of the French Pyrenees
Our local area (the Pays Toy) is a paradise for butterflies, the habitat is rich and varied with many of the hay meadows still cut by hand. To date, and with the help of our friends and colleagues at Butterfly Conservation, we have identified 134 species in our local valleys alone. Some species are rare or very local - we are fortunate to have a number of endemic species such as the Gavarnie Blue, Gavarnie Ringlet, Pyrenées Brassy Ringlet as well as the striking Apollo or the robust little Duke of Burgundy.
Guided Days with Jude Lock
A guided butterfly day can be booked throughout the summer to spend a day in the field observing species and taking photographs. On these guided days I will take you to some of my favourite places, mostly within the Parc National des Pyrenees - with a choice of woodlands, hay meadows, high alpine pastures, rocky outcrops. We will visit a variety of altitudes to maximise the diversity of species. I always like to devote particular attention to the superb flower-filled hay meadows of the Bareges valley. It is a testament to the superb unspoiled nature of our local countryside that certain local meadows have produced over 40 species in a single afternoon. Of particular interest we should find Purple Edged Copper, Gavarnie Blue, Large Blue, Queen of Spain Fritillary and Clouded Apollo. All walking will be very gentle and the outings should appeal to both experts and beginners alike. I shall also be keeping an eye out for interesting birds and flowers and will enjoy helping you identify the many raptors including Lammergeier and Golden Eagle. You cannot fail to enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Hautes Pyrenees - the Cirques de Gavarnie, Troumouse and Estaube, magical places of high peaks, crashing waterfalls, rushing streams — it is a grandiose landscape carpeted with alpine flowers.
I am a member of Butterfly Conservation European Interest Group and the Nature Midi-Pyrénées working party for the butterfly Atlas for the Midi-Pyrénées, most importantly my local knowledge will be a great asset to your stay, I have lived here for over 25 years.
Have a look at our butterfly gallery for our photos, all taken locally by ourselves.
Jude is working with Butterfly Conservation (EIG) and the Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels de Midi-Pyrenees to produce a regional atlas of butterflies and day-flying moths of the Midi Pyrenees, this will form part of a scheme to create a national atlas by 2014. As a member of the Nature Midi Pyrenees (CEN) working group on butterflies you can contact me if you wish to share your recordings in the Midi-Pyrenees.
Butterfly Conservation European Interests Group and the Association Proserpine have organised a conference in Digne-les-Bains (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence) the 29th and 30th juin 2013, in partnership with Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. This is the first time UK and Fench organisations have joined together to discuss the future of butterfly conservation in France
Enrolment form here :
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Mark Brown in action
Photos from our recent
High Brown Fritillary
Butterfly Conservation European Interests Group visit 9th - 16th July 2011
During the summer of 2011Jude organised this week for Butterfly Conservation EIG to work alongside the local NMP Butterfly Atlas group. During the week we were joined by Etienne from the Pyrenees National Park and the EIG president Simon Spencer persuaded Tristan Lafranchis to join us.
Despite mixed weather conditions we were able to identify 86 species locally including some firsts for the group such as Gavarnie Ringlet, Pyrenees Brassy Ringlet, Western Brassy Ringlet and Gavarnie Blue. We also had wonderful opportunities to photograph Purple Emperor (above). Such a pleasure to see the French and the English working together!
Members of the EIG and NNP groups getting to grips with our many Ringlets
above the clouds on the Col du Tourmalet
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