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Two Camberwell Beauties released in Green Dale

Two rare Camberwell Beauty butterflies were released in Green Dale on Sunday in front of a delighted audience.

James Frankcom

Despite being named after the corner of SE5, the species is actually a migrant butterfly not native to the British Isles.

Originating in Scandinavia, and other areas of mainland Europe, large numbers of the unusual breed were reported across the UK in 1846, 1872, 1947, 1976, 1995 and 2006 – mostly in the eastern Home Counties.

It is believed the species’ numbers are too small for a breeding population, with only adults ever found in the UK.

The butterfly, known as the ‘Mourning Cloak’ and by other similar names, was given its south London moniker after two specimens were found in what was then known as ‘Cold Arbour Lane’ in 1748. 

Butterfly breeder James Frankcom, said setting the pair free in SE5 seemed like ‘the thing to do’.

The large group who joined the SE5 forum at Greendale on Sunday certainly agreed.

All photos by Sebastian Garraway




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