Philip Putwain has collaborated with Stephen Lewis (Butterfly Conservation), Andrew Cherrill and Simon Jefferey (both Harper Adams University) to undertake a new heathland creation experiment at Prees Heath Reserve in north Shropshire.
The aim of the experiment was to test whether heathland dwarf shrubs can be established as a result of removing a thin layer of vegetation (mean depth 116mm) and sowing seed of Calluna vulgaris or Erica cinerea. There were seven treatments including control, that included exclusion of rabbit grazing (using chicken wire) and addition of seed or not. Plot size was 5m x 2.5m and they were physically created in November 2019, seed was sown on 8th January 2020. It is intended that records will be made of species establishment and long-term assembly of heathland species, for many years. If successful, the habitat resource for silver studded blue will be expanded even further.