Prees Heath Common Reserve

Attraction in Nr Whitchurch, Shropshire

Contact Details

Tel: 07900 886809

Email: slewis@butterfly-conservation.org

Postal Address:
Nr Whitchurch
Shropshire

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Description Directions

Description

The last sanctuary for the Silver-studded Blue in the Midlands. The reserve is on a large Common that had been a World War II airfield. A major restoration project is re-instating heathland and grassland vegetation across much of the site.

For centuries  Prees Heath was an open heathland common. It was used for  warfare training during WWI and as a bomber airfield during WWII.   The old aircraft control tower is still present and provides a reminder of part of the areas past history.  The heathland was gradually destroyed during the decades following WWII.   Fortunately a small part was  given protection as a Site of Special Interest in 1991. Thanks to the  great efforts by Butterfly Conservation, Cheshire and Shropshire Wildlife Trusts and members of the public during the Prees Heath Appeal  sufficient money was raised for Butterfly Conservation to purchase 148 acres of the heathland.  Work  towards restoring the heathland  to its former glory has already commenced with funding received from Grantscape and English Nature.

Prees Heath is the last place in the West Midlands where the threatened Silver-studded Blue butterfly is found. The species has declined  in Britain by 50 per cent since 1980.

To survive the Silver-studded Blue butterfly requires the presence of ants together with open ground containing  short heathland vegetation.  The females are known to utilise bell  and ling heather and bird's foot trefoil, near to ants' nests, when laying their eggs.  The chrysalis is formed underground within chambers of the ants nest. The caterpillar is tended by the ants as it feeds on the leaves and shoots of its food plants. The benefit to the ant is a tasty honey-like dew excreted by the caterpillar which the ants find irresistible.

Directions


The reserve lies between the A49 and the A41 two miles south of Whitchurch. Access to the reserve can be gained via a track off the A49 opposite the turning to Steel Heath. Parking is available at the truckstop car park (pay & display) at the roundabout juntion of the A41 and A49, just north of the reserve. The short walk onto the reserve involves crossing the busy A49.

Contact Details

Tel: 07900 886809

Email: slewis@butterfly-conservation.org

Nr Whitchurch

Shropshire

Disclaimer

The details displayed on this page are copyright protected to Shropshire Tourism and are correct at the time of publication. Shropshire Tourism would like to advise all visitors to check prices & opening times with the venue prior to traveling in case of changes that might have occured since the publication of this page. Whilst Shropshire Tourism endeavours to ensure that the information on this site is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and Shropshire Tourism does not accept any liability for error or omission. The directions above are for planning purposes only and should be used alongside a general roadmap or satnav system. Variables such as road/construction works, traffic, weather conditions etc may cause alterations to the route.