Elburton Heights Nursing Home residents and gardener Graeme Hughes have been hard at work this summer creating a garden to attract painted lady butterflies after their annual summer migration from Morocco.
A member of the home’s gardening club watched a documentary about the migration of the painted lady. Graeme and the residents watched the same documentary and researched how to attract butterflies to the home’s garden to lay their eggs.
They planted seeds to grow thistles and wild flowers over the winter then everyone crossed their fingers and waited for the Painted Ladies to arrive.
The home subscribed to the Big Butterfly Count, a national survey to monitor the numbers and species of butterflies across the country. Butterflies are an excellent indicator of bio diversity and the gardening club were keen to get involved with a conservation project.
The painted ladies arrived on cue all over the garden. Residents friends and family are out every day with cameras, note pads and pens trying to catch a glimpse of the painted ladies, red admirals, small tortoiseshells and marbled whites. They record the butterflies they see, the results are counted and sent over to the Big Butterfly Count website to track progress.
Elburton Heights is a purpose-built nursing home situated on Springfield Road in the village of Elburton at Plymstock. Everyone is welcome to come and join in with the butterfly count and see the painted ladies after their long trek.