The Glensanda estate lies in one of the Butterfly Scotland ‘s conservation zones, Lochaber is one of ten such areas designated across Scotland as the best landscapes for Lepidoptera in the country. Glensanda therefore has the potential to hold populations of several key species.
Prior to new woodland planting taking place a survey was carried out to identify the suitability of the estate for key Lepidoptera, this included a walk over of three areas where woodland creation was proposed. This identified five BAP species of Lepidoptera already on the estate.
- Anania funebris
- Argent and Sabia
- Chequered Skipper
- Narrow bordered Bee Hawk moth
- Pearl Bordered Fritillary
It was noted that the area also contained suitable habitat for four additional key species:
- Marsh Fritillary
- Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary
- Barred Tooth striped
- Transparent Burnet
Since the initial survey the new woodland planting has taken place in an area located on the Glensanda estate where there is little or no conflict with the priority Lepidopteran interests which generally occur on more semi natural habitat. This creates a great potential to manage the new native woodland areas on the estate for Lepidoptera.
The BAP species seen during the initial visits where primarily found on the south facing slopes overlooking Loch Linnhe and along the Glensanda river valley and its associated tributaries, this included the woodland specialist species Chequered Skipper, Pearl Bordered Fritillary and Anania funebris, for which Glensanda is only the second known site in Scotland (see image below).
The presence of so many BAP species of Lepidoptera on the Glensanda estate demonstrates that Aggregate Industries management of the new and existing woodlands is of the utmost importance to butterfly conservation in Scotland.