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:
Any further sightings of Adonis blues at Collard Hill? We took some nice images of a single male on the 11th. A nice surprise amongst the common and large blues.
Thanks Sarah for all your help on Thursday. Great morning taking pics, and i got some good ones. I’m Zonda on ‘uk butterflies’ website.
Afraid I missed meeting you on Tuesday – I’m just about to make my own trip for Heath Frit! One tip: most of the Large Blues were keeping their wings closed in the strong sunshine but could be persuaded to open them by moving my body shadow across them (very gently). I got a good topside pic this way – now on my website.
Thanks for your help today. I stayed a lot longer than I should but it was well worth it. I will see if I can send a pic but they might be not as good as ones I have seen on here already.
Hope you get the rain and hope you get good numbers of Large Blue.
Glad you enjoyed the day yesterday, the site was a different and overcast place today! Luckily we’ve had some rain, and I’m hoping it’ll continue this evening.
We enjoy seeing all the photos people send in, even those of us (me!) with wee cameras seem to get some good shots. Look forward to seeing any pics you’d like to share.
Christine was extremely helpful this season, guiding me and Chris to where the action was.
Hi Frank, I’m really pleased you had a good visit to Collard, I do hope you come back another year! Christine
Many thanks, Christine, for your help in finding the Wasp Orchids on a very hot slope on Sunday! I got good photos of the orchids and of a mating pair of Large Blues in the quarry, so was very satisfied with my visit.
I’m not sure how to post photos here but will have some on my website soon.
It was good to see how much the site has been improved since my first visit in 2004.
I’m glad to hear it was a successful visit to Collard at the weekend, Sunday was certainly a hot afternoon! We’d love to see any pictures you’d like to share with us, please email to email@example.com. Thanks!
Hi Christine thanks a lot for helping me and my wife and son Max (the one with the hat…) last Friday. I didn’t get any decent pictures of the large blue but it was still wonderful. Unfortunately I found that I had lost a shutter release for my Nikon camera, I don’t suppose it was found was it? Look forward to the next visit, hopefully I’ll get some decent shots and not lose any gear. Cheers Chris
I’m very pleased you had a good visit to Collard Hill last week, you’ll just have to come back next year for some more pictures! As far as I’m aware nothing has been found, but I’ll check and see if anything has been put aside. I’ll let you know if there is.