Though I was delighted and encouraged by the number of Grayling butterflies I saw on a coal tip up the Welsh valleys back in July, my experience does not reflect the reality of the present situation for the Grayling in Britain. Butterfly Conservation has recently released its ‘New Red List of British butterflies’ and, unfortunately, the status of the Grayling has moved from vulnerable to endangered. What my sighting tells me, though, is how truly important the former coal spoil tips are. They are often dismissed as useless brownfield sites but, in fact, former industrial sites like these are often rich in biodiversity and need to be preserved.
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