Wildlife fans a flutter on Sheffield nature walk

Peacock butterfly
Peacock butterfly
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A group of wildlife enthusiasts took part in a public walk in search of rare butterflies around newly created Sheffield meadows.

The two-hour walk, led by Roger Butterfield from the City Ecology Unit, started at the Waterthorpe Wildflower Corridor and finished at the meadow at Crystal Peaks.

Species of butterflies identified included meadow browns, speckled woods, gatekeepers, small skippers and holly blues, all of which have risen in numbers since the meadows were created.

The walk is an annual event sponsored by Crystal Peaks Mall, which has also funded the creation of five new meadows and other facilities such as footpaths, bridges and seating.

The schemes form the Waterthorpe and Ochre Dyke Wildflower Corridor Project which is in its second year of five.

The project aims to increase and spread biodiversity from the ancient meadow to the new meadows along the corridor.

The new meadows were created by Sheffield Landscape Trust, under the supervision of Sheffield Council’s countryside planning department.

The trust worked with community groups, residents and volunteers. Pupils from Emmanuel Junior and Infants school sowed the new meadows a year ago with seed collected from the ancient meadow.

Karl Knight, council countryside planning officer, said: “The new meadows are crucial in providing sustainable urban wildlife areas for the future.”

Plans are also in place for six more meadows to be created.