A beautiful part of Samphire Hoe
Butterflies play a crucial role as pollinators of many plants on Eurotunnel’s man-made nature reserve.

Butterflies matter

30 species of butterflies have been recorded since the site opened to the public in July 1997. The recording of butterflies provides a wealth of data on their colonisation of this new area of land and its ecological development. The suite of species found at the Hoe is typical of chalk grassland. Butterflies are extremely valuable indicators of the state of the environment.
The Hoe has become an important area for butterflies, resident and regular migrants, with several notable species now occurring.
It has become an exciting place to see spectacular migration events, and note the change in habits and distribution of species such as the apparent successful over wintering of Clouded Yellows and the temporary colony of Small Blues.

Samphire Hoe’s butterfly corner

Adonis Blue with brilliant sky-blue wings

This stunning butterfly prefers the sheltered areas at the base of the cliff and East and west ends of the Hoe where there are colonies.

Common and widespread Orange-tip butterflies

This medium-sized butterfly with bright orange wingtips and mottled green underwings can be found along the base of the cliffs at the Hoe.

Beautifully patterned Marbled White butterflies

These black ad white checker board butterflies are only on the wing between late June and middle of August in many parts of the Hoe.

Green Hairstreak can be found in small colonies

Easily recognisable with its metallic green underside wings, it tilts its body on landing to maximise heat absorption from the sun.

The long-distance migrant Painted Lady

Each year, it spread northwards from North Africa, recolonising Samphire Hoe and has been recorded breeding on the Hoe since 2009.


Explore a few of the 380 species of moths which fly around the Hoe at night time.

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Discover the 220 species of birds including resident, migrant birds and summer or winter visitors.

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Other insects

Discover some other insects which can be found on the Hoe such as dragonflies and damselflies and beetles.

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