On Thursday 21st July Dr Archie Murchie (Entomology) met with HRH The Prince of Wales at the opening of Daneway Banks nature reserve in Gloucestershire. The reserve has been jointly purchased by the Royal Entomological Society (RES) (of which Archie is Honorary Secretary) and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT).
The site is an important entomological reserve for rare species, not least of which is the Large Blue Butterfly. HRH was by all accounts delighted to open the reserve, walk around it, see some butterflies and talk to entomologists and site managers. He was especially fascinated by the Large Blue’s lifecycle, which includes a parasitic stage in the nests of red ants.
He talked passionately about the need for appropriate land management to preserve rare species mentioning that the site is short-grazed by rare breed ponies and cattle to keep the sward height suitable for the butterflies.