Northern Ireland news

Rare Purple Hairstreak butterfly spotted in Co Derry

The rare `Purple Hairstreak' butterfly has been spotted in the Faughan Valley, in Co Derry, in woodlands managed by The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland
Marie Louise McConville

A RARE butterfly has been spotted in Co Derry.

The Purple Hairstreak butterfly was sighted in the Faughan Valley, in woodlands managed by The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland.

The conservation charity uses transects to investigate changes in habitats, with volunteer Pam Hardeman leading this butterfly work for more than a year.

Her recent survey was met with much excitement by the Woodland Trust team and Ms Hardeman said she was "over the moon" with her sighting.

"I was actually photographing a speckled wood that had landed close by when it flew in and landed on a bramble leaf," she said.

"It was quite a breezy but sunny afternoon so perhaps it was sheltering. I found it at the entrance to Killaloo woods right at end of my survey and I was so excited to find it".

The find comes as Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland are encouraging the public to record any sightings of butterflies during the annual Butterfly Count which runs until August 9.

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Northern Ireland news