Nearly £10,000 has been donated to help protect some of the most threatened butterflies in the country. Rare butterflies in the North York Moors National Park will benefit from £9,413 of funding thanks to a Black Friday campaign by Forest Holidays and the UK National Parks that finished on 2 December.

The funds were raised through donations made on every Forest Holidays booking made during November and over the Black Friday weekend. With thousands of bookings made, the whole campaign raised £51,065 of which the North York Moors National Park Authority will receive a share in 2020.

Elizabeth Clements, Head of Natural Environment from the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted and very thankful to Forest Holidays and to everyone who made a booking. The conservation and protection of rare butterflies and moths within our project area is absolutely vital. Despite existing populations stabilising over the last 15 years thanks to the work of Butterfly Conservation, their existence remains precarious. We need to continue to act to prevent decline or the potential complete loss of certain butterfly species from the National Park.”

The funds will support The Rare Butterfly Conservation Project, which is one part of the larger ‘Ryevitalise’ Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority and other partners including Butterfly Conservation. The overall aim of the scheme is to revitalise the River Rye’s natural and cultural heritage, reconnecting people with the river, its wildlife, history and landscape through an exciting range of projects.

This will include the conservation and protection of eight priority butterfly and moth species found within the Ryevitalise project area. One of these includes the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, one of the rarest butterflies in Britain.

Butterfly Conservation will be the lead partner for the project working alongside the Ryevitalise team, organising work parties, educational activities, events and training, surveys and monitoring programmes.

Cat Hawkins, Chair of National Parks Partnerships said: “Huge thanks to our national partners Forest Holidays for this brilliant campaign, which has generated much needed funds for at-risk species in the UK’s National Parks. Protecting the National Parks’ biodiversity is more important than ever, and these funds will make a real impact at a local level.”