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2020 / 2021 Edition

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All of a flutter at CEMEX’s Rugby amphitheatre

Green Hairstreak butterfly

Landscape-scale conservation work improves butterfly habitat and gives rare species a boost

MANAGEMENT of seven CEMEX UK sites around Rugby, Warwickshire, in partnership with Butterfly Conservation, has resulted in increased numbers of one or more nationally rare species despite overall butterfly numbers being at an all-time low.

The Green Hairstreak (pictured), which nationally has declined by 68%, is now found at four of the CEMEX sites, with biodiversity priority species such as the Small Blue and Grizzled Skipper also increasing at the sites.

Management of the land around the sites through landscape-scale conservation now provides better butterfly habitat. One outstanding example of landscape-scale conservation is the ‘butterfly amphitheatre’ created at the company’s Rugby cement plant.

Here, as with the other CEMEX sites, the aim is to connect more areas of suitable habitat, preventing species from becoming marooned in one area with limited food sources and the possibility of inbreeding.

Warwickshire Butterfly Conservation officer, Mike Slatter, commented: ‘2012 was disastrously wet for butterflies and it dented the good conservation progress made in recent years.

‘However, with the provision of better-quality habitat, and in this case some of the best habitat, on a landscape scale such as on these CEMEX sites, recovery can take place.’

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