High Weald

white_admiralThe White Admiral, Limenitis camilla, is a spectacular woodland butterfly, with white-banded black wings and a distinctive delicate flight: short periods of wing beats, followed by long glides.

The population is in decline, and remains a UK priority species, however it has a stronghold in the High Weald, found in 30% of the woods in the Rother area for instance. Its foodplant is honeysuckle – retaining this is crucial to its survival.

The butterfly uses shady woodland and ride edges, often associated with neglected or mature woodland where there are sunny glades with large patches of Bramble to provide nectar for the adults. It is found in both deciduous and mixed deciduous/coniferous woodland.

Woodland is just one of the habitats which determines the character of the High Weald landscape. The Management Plan, written specially for the AONB, sets out targets (which encourage everyone) to maintain existing extent of woodland, particularly ancient woodland. Long term management of woodland will benefit species such as the White Admiral.

Visit the Rother Woods Project to find out more about this butterfly.  Track down this butterfly in woods on our nature reserves.