Now is the time of year when the purple heather is in full bloom. When the sun comes out and warms the heather, butterflies come to drink its nectar. On my recent visit, I was pleased to see the heather bejeweled by the Small Copper, our chosen icon. Sadly though, there were fewer than in previous years, probably because of the recent poor weather.
The Small Copper caterpillars feed on Sheep’s Sorrel, a common plant in the grassland. The presence of food for both caterpillars and adults makes The Heath an ideal habitat for this little gem.
It shouldn’t be mistaken for the Gatekeeper: a larger butterfly that has been seen often all through this summer.