The Forest of Dean is home to a number of beautiful and increasingly rare species of butterflies and moths.  One such is the small pearl bordered fritillary, which need  open  space and grazed  clearings within the forest  in which to live and breed.

This butterfly  is known as an indicator of a high quality environment.  Where this species thrives many other rare and local species also do well.

How to Get Involved:


  • Help survey the forest for the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary in May and June 2016
  • Book your own map square and see if you can find a secret colony no one knows about.
  • Training on identification of butterfly species before you check your square.

If you would like to get involved in this project, please contact

Forest Voluntary Action Forum tel:  01594 822073  email: forestersforest@fvaf.org.uk

Before November 2016 this project will:

  • Map former key butterfly sites
  • Assess their condition and propose necessary management to restore suitable butterfly habitat
  • Identify linkages within the ecological network to expand and enhance suitable butterfly habitat within the Project area.

Between 2017 - 2022 the project will:

  • Be involved in the implementation of the ecological network with the possibility of reintroduction of the SPBF back to areas where it once thrived.

Project lead:

Simon Glover  -  tel: 01989 566443  email: simon.glover@rocketmail.com


Small Pearl by Nick Williams

In the 1980’s there were over 40 breeding colonies throughout the forest open ground.  Now in 2015 we are down to only two colonies.  Sheep numbers  and grazing levels fell  further following Foot and Mouth in 2000 and it has been a downward spiral for this butterfly since.   If we can restore habitat and open space links this will also benefit other species such as Wood White, Grizzled Skipper  and Dingy Skipper.

This project is part of the larger plan to create or restore a network of open spaces throughout the Forest  to allow the butterfies and moths to flourish again.  It is important to get the habitat restored from the current  scrub, brambles and bracken.

Wood White

photo credit: Nick Williams