We’ve been translocating plants onto the Wirral coastline in an effort to protect vulnerable plant species.
For the last two years our nursery team have been hard at work recreating the sand dune conditions of the Wirral coastline, here in the zoo’s plant collection. Our aim is to grow a population of sea holly plants fit for reintroduction to the wild. Sea holly is a crucial nectar plant for the grayling butterfly, a species that’s seen a 70% decline in numbers over recent years and is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ nationally.
The Red Rocks Nature Reserve at the Wirral’s northern tip is home to a small population of the grayling butterfly, but this habitat needs reinforcement to be sustained for the years ahead.
Last month we joined Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation in planting 200 Chester Zoo grown sea holly plants onto the site, forming a trial conservation project over these summer months in which butterfly numbers will be carefully monitored. We’re hoping that with increased food resources the adult butterflies will be able to thrive and reproduce well.
Projects like these have the power to safeguard entire British ecosystems, so we’re incredibly proud to be in a partnership aiming to safeguard precious biodiversity right here in the north west.
WATCH AND FIND OUT MORE
Watch the Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s short film on the re-introduction of this precious plant species and why it’s vital in helping this ecosystem thrive.
PROTECTING NATIVE SPECIES
We support lots of incredible UK conservation projects to help prevent the extinction of wildlife close to home.