|view of Cheltenhan Racecourse from Prestbury Hill|
|dark green fritillary|
Unlike the chalkhill blue, the dark green fritillary clings on in Banburyshire, but only at one site as far as I know - the Neal Trust reserve. It's food plant is the common dog-violet.
The chalkhill blues were most in evidence on the steepest slopes of the limestone scarp, with very short turf and bare patches. The experience of watching them took me back to childhood ramblings on the South Downs of Sussex where they are very numerous. Surely they would have been widespread on the limestone grasslands west of Banbury in the past? Maybe they will return one day, but at the moment there is insufficient habitat, and only small patches of their food plant - the horseshoe vetch.