The importance of shelter for butterflies in open landscapes

  • Published source details Dover J.W., Sparks T.H. & Greatorex-Davies J.N. (1997) The importance of shelter for butterflies in open landscapes. Journal of Insect Conservation, 1, 89-97.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage hedgerows to benefit wildlife (e.g. no spray, gap-filling and laying)

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Manage hedgerows to benefit wildlife (e.g. no spray, gap-filling and laying)

    A controlled study in 1995–1996 along a hedgerow in Cambridgeshire, UK (Dover et al. 1997) found that laid or coppiced sections of hedge had a higher abundance of butterflies than uncut sections of hedge. There were more butterflies along laid (53–67 butterflies/plot) or coppiced (60–69 butterflies/plot) sections of hedge than along uncut sections (23–26 butterflies/plot). Meadow brown Maniola jurtina (laid: 29–48; coppiced: 28–31; uncut: 18–22 butterflies/plot), gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus (laid: 7–12; coppiced: 12–16; uncut: 1 butterflies/plot) and small heath Coenonympha pamphilus (laid: 4–5; coppiced: 7–14; uncut: 2 butterflies/plot) were all more abundant on laid or coppiced sections than on uncut sections, but small skipper Thymelicus sylvestris abundance was not significantly different between treatments (laid: 1–7; coppiced: 2–6; uncut: 0–1 butterflies/plot). A hedge was planted in the early 1960s. In winter 1990/91 the hedge was divided into twelve 20-m long experimental plots. One of three treatments was applied to each plot: laying, coppicing to ground level, or left uncut. In winter 1995/96, the laid and coppiced sections were trimmed. In summer 1995 and 1996, butterflies were surveyed on both sides of the hedge on 18–19 visits/year.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

Output references
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