Carmarthenshire County Council is working with a local developer to move an area of marshy grassland habitat from a nearby housing development site to Llyn Llech Owain Country Park. The majority of the work has been funded by the developers as part of their planning permission.

The area of grassland is ideal habitat for the rare Marsh fritillary butterfly Euphydryas aurinia, which is found in the area (and in fact at Llyn Llech Owain). It is hoped that by translocating this area of habitat it will be used in future by the butterfly – the grassland will provide many of the nectar plants used by the adult butterfly, places to hibernate among the grass tussocks, and most importantly, it contains Devil’s bit scabious- which is the only food plant of the larvae.

The turves are lifted with a specially designed attachment on an excavator, which cuts the turves into squares and lifts a layer of soil with the turf.

They were then brought to Llyn Llech Owain on a trailer and placed on a cleared area of soil with another specially designed attachment.

This area will be monitored and managed by the Caeau Mynydd Mawr Marsh Fritillary Project over the next few years to see how the grassland becomes established.

From Carmarthenshire Biodiversity Partnership newsletter June to August 2014.

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