Woodlands managed for shooting can help protect butterflies from summer droughts

Common Blue butterfly
Common Blue butterfly

BASC welcomes the results of Natural England-commissioned research that show that larger areas of semi-natural habitat in woodlands can help protect butterfly populations during summer droughts.

Woodlands managed for shooting can provide the right conditions to help butterflies survive the worst of the summer heat.

Earlier this year BASC published a white paper highlighting the important role that shooting plays in landscape-scale land management and highlighted the conservation based ecosystem services it provides in partnership with other land users and managers.

Woodland managed for shooting rather than for commercial timber production provides a richer and more varied habitat. In the wide rides required for shooting, there can be four times as many butterflies as on woodland edge. Shoots manage 500,000 hectares of woodland and create and maintain 100,000 ha of copses.

 
Alan Jarrett, Chairman of BASC, said: “Shooting shapes the countryside. It creates and manages habitats which benefit a huge range of species – from insects through to large birds and mammals. We owe the existence of many of our lowland woodlands to our history of game management, which continues to be an important incentive for woodland conservation.”

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