Collard Hill is a National Trust owned site, managed as part of the Mid-Somerset portfolio. Mid-Somerset contains many sites of not just natural, but also historical importance, many of which stand as prominent beacons in the landscape.
The Mid-Somerset portfolio contains Glastonbury Tor and Cheddar Gorge, Brean Down and Crook Peak, all of which are some of the most recognisable landscape features in the county. As such, the remit of the team is very broad, both geographically and in terms of expertise needed to manage such a range of sites. Day to day, our rangers will be keeping sites clean and tidy, ensuring visitor access is maintained, managing the vegetation and habitats on the sites, working with graziers and tenants to ensure the correct grazing is conducted, monitoring wildlife and heritage and educating visitors about the nature, beauty and history of these very special places.
Collard Hill itself is managed through a close relationship between the National Trust and the grazier for the site, whose small herd of dexter cattle provides grazing for the slope, keeping the sward short and the ground warm to encourage ant activity and enable the large blue to complete its complex and specialised life cycle. Scrub, such as bramble and gorse, are also closely controlled to ensure the grassland is not overtaken, which would result in loss of botanical diversity on the site. Areas of blackthorn are coppiced to promote new growth, which provides egg laying sites for brown hairstreak, a second scarce species of butterfly that Collard Hill supports.
National Trust are just one partner of the large blue butterfly project, a partnership of more than twenty organisations, all working to ensure the long term future of this fascinating insect in Britain.
If you would like to contact the National Trust Mid-Somerset team about Collard Hill or other National Trust sites in the area, please feel free to get in touch with us at: