Marsh Lepidoptera Awards
2010 - Roy Leverton and CEMEX
Lifetime Achievement in Lepidoptera Conservation - Roy Leverton
Roy (pictured far right) has been a member of Butterfly Conservation for over 40 years and a life-long enthusiast for Lepidoptera. To most people he is known as the author of the award-winning book Enjoying Moths as well as numerous published articles in various entomological journals. His book combines his two greatest skills; moth photography with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic, readable, writing style.
Roy is a great supporter of Butterfly Conservation in Scotland and regularly attends the annual Recorders Gathering and Member’s Day. At these events he always has a trail of recorders seeking his advice which he imparts warmly. It has become a tradition to end these events with a slide show of Roy’s images to the great delight of the audience. He has also jointly hosted Moths Count workshops on caterpillars and provided identification master classes on difficult groups. At such events fellow moth enthusiasts marvel at his field craft and are left in awe at his in depth knowledge and passion for his subject. This passion and knowledge is only surpassed by his stamina; a night moth trapping with Roy will go on till dawn!
However, Roy also studies butterflies – and has walked over 1200 miles (the equivalent of walking from Edinburgh to Milan) whilst counting butterflies on weekly butterfly transects dating back to 1978. In that period Roy has undertaken almost 750 transect counts and logged over 100,000 butterflies of 32 different species. Initially in Sussex and for the last twenty years on his croft in Banffshire that he manages as his own excellent ‘nature reserve’.
The label expert is all too overly and easily used but it truly applies to Roy when it comes to Lepidoptera. Despite this Roy is always very unassuming and shies the lime-light. He is a remarkable and very generous man.
Promotion of Lepidoptera Conservation - CEMEX
CEMEX have been very active in conservation and in the retention of biodiversity on all of their land holdings nationally. Conservation measures have been taken at both active quarry sites and land that is in the process of restoration.
In Warwickshire CEMEX have several very important sites for Lepidoptera. Two of their sites still contain Chalk Carpet which is a Nationally Scarce species of moth. These are the only sites in the West Midland region for this species. It has the most important of the three sites for the Small Blue butterfly in Warwickshire and also has five colonies of the Grizzled Skipper and two of the Dingy Skipper on its land (all of which are BAP species).
In 2007 a Small Blue recovery project commenced which was funded by the CEMEX community fund. As a result of this project, large areas of scrub were removed form a former Small Blue site at Stockton Cutting/Works which saw an instant success with the Grizzled Skipper colonising the cleared area. The area also developed small areas of Kidney Vetch, the foodplant of the Small Blue. Following on from this success, CEMEX became a major partner in the SITA funded ‘Bringing Back the Small Blue’ landscape project. This project will restore or improve habitat for the Small Blue and other species across a minimum of 18 sites in the Southam area of Warwickshire. Even though this project is only halfway through it has already brought the following major successes: -
• Ten areas are now considered suitable for the Small Blue. 3 sites have been colonised which increases the number of colonies in the West Midlands by 100%.
• The Chalk Carpet has colonised a further site increasing the number of colonies in the West Midlands by 50%.
• The Dingy Skipper has colonised 5 cleared areas.
• The Grizzled Skipper has colonised 3 cleared areas.
• Monitoring at a number of sites has shown large increases in abundance which is against the annual trend shown at other nearby sites not in the project.
(Pictured right - Prof Jeremy Thomas, presenting the Award on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust, CEMEX representative, Lazaros Pamperis, winner of the Marsh European Lepidoptera Award, Roy Leverton)
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