Posted 11th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
Wildlife lovers are to get the rare chance to see the spectacular Common Blue butterfly at Derbyshire's only butterfly reserve
The largest colony of Common Blue butterflies can be found at Hoe Grange Quarry, which is opening its gates to the public for the first time this year on Sunday 17 June.
The event will be taking place at the height of the Common Blue flight season on the reserve, which sits on the southern edge of the Peak District, near the hamlet of Longcliffe, between Brassington and Elton.
The limestone quarry was left to wildlife in the 1970s and now, thanks to joint management by Butterfly Conservation (BC) and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) volunteers. Now, the reserve is home to over 26 species of butterfly.
Visitors will be able to take a guided tour of the reserve which, at this time of year, will be full of other wildlife.
BC's Butterfly Recorder for the area, Ken Orpe, commented: "The Common Blue is doing really well at Hoe Grange and in a good year, you can see as many as 200 butterflies on one day!"
"We’re inviting families to come and see this butterfly and other species like the Wall butterfly between 11am and 4pm on Sunday 17 June."
He added: "We have a number of day-flying moths at Hoe Grange like the beautiful Wood Tiger moth, but we also have plenty of night-time moths that people wouldn’t normally get to see, like the bright pink and green Elephant Hawk-moth."
Image courtesy of Ken Warmington