Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Waste land or 'brownfield' sites are vital for wildlife

Wasteland or "brownfield" areas are vital but overlooked habitats for UK wildlife, according to the charity Butterfly Conservation.
These sites are home to unusual, hardy plants and their patches of bare ground become warm "microclimates".
Experts say these features allow many rare insects to thrive.
One moth, the small ranunculus, which disappeared from the UK before World War II, has now recolonised brownfield habitats throughout England and Wales.
The conservation group and and the wildlife magazine the insect journal Atropos are encouraging people, where safe and legal access is possible, to explore their local quarries, disused railway lines, gravel pits and spoil tips in search of unusual moths this weekend.
This call for public participation is part of the charity's annual "moth night".
Richard Fox from Butterfly Conservation said that many of the sites were under threat from by redevelopment and "bland landscaping schemes".

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