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Sutton Park NNR Green Hairstreak Landscape Project Survey

Green Hairstreak Š Steven Cheshire 2009 Created: 15/09/09 Last Update: 15/09/09

Sutton Park NNR Green Hairstreak Landscape Project Survey Background

The Green Hairstreak’s only confirmed larval foodplants in Sutton Park are Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). Several other known foodplants Gorse (Ulex europaeus), Bramble (Rubus fruticosus), and different species of Bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus sp) are common throughout the Park but there is no evidence that they are used. Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus) and Crowberry (Empetrium nigrum), closely related to Cowberry and Bilberry, are rare in the park but are found in the area where the largest colony of Green Hairstreaks is located. It may be that these two plants are also used as larval foodplants. There are 15 complete or part 1 kilometre ordnance squares found within Sutton Park. Since 1993 there has been Green Hairstreak records from 11 of these squares. However, there is only one area that has returned records every year and that is Blackroot Heath. It is not known at present if the Green Hairstreak:•

Only breeds in this core area but spreads across the park as vagrants as part of a natural process.

Breeds mainly in this core area but spreads into other areas of the park that are less favourable in good years to set up temporary breeding colonies.

Has a meta-population structure in Sutton Park containing several permanent colonies of different sizes. The small colonies going extinct in poor years and small habitat patches being colonised in good years.

Recording History

A survey in August 2009 located several patches of Cowberry and Bilberry. For each patch of Cowberry and Bilberry a 10 figure grid reference was recorded. These locations have since been compared to the historical records of Green Hairstreak where a six figure grid reference is known (see table).

Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus

Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccus

Cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Images sourced from Wikipedia Commons (

Crowberry Empetrium nigrum

Grid Ref / Location SP09111/96674 Nr Lord Donegals ride SP08876/96670 South of Gun Targets SP09145/95650 Banners Gate

Foodplant sp Patch Size Green Hairstreak Bilberry Small Cowberry Bilberry Bilberry Cowberry

Small Large Large Large

SP08636/96939 Upper Longmoor Also known as Royal Gate



SP09569/98482 Little Bracebridge



SP10345/97543 Blackroot Heath (Also known as Upper Nuthurst & Dame Hurst) Blackroot Transect 1 SP09185/98195 Streetley Heath SP088/974 Edge of Streetley Golf Course SP105/975 Bracebridge Also known as Transect 2 SP093/967 Nr Rowtons Bank SP090/967 Longmoor Valley SP106/966 Keepers SP103/965 Hollyhurst North West Edge SP100/962 Nr Model Aeroplane flying field SP108/956 Powells

Bilberry Cowberry Crowberry Cranberry

Large Large Small Large



Not surveyed

4 known sightings SP093/958 SP091/957 Circa 12 sightings 1993-99 SP084968 SP084967 SP085967 3 sightings 1994-99 SP095985 SP095983 SP095989 100 + sightings SP103977

Probable Colony

1 sighting 1996 SP091983 1 sighting 2004

Possible Colony

Circa 100 sightings pre 2005 SP103977

Small to Medium colony likely to still be present

Not surveyed No foodplant found No foodplant found Not surveyed Not surveyed Not surveyed


2 sightings SP108956 SP105/956

Probable Colony

Possible Colony

Large Colony

Possible Colony





11 99

Milking Gate

Streetly Gate

Little Bracebridge

Streetley Heath

Four Oaks Gate

Little Bracebridge Pool Bracebridge Pool


Bracebridge Transect 2

Sutton Golf Course

Blackroot Heath Transect 1 Upper Nut Hurst

Sutton Golf Course

Upper Longmoor Valley


g ne





Lower Nut Hurst

Holly Hurst West ng

l’s Ride Lord Donega



Hartop Gate

Blackroot Pool


Keepers Pool



Royal Gate

Rowtons Bank

Lady Wood

Park House


ll Va

Town Gate

Holly Hurst

Model Airfield



e of ro man


Longmoor Pool Wyndley Pool

Golf Course

Banners Gate

Powells Pool

Boldmere Gate 95 KEY Location of Green Hairstreak sightings

Lakes and pools

Visitors Centre

Areas of Bilberry, Cranberry, Cowberry or Crowberry

Railway line


Areas where habitat survey required

Further Habitat Survey Requirements

A more extensive site survey for probable larval foodplants is required. The extent of the habitat patches should be mapped at all 4 corners. General areas for further survey are Longmoor Valley, Sutton Golf Club rough areas, Streetley Heath, Bracebridege Transect 2 area, Lower Nuthurst, Powells Pool area and Wyndley Pool area.

Habitat of the Green Hairstreak butterfly at Sutton Park. Photo by Keith Warmington.

Further Adult Green Hairstreak Survey Requirements

More detailed surveys for adult Green Hairstreaks are required in all areas except Blackroot Heath. Priority areas for survey are Longmoor Valley, Gun Targets, Banners Gate, Little Bracebridge, Streetley Golf Course, Transect 2 area, Streetley Heath, Keepers and Powells area.


Report and Graphics by Steven Cheshire (Green Hairstreak Species Champion). Survey and Fieldwork by Mike Slater (Conservation Officer). Green Hairstreak records provided by Keith Warmington (Butterfly Recorder).

Sutton Park Green Hairstreak Report 2009  

Sutton Park Green Hairstreak Report 2009