Read about the restoration of marshy grassland in the Amman Valley to support marsh fritillary butterfly conservation.
Hope for Marsh Fritillary Butterfly
The Amman Valley in Carmarthenshire is an important area for the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) butterfly as well as other associated wetland flora and fauna. The butterfly has experienced a dramatic decline in the UK, with many localised extinctions in Wales.
Evidence suggests that even though the quantity of marshy grassland habitat in the Amman Valley has increased in recent years, its quality and ability to support marsh fritillary has likely declined.
Since 2018, the Initiative for Nature Conservation Cymru (INCC) has been working closely with local communities and landowners in the Amman Valley as part of their efforts toward species and habitat conservation at the landscape scale.
This offered a great opportunity for marsh fritillary conservation in the area to work with landowners to restore marshy grassland habitat and raise awareness of the species locally.
The overall project aim was to build on the good working relationship with landowners in the Amman Valley to restore marshy grassland at the landscape scale.
After suitable marshy grassland in the area was identified and mapped, funding from the LNP Cymru project via the Carmarthenshire Nature Partnership enabled the project to work with local landowners with suitable habitat.
Funding also allowed a site assessment of the land and plans for marshy grassland restoration to be developed. The plans focused on marsh fritillary but were also keen to acknowledge the restraints and concerns of individual landowners.
As well as a bespoke restoration plan, the funding also allowed the project to produce a general habitat restoration guide for marsh fritillary, which was made available to several other landowners in the valley and beyond.
Out of 15 landowners contacted, 10 signed up to the habitat restoration plan and 5 bespoke habitat plans were produced.
The project has enabled INCC to raise awareness of marsh fritillary conservation and habitat restoration in the Amman Valley and to highlight the importance of the community and local landowners to nature conservation.
Through an ongoing presence in the Amman Valley, INCC can now work with the landowners involved in the project (and others) to implement the recommendations made in bespoke plans to ensure more marshy grassland habitat can be restored.
The project has also led INCC to build a greater platform in the Amman Valley so that the charity can expand its conservation activities to include more species and habitats.