Shrubs and hedges are incredibly valuable features for butterflies and moths. Take a break from your cutting regime to help the butterflies and moths in your Wild Space.
Through the warmer months, the leaves and buds of shrubs are eaten by lots of different caterpillars, including those of the Swallow-tailed and Magpie moths which both eat Hawthorn and Privet. And flowering shrubs like Hawthorn, Privet and Holly also provide nectar for Painted Lady butterflies, Common Emerald moths and many others.
In the late autumn and through the winter, butterflies and moths that hibernate (like the Brimstone) take shelter amongst the dense vegetation. And those species that survive the winter as eggs, caterpillars or chrysalises (such as Scalloped Oak moth), can be nestled against the twigs and stems.
Here are our top tips to make your hedge a haven for butterflies and moths:
Cut it in sections to help maximise food and shelter for butterflies and moths.
Hungry caterpillars will be feeding on green leaves right up until the leaves turn brown and start to fall off.
This will avoid disturbing any nesting birds and will give lots of butterflies and moths the chance to breed too.
By doing this, you’ll help those butterflies and moths who survive as eggs on twigs over the winter. You may also get more blossom, as some plants need two years to produce flowers.