Portland Living Landscapes

Kingbarrow quarry restoration © Sam Hamer

About the Project

The project aims to restore up to 200 hectares of limestone grassland; a priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitat. 

This habitat on Portland is of international importance supporting ten UK BAP species, including the unique 'cretaceous' form of the silver studded blue butterfly which now only survives on the island.

Hundreds of species of plants and animals are dependent upon the limestone grasslands and coastal habitats of Portland for their survival.  These include 27 species of National Scarce, Rare or Vulnerable plants and an incredible 99 species of Notable or Red Data Book invertebrates.  In addition to the more visible species over 350 species of lichens and bryophytes have been recorded, 23 of which are on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Red List.

Cotoneaster growth is currently the biggest threat to limestone grassland on Portland. Without intervention we will see the local, and in some cases global, extinction of a number of species.

While Buddleia plays an important part in the life cycle of some butterflies, the specific butterfly species that are rare to Portland have a far greater dependency on the limestone grassland plants. Large amounts of Buddleia are a threat to this habitat and by managing the buddleia on these sites we aim to restore this nationally important habitat.

Portland is home to...

  • 100% of the global population of Portland Hawkweed.
  • >75% of the global population of Eudarcia richardsoni.
  • >90% of the UK population of Southbya nigrella (a liverwort).
  • >75% of the UK population of Cephaloziella baumgartneri (a liverwort).
  • >75% of the UK population of Portland Feather-moss.
  • 4 lichens found nowhere else in Britain.
  • Nationally Important colonies of Chalk Hill and Small Blue butterflies.
  • An endemic variety of Silver studded Blue that has declined from 30 colonies to around 10 at the most.

Would you like to help us?

Any help from volunteers on this project would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in volunteering on this project please contact: Sam Hamer - Portland Living Landscapes Project Officer on 07824874272

How the project is funded

This very important work has been made possible thanks to a major grant from Viridor Credits Environmental Company through the Landfill Communities Fund (formerly the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme) in celebration of their tenth anniversary.

Landowners and Partners

Under the Portland Living Landscapes Project, management is being carried out on sites owned or leased by a variety of groups including Albion Stone, Portland Stone Firms, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation and Portland Court Leet. This joined up working is enabling the Project to tackle the issue of invasive species on a landscape scale.

Other Work

A short film discussing some of the other threads beyond habitat restoration from our Living Landscape Project on Portland. Many thanks to volunteer Sam Manning for his skills with video photography.

Weighing Duncecroft

Interesting statistics have arisen from many aspects of the Portland Living Landscape work. This video explores the biomass burden of Cotoneaster horizontalis on one of the more sensitive areas.


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