Creating a Butterfly City
One third of all insect species globally are now endangered (RHS 2019) a statistic that has challenged environmentalists around the globe to take local action to create habitats and food sources to reverse this decline.
Local Hull MP Emma Hardy has been working with a number of organisations to plant Buckthorn, which attracts female Brimstone butterflies from as far as two miles. As the only requirement for the Brimstone is Buckthorn, this makes it an ideal urban butterfly, and so the idea of creating a butterfly city was born.
The project to make Hull the country’s first Butterfly City by adopting the Brimstone butterfly was a no-brainer for me. The plan is to plant thousands of Alder Buckthorn – a small tree – across the city and in neighbouring areas using individuals, community groups, schools and businesses.
A healthy Buckthorn is all the Brimstone’s caterpillar needs to grow happily. The decline in insects is dramatic and already impacting on pollination. Bees love the Buckthorn flowers as well so it’s two for one. The Labour Party have declared a Climate Emergency and increasing the number of trees helps to absorb carbon dioxide and improve air quality.
Getting people involved in gardening and being outdoors is a really good way to help people struggling with loneliness and mental health problems. More trees, bees and butterflies makes the city more beautiful and improves the quality of living. The response to the project so far has knocked me off my feet. I’m really grateful to PATT Foundation for supporting and assisting with the project. I’m proud and excited to have got this project off the ground and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Emma Hardy MP