The beautiful marsh fritillary butterfly was once found across the UK but has suffered a catastrophic decline. North Wiltshire was one of its former strongholds, especially in the Braydon Forest, an area where a few colonies continue to hold on. A big factor in the decline of this iconic butterfly is the loss of suitable habitat.

Critically, marsh fritillaries need devil's bit scabious, a pretty, purple flowering plant often found in hay meadows. The butterflies need these in order to lay its eggs and as act as food for the caterpillars. Regular cutting of meadows, even if they do contain devils bit scabious, removes the food plant and destroys the larval webs.

We are urgently seeking funds to help us buy 44 acres of meadows next to our Emmett Hill nature reserve. These fields are three times the area of the existing reserve. They will be planted up with devils bit scabious and only lightly grazed, helping to keep the grass in check and allow the scabious to flourish. Our aim is to create a wonderful wildflower habitat for the butterfly population to recover and secure its future.

We are delighted to have a conditional offer under the Landfill Communities Fund to help us achieve our goal. To qualify for the grant we must provide 10% of the project costs as a Contributing Third Party payment. Your support can unlock 10 times the amount of your donation*.

To purchase these meadows and safeguard the Marsh Fritillary, we must raise £49,200 before the end of February 2021.

Please donate now to help us to protect these meadows forever and safeguard the future of this wonderful butterfly.

Thank you.

*Under the Landfill Communities Fund a Landfill Operator will pay tax when they bury waste and some of this tax is made available for Landfill Operators to distribute as grants to Environmental Bodies. Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is an approved Environmental Body and can be asked to find 10% of the project costs from Third Party Donors to access these grants.

By providing funding towards the Contributing Third Party payment, you can unlock 10 times the amount of your donation. If you give a donation your money may be passed to a landfill operator as a Contributing Third Party Payment, which means that for every £10 you give Wiltshire Wildlife Trust could receive £100. If our appeal target is exceeded, we will retain any excess funds specifically to unlock future landfill tax monies.