Recent reports in the UK National Press of the decline of the Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia Tithonus) have been exaggerated; that would be the opinion if you walked the banks of the North Level Main Drain in Cambridgeshire.
Here in Summer and early Autumn you will have seen the recently refurbished banksides abundant with the little brown and orange butterfly skipping over thistle flower and down.
During filming at Foul Anchor near Tydd St Giles for the North Level District Internal Drainage Board in late July, it was noticed a great number of the butterflies actively feeding and seeking their mate, decorating new plant growth along the banks. The butterfly, sometimes called the Hedge Brown, is a common visitor to the area.
Opportunity was given to the Gatekeeper to make a guest appearance in the short documentary film, Foul Anchor Sluice Refurbishment produced by Claire Buckley of Spare Wheel Productions based in Peterborough. The documentary, voiced by Adam Hart-Davis, was filmed over a four-week period at Foul Anchor and centred upon the once-in-a-generation refurbishment of the historic sluice gates in a £700,000 flood protection project.
Watch Foul Anchor Sluice Refurbishment and see The Gatekeeper featured at 16:00 on the film's timeline.
Read the Gatekeeper story from the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35093468