Join the Scrub Bash and help save endangered butterflies at Westcott

24/01/24 | Park News

Volunteers are needed to help protect and preserve the precious habitat of endangered butterfly species at Westcott.

On Monday 29th January a conservation event known as ‘Scrub Bash’ will be held at the old railway entrance to the Park.  Westcott businesses are invited to join this community event to make a difference in the biodiversity on the park and contribute to the survival of these beautiful creatures.

The Upper Thames Branch of Butterfly Conservation has identified an astounding 1100 species of moth living along the old, disused railway cutting on the west side of the park. 

Over the past few years, Chiltern Rangers has organised various conservation sessions to safeguard these species, including all the Hairstreaks, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper Butterflies, all of which are under serious threat from habitat loss in the UK.

Around 50 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds will generously dedicate their time to help reduce the scrub in the eastern embankment area. The community team will meticulously cut small trees and bushes that are encroaching on the rare floral grassland, which serves as a vital food source for the butterflies.   

Paul Stack of Chiltern Rangers said: “Over the past three years we have diligently worked on clearing the site, successfully mitigating the encroachment of scrub that poses a threat to the diverse short turf species living there. Our primary focus lies in safeguarding species such as the Black Hairstreak, an endangered species listed on the Red List, as their survival is limited to small pockets across Britain. 

“Without collaborative efforts this remarkable species faces the risk of permanent extinction. Our work plays a critical role in preserving this exceptional habitat for both flora and butterflies.”

The programme is sponsored by Westcott owners PATRIZIA along with Butterfly Conservation, DEFRA Farming and Countryside Project, and the Rothschild Foundation. Chiltern Rangers hope to run further sessions throughout the year.

Paul added: “We would like to invite local businesses to join in our session on the 29th January for an extraordinary community day.  The event presents a remarkable opportunity to invest in your team's wellbeing while actively contributing towards corporate social responsibility targets.  Together, we can make a significant impact on improving the biodiversity in our area.” 

Nigel MacKenzie, Westcott Development Manager said: ”Ecology and sustainability are fundamental principles for site owner PATRIZIA and the management team at Westcott.

“We are thrilled to contribute to the conservation of priority butterfly species.  In addition to the environmental advantages, our tenants value the opportunity to work in a natural setting.  This initiative reinforces our dedication to offering a secure and sustainable space for growth.

To sign up to join the conservation team on Monday 29th January visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/monday-29th-jan-scrub-bash-westcott-venture-park-disused-railway-cutting-tickets-807572459967?aff=oddtdtcreator 


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