Come to the Fairy Fair and meet Stripey the Swallowtail caterpillar. Stripey comes in various shapes and sizes but they are all a distinctive green, black and orange. There’s a Giant Stripey you may be able to help with by being a pair of legs, if you’re the right size. See here for joining in.
The Giant Stripey with his trainer at previous Fairy Fair. Stripey really only likes to eat one thing and that’s the plant Milk Parsely. It grows in the Norfolk Broads, which is the only place in Britain to find real wild native Swallowtail butterflies. Great places to see live swallowtails in their natural habitat is the RSPB reserve at Strumpshaw Fen and Barton Turf Adventure Centre in the broads.
Stripey following his feeder who has a bucket of Milk Parsley. British Swallowtails only eat this plant, although in some years we are visited by continental swallowtails who will also eat wild carrot.
The Swallowtail is our largest and most spectacular butterfly and also very rare. Find out more from UK Butterflies website.
Milk Parsley – you can buy it as seed or a plug plant from British Wildflowers and Plants It may not look much to you but it’s breakfast, dinner and tea to a Swallowtail.
Real life Norfolk stripeys on their way to some milk parsley – pic Vicky Eyles
Cards and finger puppets from the Fairy Pets Workshop
Plus if you join the Fairy Pets Workshop you get to make a miniature Stripey in the form of a wearable finger puppet, and his friend the Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar, Nellie (above with their cards).
And if you join the Flutterbies drop-in workshop you’ll get to meet Giant Stripey’s three sisters, of three different sizes.
Left side: Stripey’s three sisters Large, Regular and Small, keeping an eye or six on our winter stock-take
Stripey is on his travels so in the days running up to the Fair, watch out for Stripey appearing on the Fairyland Trust Facebook page and (@fairylandtrust) on our Twitter or Instagram accounts.
Here’s Some Stripey photos from Barton Broad by Barton Turf Adventure Centre on 12 May where the Stripey family were out looking for milk parsley before heading over to look for the Fairy Fair.
Stripeys in the woods at Barton Turf Adventure Centre
Stripeys discussing which way to go .. and decide they need to ‘go mobile’
where will they be next ?
Did You Know?
Last year Giant Stripey went on Chris Packham’s Walk for Wildlife in London
We met in Hyde Park and walked into town
And down Whitehall to hear the speeches
Although Stripey says he was happier in the Park
Where To See Real Live Swallowtails in Nature
The Norfolk Broads are the only place to see Swallowtails in their natural habitat in Britain. We recommend Barton Turf Adventure Centre which ahas 17Ha of fen with milk parsley and swallowtails, and the RSPB Reserve at Strumpshaw Fen (it’s easy by car and you can even get a bus straight there from Norwich – details at the RSPB reserve website). Swallowtail adults are on the wing on warm days in late May to early July and again in mid-August.
Other good places include: NWT Hickling Broad, NWT Ranworth Broad run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. They may also be seen at How Hill education centre which has a nice tea room. Sunny early mornings are said to be best. Boat trips around Horsey Mere or the surrounding waterways are often a good way to see one flit by. We recommend calling the local organisation in advance to see if any butterflies have been seen recently.