Purple emperor is the jewel of the wildland


Knepp Castle Estate, West Sussex Emerging sallow scrub has provided these alluring butterflies with new territory, and the estate has become a breeding hotspot

Throngs of butterflies were on the wing. Small tortoiseshells basked on the sun-baked path, a red admiral was puddling in a muddy tyre track and peacocks were growing intoxicated on tree sap.

Meadow browns flitted low across the pasture, mingling with gatekeepers, ringlets and marbled whites among the thistles and knapweed. In the hedgerow a white admiral took nectar from the last of the bramble blossom, while a scalloped-winged comma fed on the first ripe blackberry.

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