Site Description

An 'Exmoor Ponies in Conservation' project

Myers Allotment Fritillary conservation


Exposed limestone

At present tall scrub and larger standing trees shade most areas. Clearing rides and small areas on a rotational basis has been found to dramatically increase the violet density and corresponding fritillary numbers at nearby Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve as well as other smaller nearby sites. The best fritillary habitats occur on south, east or west facing slopes.

A fritillary butterfly on bracken.

Bracken

The requirement is for abundant violets amongst the dead litter layer but otherwise sparse vegetation in sheltered sunny pockets. Very dense stands of unmanaged bracken will become useless for fritillaries as violets get shaded out. Although the bracken stands at the site are unlikely to become large they will require breaking up to allow light in and the compaction of the dead litter layer. Grazing ponies are very good at crushing this dead litter layer. This should be the only management necessary.