Speckled Wood is established again in Borders

The Speckled Wood butterfly
The Speckled Wood butterfly

The continued good weather has meant that records of the Speckled Wood butterfly are still coming into Butterfly Conservation’s survey of Scotland’s most rapidly spreading butterfly.

The Speckled Wood is expanding south from warm ‘refuges’ around the Moray Firth and the west coast that were colonised centuries ago and remained occupied, while the rest of Scotland became colder and unsuitable.

The story of the Speckled Wood in the Borders, is rather perplexing.

Back in the 19th century it was common in parts of Berwickshire, particularly coastal wooded areas like Pease Dean and along the Ale Water.

There then followed a contraction in its range and, apart from a single sighting in Roxburghshire in 1901 it was not seen again in the Borders until 2007.

It has now become firmly established in its former haunts – coastal woodlands, particularly along the rivers Eye, Ale and Whiteadder - and it has spread as far inland as Chirnside and Duns.

There are also recent records from the East Lothian coast between Dunbar and Aberlady.

Records can be submitted online at www.butterfly-conservation.org/scottishspeckledwood