In May this year members of Stonehouse Methodist Church took some photos of the church garden showing where they had left the edges of the lawn unmowed to encourage wildlife as part of their Eco Church land management scheme. At that time they found a few bees and pollinators buzzing around the yellow flowers.
Fast forward two months and they were thrilled to see several butterflies flitting about on the increased variety of now quite tall grasses and wild flowers. Great news for their Eco Church land management scheme. By having the beech hedge and grass strip they have the created the perfect habitat for the Gatekeeper butterfly.
The Gatekeeper Butterfly
As its English names suggest, the Gatekeeper (also known as the Hedge Brown) is often encountered where clumps of flowers grow in gateways and along hedgerows and field edges and can be found where tall grasses grow close to hedges, trees or scrub. Typical habitats are along hedgerows.
Favourite nectar sources include Wild Marjoram, Common Fleabane, Ragwort and Brambles. Caterpillar food plants include various grasses such as bents, fescues, meadow-grasses and common couch.
Source: Butterfly Conservation