Nature Champions: Large Heath butterfly

(c) John Knowler

A true bog specialist, the Large Heath thrives on Scottish upland blanket bog and lowland raised bog.  The adults always sit with their wings closed, showing off their very variable underwing spots. The caterpillars hibernate when small and feed during the day predominantly on Hare’s-tail Cottongrass whilst the adult’s favoured nectar plant is Cross-leaved Heath.

Action Needed

  • Ban the use of peat in horticulture.
  • Large-scale restoration and improved management of peatlands by rewetting and (where necessary) scrub removal.
  • Enhanced protection of peatlands, including a ban on burning.


  1. Burning, drainage, over-grazing and erosion of peatlands.
  2. Commercial extraction of peat leading to the loss and damage of suitable habitat.
  3. Inappropriate afforestation of peatland habitats.

MSP Nature Champion

Sarah Boyack

Member for: Lothian

Region: Lothian

Party: Scottish Labour Party

Related Species & Habitats

Blanket Bogs

Fiona Hyslop MSP
  • Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

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