Wednesday 9th March 2016

(c) large blue by Robert South(c) large blue by Robert South

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) is today celebrating the ownership of Daneway Banks nature reserve following a successful fundraising appeal in 2015.


One of the Trust’s most successful ever appeals, the money to purchase this special site was raised from a wide range of GWT supporters. It included a £5,000 gift from long-time Trust supporters Grundon who agreed to kick-start the appeal.

Writing in the Trust’s Spring Magazine to its 27,500 members in the county, CEO Roger Mortlock said: “A year ago we had the opportunity to buy Daneway Banks nature reserve in Stroud’s Golden Valley – one of our most treasured and diverse limestone grassland sites and home to the incredibly successful reintroduction to the Cotswolds of the large blue butterfly. We had been managing the site for over 40 years, so the opportunity to secure its future was too tempting to ignore.”

“The reaction from our members and partners over the last year has been extraordinary. Thanks to your help and the response to our appeal to purchase Daneway Banks, the site has now legally transferred to GWT. We had expected to put some of our precious financial reserves towards the purchase, but in the end our members and partners met the entire costs.”

Having been a frequent sight for generations in the Cotswolds, numbers of the large blue butterfly fell dramatically in the 20th century and by 1979 it was declared extinct in the UK. Its fortunes reversed when the Large Blue Project reintroduced large blue larvae and eggs from Sweden in the 1980s and 90s to a few very special sites in the UK where the butterflies might have a chance of surviving.

GWT works closely with partners from the University of Oxford, the Royal Entomological Society and Butterfly Conservation on the Large Blue Project. Daneway Banks supports one of the largest known colonies of the large blue butterfly and it is estimated that up to 2,000 large blue butterflies may have emerged last year. As well as the large blue butterfly, the reserve is special for a wide range of butterflies and flowers, particularly in the spring and summer months.