BUTTERFLIES will be able to find new homes this spring and summer on the Malvern Hills, thanks to the efforts of Conservators' staff and volunteers.

Staff members have been felling trees and clearing scrub on North Hill to create open areas of grassland and expose rocky areas for the grayling butterfly, a high priority for conservation following a huge decline in numbers over the last 25 years.

The population of graylings on the hills is deemed particularly important, as the species is usually found on the coast.

Further south on the Malverns range, near Gullet Quarry, volunteers have been working hard to help conserve a number of grassland butterflies.

They have been clearing bracken and scrub, which will help support the populations of silver-washed fritillary, marbled white and common blue found there.

Conservators warden Nicky Quinn said: "We need the volunteers’ help to clear the bracken and scrub to provide grassland habitat. The grassland plant species are what the butterflies feed on and without this work the wide range of butterfly species here would be lost.

The conservators will be running a community butterfly survey this spring and summer to encourage people to spot their local butterflies when out and about on the hills and commons, and to record their sightings.

There will also be training and more formal surveys for budding volunteers to get involved in from March onwards.