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Silver-washed fritillary

Silver-washed fritillary

The New Forest was once famed for its silver-washed fritillaries.

According to one writer were seen in such profusion that ‘it was common to see 40 or more assembled on the blossoms of a large bramble bush’. These days it is fairly widespread and common in many woodlands of Hampshire, but the New Forest remains a stronghold for it. Although it decreased greatly during the 1900s it appears to be on the increase again.

Silver-washed fritillaries prefer mature, sunny woodland with an open tree canopy; old woodlands of the New Forest are ideal for it. Unlike the other fritillaries they will usually lay their eggs on the trunks of mature trees, often choosing the shadier northern side.

You can easily find this beautiful butterfly by visiting sunny spots in any of the New Forest deciduous woodlands during July and August. Sit beside a patch of flowering bramble and wait. On a sunny day you should see several before too long.

Silver washed fritillary

ID Tip


Silver-washed are the largest of the fritillaries and one of the UK’s largest butterflies. The upperside is orange with black spots and streaks and the underside is a beautiful olive green streaked with lines of silver.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of July.'

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