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Thousands set to boost conservation of Britain’s rarest butterflies

Dingy Skipper Credit Tammy AndrewsDingy Skipper Credit Tammy Andrews

Nearly £10,000 has been donated to help protect some of the most threatened butterflies in the country. Rare butterflies in the North York Moors National Park will benefit from £9,413 of funding thanks to a Black Friday campaign by Forest Holidays and the UK National Parks that finished on 2 December.

The funds were raised through donations made on every Forest Holidays booking made during November and over the Black Friday weekend. With thousands of bookings made, the whole campaign raised £51,065 of which the North York Moors National Park Authority will receive a share in 2020.

Elizabeth Clements, Head of Natural Environment from the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted and very thankful to Forest Holidays and to everyone who made a booking. The conservation and protection of rare butterflies and moths within our project area is absolutely vital. Despite existing populations stabilising over the last 15 years thanks to the work of Butterfly Conservation, their existence remains precarious. We need to continue to act to prevent decline or the potential complete loss of certain butterfly species from the National Park.”

The funds will support The Rare Butterfly Conservation Project, which is one part of the larger ‘Ryevitalise’ Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority and other partners including Butterfly Conservation. The overall aim of the scheme is to revitalise the River Rye's natural and cultural heritage, reconnecting people with the river, its wildlife, history and landscape through an exciting range of projects.

This will include the conservation and protection of eight priority butterfly and moth species found within the Ryevitalise project area. One of these includes the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, one of the rarest butterflies in Britain.

Butterfly Conservation will be the lead partner for the project working alongside the Ryevitalise team, organising work parties, educational activities, events and training, surveys and monitoring programmes.

Cat Hawkins, Chair of National Parks Partnerships said: “Huge thanks to our national partners Forest Holidays for this brilliant campaign, which has generated much needed funds for at-risk species in the UK’s National Parks. Protecting the National Parks’ biodiversity is more important than ever, and these funds will make a real impact at a local level.”

ENDS

About North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres), the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 7.9 million visitors a year.

Contact: Charlie Fox, c.fox@northyorkmoors.org.uk, 01439 772700

About Forest Holidays

Forest Holidays offers guests the chance to enjoy a peaceful getaway surrounded by picturesque British forests. Forest Holidays aim to create authentic experiences in Britain’s amazing forests; connecting people, nature and local communities. Forest Holidays is a joint venture, public/private partnership with the Forestry Commission and has a 125-year lease on the land on which sites are based. The cabins are architecturally designed to fit sensitively within the woodland environment with modest central facilities. With nature at the heart of Forest Holidays’ ethos, they provide year-round short breaks and holidays in timber cabins set within ten locations on the Forestry Commission Estate, operating successfully in National Parks and other sensitive locations.

Contact: Alexander Jones, alex@propellernet.co.uk, 01273 760 976

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, The National Lottery Heritage Fund inspires, leads and resources the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

www.heritagefund.org.uk

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

About UK National Parks

The UK’s National Parks are the best places to explore the British countryside. They are free to enter and explore and have 104 million visits each year. There are 15 National Parks in the UK, 10 in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland.

@uknationalparks

Contact: Naomi Conway, naomi.conway@nationalparks.co.uk , 07950 392979

About Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies, moths and our environment. Our research provides advice on how to conserve and restore habitats. We run projects to protect more than 100 threatened species and we are involved in conserving hundreds of sites and reserves.

www.butterfly-conservation.org

Follow on social media @savebutterflies