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Caterpillars make welcome return to station as volunteer's conservation efforts bear fruit

PUBLISHED: 16:33 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 06 November 2019

Brimstone butterfly  Picture: MATT BERRY/BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION TRUST

Brimstone butterfly Picture: MATT BERRY/BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION TRUST

Matt Berry, Butterfly Conservation Trust

A butterfly in decline has found a safe haven at a Suffolk railway station.

Sue Cox (left) receiving an award for her work at Somerleyton station at this year's Station Adopter Awards  Picture: GREATER ANGLIASue Cox (left) receiving an award for her work at Somerleyton station at this year's Station Adopter Awards Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

While not endangered, Brimstone Butterfly's caterpillar relies on Alder and Common Buckthorn to survive.

Volunteer Sue Cox, who looks after Somerleyton station near Lowestoft under Greater Anglia's Station Adoption initiative, last year planted a Buckthorn hedge to help with Suffolk Butterfly Conservation's Brimstone and Buckthorn project.

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The Brimstone was once described as 'scarce' in east Suffolk and, along with all insects, has seen a decline in numbers due to habitat loss.

"We often see first generation Brimstone Butterflies here in early spring, emerging from hibernation on a warm sunny day to look for nectar and mates. But we very rarely see the second generation," said Sue.

"So I was rather pleased to see a very fresh, very green male Brimstone nectaring on the Wild Pea on the platform at the beginning of August."

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