Portland butterflies put forward for Tesco Bags of Help scheme

Silver studded blue butterfly © Mark Heighes 

Saving butterflies on Portland has been put forward for the Tesco Bags of Help scheme and could be awarded up to £2,000 of funding - depending on the customer vote. Shops taking part in the scheme across Weymouth and Portland are: Tesco Metro, Lodmoor Hill Express, Lane House Express and Portland Superstore.

Saving butterflies on Portland is one of the projects going forward to a vote in Tesco stores, where customers will decide the outcome by voting for their favourite project using the blue token each time they shop, Voting will take place from Wednesday 1st January until Tuesday 31st March 2020.  The project with the highest votes will be awarded £2,000, the second placed project, £1,000 and the third, £500. 

Portland's Butterflies 

Portland is a wonderful place for wildlife. It’s amazing limestone grasslands and habitats are home to over half of Britain’s 57 butterfly species, including the rare ‘Cretaceous’ silver studded blue and the Adonis Blue.

Local people and visitors have always enjoyed seeing clouds of butterflies as they visit the quarry nature reserves across the island. But even these populations have declined over the last 50 years or so, as scrub grows over the bare limestone patches that warm up early in the season where caterpillars feed. Previous practical management by Dorset Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation proves that we can reverse some of these losses, by removing scrub and bramble to restore high-quality flower rich habitat, with positive outcomes immediately evident.

This project will use existing partnerships and expertise to ensure that Portland’s special butterflies continue to thrive by restoring their habitat and enabling people to find out more about them. Work will be undertaken at quarry nature reserves, carried out by DWT led volunteer groups and by specialist local contractors where necessary eg steep slopes. The project will help DWT provide more opportunities for people to participate in outdoor activities, such as wildlife watching and volunteering, that contribute to personal health and wellbeing, and support people so they can actively make a difference to the biodiversity of their local natural environment.

Tesco funding would:

•          Enable the local community to learn new skills through volunteering, enjoy the benefits of getting close to nature and increase physical activity

•          Improve signs and interpretation panels on nature reserves, furthering people’s understanding of the nature around them

•          Improve habitats for rare butterflies on Portland’s quarry nature reserves, ensuring the future survival of unique and important populations

Thank you!