on Flickr

First published in News by , Health reporter

A flock of 350 sheep are being employed to help protect Brighton butterflies.

The sheep are based on rare chalk grassland on the South Downs near Brighton.

Phillippa Morrison-Price, South Downs National Park ranger, said: “Chalk grassland is one of the most endangered habitats in the country and vital to the survival of wildlife such as the chalk hill blue and Brown Argus butterflies.

“But it only exists because of the grazing that's taken place here over thousands of years.

“Reintroducing grazing animals, like these sheep, is vital for the survival of the grassland and the butterflies that need it to thrive.

“The benefits of this work will be seen much further too. The South Downs' chalk downland is also relied on by more than a million people in and around the national park for clean drinking water and tens of millions of people as a valuable green space.”

The work contributes to wider plans to safeguard and enhance endangered chalk downland led by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The Veolia Environmental Trust has also awarded a grant of £40,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund.

This is being used to help improve chalk grassland near Saddlescombe Farm, Brighton, where rare and threatened butterfly species can still be found.

The funding means that newly improved grassland on the edge of Waterhall Golf Club will join up with grassland already managed by Brighton and Hove City Council - increasing the area the butterflies can call home by 50%.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:55pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Roundbill says...

Siobhan, I assume you're new here and there are no grown-ups at Argus Towers to teach you how to be a real reporter. Instead of simply regurgitating a press release, maybe next time you might spend an hour checking the archive and finding out whether there has been any controversy or dissent? I'll give you a clue, search for "wild park clearance" and take it from there.

Hey everyone, remember when Argus hacks used to actually investigate stories? Good times, good times...
Siobhan, I assume you're new here and there are no grown-ups at Argus Towers to teach you how to be a real reporter. Instead of simply regurgitating a press release, maybe next time you might spend an hour checking the archive and finding out whether there has been any controversy or dissent? I'll give you a clue, search for "wild park clearance" and take it from there. Hey everyone, remember when Argus hacks used to actually investigate stories? Good times, good times... Roundbill
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree