Many species of butterfly, moth and other insects may be glimpsed during the warmer months as they feed on nectar from the plants growing in the sunny clearings close to the Heritage Trail.
To ensure that butterflies and moths thrive as best they can, the management of Thetford Forest includes creating and maintaining the most suitable habitats for all their life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
For butterflies, these habitats include some mature or tall trees for roosting and shelter and some dense regrowth for egg-laying; sunny rides and patches of recently cleared and regenerating open areas with sparse ground vegetation and warm unshaded sunny glades.
Moths benefit from veteran trees, deadwood, fungi, lichens and some wetland.
An abundant food supply is crucial and different species of butterflies and moths depend on different plants which in turn depend on having the conditions they need to grow, thrive and set seed. To encourage a diverse range of plants, new banks with bare chalk and sand have been created; grass heath has been rotovated to expose bare ground and rides have been widened and overhanging branches cut back.
Because caterpillars, larvae, butterflies and moths are food for other animals such as bats and birds, they are an important part of the food chain and they can be both predator and prey.
An abundance of butterflies and moths is often an indication that an ecosystem is thriving and so they are closely monitored and much-valued in Thetford Forest.
|Common Name||Scientific Latin Name||Picture|
|Brassy Longhorn Moth||Nemophora metallica|
|Forester Moth||Adscita statices|
|Cream Spot Tiger||Artica villica britanica|
|Latticed Heath||Chiasmia clathrate|
|Small Purple and Gold||Pyrausta aurata|
|Mother Shipton||Callistege mi|
|Silver Y||Autographa gamma|
|Speckled Yellow||Pseudopanthera macularia|
|White Plume Moth||Pterophorus pentadactyla|
|Pine Hawk Moth||Sphinx pinastri|