The small, fast-flying Chequered Skipper butterfly is restricted to damp grassy habitats in western Scotland and a recently reintroduced population in eastern England.

Males are seen more commonly than females; usually perching in sheltered positions either amongst light scrub or bracken or next to wood edges. They typically dart out to investigate passing objects, defend their territory against other butterflies, or to find a mate. Females are seen flying low among grasses when egg-laying.

As a consequence of habitat loss, the chequered skipper butterfly became extinct in England in 1976. However, in 2016 plans for a formal reintroduction of the species were approved. The first translocations of chequered skipper butterflies from Belgium to England were successfully carried out in the spring of 2018 and again in 2019 and the newly established populations are currently thriving.

Now, for the first time since 1976, the public will be able to see the rare and stunning Chequered Skipper butterfly in the wild in England this summer at Fineshade Wood. Excitingly, the population is now stable enough for members of the public wanting to get a look at this beautiful creature first hand. The exact location of these butterflies had been kept a secret initially, allowing them time to become more sustained and resilient.

These kind of projects are vital for the long term sustainability of nature in Britain and, when the environmental news is so often troubling, it is wonderful to see success stories like this one.


At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The declines in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their declines towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect for the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

Support our work today at and join in the solution!

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