Searching for emeralds on the Quantocks

If you walk on the hills in May and June you may see a flash of emerald green as a Green Hairstreak butterfly passes by. 

These are quite small at 27-34mm and usually you see them flying quite low and lose them as they settle, always with wings closed making them all the harder to spot.

On the Quantocks the main food plant for them is Gorse and so it’s worth keeping your eyes open around gorse bushes although you might catch them on other plants and trees like May trees also. 

Green Hairstreak are actually not uncommon but are so easily missed due to their size that you may have never seen one. Once you have though, you will fall in love with them forever. Whilst they are quite widespread across the hills I have found the area around Bicknoller post very good and also the gorse bushes in the field to the right of the drove road by Crombe Park Gate. 

R Stamp