Tuesday, 24 May 2016


A postcard produced by Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Tayside
Biodiversity Partnership.

The east coast of Scotland has scattered colonies of the rare Small blue, the UK's smallest butterfly, while Angus is home to isolated populations of what is a conservation priority species.
 Since 2012 the Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership have facilitated annual volunteer surveys of both the small blue and the kidney vetch plant on which this butterfly is reliant. Initially a 5 year project, the addition of growing on and planting Kidney vetch in key sites means the project has been extended for another 5 years.
Although Montrose Golf Links wasn't part of the survey sites and numbers of Kidney vetch are currently unknown the habitat is very much in keeping with those favoured by the Small blue.
 Having recently spoken with Kelly- Ann Dempsey ( project officer / environmental strategy for Angus Council ) regarding the Small blue she said she would be happy to come to the links with a view to planting some of their pot grown Kidney vetch.
 Last week we planted 12 of the pot grown plants in an area that we felt was suitable and hopefully they will survive and establish themselves. If this trial is successful we may also be considered for any further plantings that take place in the future.

 Kelly-Ann helping plant one of the pot grown kidney vetch.
 One of the plants in its new home.

Once the Kidney vetch were all planted out we had a look around the nearby area and were pleased to find a good number of the plants already happily growing in the surrounding dune land. 

 An established plant that we found on site.
Another healthy looking kidney vetch plant growing happily on the links.

Having a good population of Kidney vetch already established on the links means that we have the correct habitat for the small blue and with a bit of luck it will attract them into the area.The plant should come into flower through May.
 The butterfly is active from the end of May til the end of June and sometimes again in August. With a wingspan of only 22mm it is one of our smallest butterflies. From above the female is brown and the male smokey blue. The underside of the wings are silver-grey with some tiny black dots.
 If anyone thinks they may have spotted a small blue on the golf courses over the next few months could you please fill in one of the postcards that can be picked up from the MGLL office foyer or contact the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership (www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk ).

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.