We want to keep you informed and inspired by the activities of the large blue butterfly. Unfortunately this year we request that you refrain from visiting Collard Hill where possible, to benefit the butterfly and its habitat.
Due to coronavirus we have been unable to recruit a Large Blue Ranger to show you around the site this year, but we will be monitoring the population and keeping you up to date with everything large blue. So please do keep an eye on this blog to see what’s new with the large blue.
Parking and Accessing Collard Hill
We hope to limit the number of visitors on site this year to protect you and the large blue butterfly. This will allow for observation of social distancing and reduce damage to the large blue habitat and therefore population.
Parking is available at Ivythorn Hill YHA, with pedestrian access only to Collard Hill. The map below shows the way-marked route along with the location of the visitor information point. Please note these will not be present this year due to coronavirus.
If you do visit Collard Hill please take the following information into consideration:
- The site comprises steep slopes and uneven surfaces
- The weather conditionsWe strongly advise wearing good supportive footwear, bringing plenty of liquid in hot weather along with sun hats and sun-cream. In wet weather the site is exposed and can become very slippery so please be careful.
Large Blue Legislation
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and apologies for any inconvenience.
Thank you. We are about to travel 200 miles to (hopefully) see Large Blues and it is a great confidence builder to have your map and the assurance that someone will be there to help.
You are welcome David. I was not on duty the day you visited unfortunately.That is quite a bit of mileage to undertake, I hope you were successful!
Hi Lottie, Many thanks for your help early this morning. It was a great sight seeing the large blues and the other butterflies on the hillside along with the hunting/hovering Kestrels and the supporting Sparrowhawk. Next time I must make an effort to go and see the orchids.
Definately Robin, really glad you saw the blues. I shall be on site all weekend and next week although I finish at the end of June. I am about to go to work now so if you drop by I will make sure to show you the orchids, the weather is just horrible but at least Collard has lots of other fantastic wildlife as well as the Large Blues. Poor butterflies though.
After 3 years of trying, finally saw many large blues on 21st June. Thankyou for your assistance & wish you all the best in your studies & career.
John & Barbara Ward ( West Sussex )
I’m very happy John that you were finally able to see large blues! Your patience paid off
My husband and I travelled from Kent on 20th June 2018 to see the Large Blue at Collards Hill. As we arrived at the site, having marvelled at the orchid meadow we walked through on the way from the car park (we counted 5 species that day), we watched the rain come in from the valley below and had to abandon our trip. We had booked into a local hotel to give us another opportunity in case of bad weather (note this tip!) and were rewarded on June 21st with beautiful weather and our first siting of the butterflies. That day we saw many Large Blues as well as the following species: Common Blue, Ringlet, Marbled White, Comma, Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Peacock, Cabbage White, Small White, Speckled Wood.
Remembering a call in 1979 from my grandfather, Rev. John Neville Marcon, a well known and respected amateur lepidopterist, with whom I had enjoyed many ‘bug hunting’ trips in Sussex during my childhood and who was entirely responsible for my fascination with butterflies, in which he had told me, with tears in his voice, that the Large Blue butterfly was finally extinct in the UK, it was the most enormous and emotional thrill to see these beautiful creatures flying that day.
I will never forget that first siting, which will remain the most important butterfly siting in my heart and experience, but we will be back for more. We have booked to come again on the way from Kent to Cornwall in June, two days again, just in case, and I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it!
Thank you to everyone who has been and still is involved in the project to reintroduce and conserve this wonderful butterfly. Oh that my grandfather had lived to see the fruits of your labour. He died in June 1986.
I am hoping to visit the site this Saturday 29th June 2019 with my family, weather forecast looks very promising and will the Large Blues still be showing
I hope the forecast stays true for you Clive, hope to see you up on the hill this weekend!
Thank you for such an informative blog! We visited Collard Hill on Monday 24th June 2019, and were delighted to find a Large Blue female and follow her for several minutes. She appeared to be laying eggs – not on the wild thyme, but on something that looked like self-heal; she was moving anti-clockwise around the flower head. I have some photos of this.