Blue is the colour for nature reserve’s team

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A RARE butterfly made a comeback this summer after not being spotted in the county for eight years.

Several sightings of the Small Blue at Aldbury Nowers near Tring, including one of it laying an egg, have contributed to the nature reserve being featured on the map spotlighting ‘best for butterflies’ beauty spots.

And another new visitor to the area has been the Duke of Burgundy, another rare species being enticed back to Aldbury.

The 28.4-acre site of chalk grasslands was restored in 2008 with a £70,000 project but it has taken until now for nature to take its course and produce rewards.

Aldbury Nowers reserves officer Paul Thrush said: “It’s great that the Small Blues are back.

“With the help of funding from SITA, Chilterns AONB, Dacorum Borough Council and Natural England and the dedication of volunteers and HMWT staff, this reserve has become the best place in the county for butterflies.

Both the Small Blue and Duke of Burgundy are on the priority list in the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

Spokesman Sarah Buckingham of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, which manages the reserve, explained that it took a while for the works to have an effect.

She said: “Of the 70 species in the UK, 30 have been recorded in Aldbury, which is a really good proportion.

“We have put in a butterfly panel to help visitors identify them.”