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Marbled white butterfly in meadow at Daneway Banks Credit Tim Cockerill
Marbled white butterfly in meadow at Daneway Banks Credit Tim Cockerill

For over a hundred years the Royal Entomological Society has pioneered the control and conservation of insects, and insect conservation remains an important part of the Society’s 2022-2025 strategic plan, with a priority to support the study and application of insect science.

The Society plays a major role in promoting the science, policy and practice of insect conservation through:

  • With the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) we co-own Daneway Banks nature reserve, famed for supporting the second largest population in the UK (and possibly the world) of the Large Blue butterfly, our only species of insect to be listed as a globally ‘Endangered Species’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Male Digger wasp Argogorys mystaceous on a Fly orchid
The rare Fly orchid is increasing under new management at the RES-GWT Daneway Banks nature reserve, and exemplifies the complex interactions that can exist between plants and insects. It mimics the specific sex pheromone of the female Digger wasp Argogorys mystaceous, and lures in males which attempt to copulate with it, thereby transferring pollinia from one orchid to the next.  Image Anna Pugh, Daneway Banks, May 2019

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund has supported the Royal Entomological Society by awarding over £200,000 to enable it to create 371 ha of flower-rich grasslands in Somerset and the Cotswold hills of Gloucestershire. The aim is to restore the iconic Large blue butterfly to twelve meadows, totalling 371 ha, alongside a host of other rare, local and more common insects and plants that have largely disappeared from the countryside.  The Society also supported two successful bids made by GWT for Green Recovery and Biffa landfill funding to restore the habitats of rare and common insects to 14 additional inter-linked grassland, wetland and woodland sites along Stroud’s ‘Golden Valley’, with Daneway Banks at its centre. This exciting collaborative project, in one of the richest regions for insects in the UK, began in January 2021.  The Society employs two project officers, David Simcox and Sara Meredith of Habitat Designs Ltd., who focus on these important projects.

See also