Netted Carpet Moth
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Netted Carpet Moth. (Eustroma reticulatum)

Traditional Farming aids Moth's survival:

One of the rarest moths in Britain has been saved by a herd of cows,

The strikingly patterned Netted Carpet Moth was in danger of dying out because the Touch-me-not Balsam, (Impatiens noli-tangere) upon which it relies could not grow in intensively farmed fields.

But, the reintroduction of  traditional breeds to the Lake District, where the moth is found, allowed the plants to grow again and in turn the moth flourished.

The cows help the Touch-me-not Balsam to grow by eating the other plants in competition with it, and by trampling and fertilising
 the ground so seeds can germinate.

The Netted Carpet Moth was first recorded in Britain in 1856 at woodland near Windermere, in Cumbria. Since then it has been found at only a handful of sites in the lake District and North Wales.

Conservationists were so concerned about the future of the moth that a 15 year study was set up by the National Trust, the University of Reading and Butterfly Conservation.