Hainault Forest Website

Written, Designed and with Photographs by Brian Ecott


 Butterflies seen in the forest

SPECKLED WOOD  Parage aegeria Woodland rides and edges. April - June & July - September. Foodplant:  Grasses.

Left: on stones in wildlife garden 22nd July 2011.  Right: on bramble

Speckled wood on hedge bindweed 9th September 2009


COMMA Polygonia c-album   

feeding on blackberry juice.


Far left: Michael Rumble

27th August 2013.


Left: Brian Ecott

4th October 2007.



COMMA Polygonia c-album on nettle 1st July 2005

SMALL COPPER Lycaena phlaeas Egg laying on Common sorrel.

Photo Michael Rumble 10th October 2011.


Lycaena phlaeas

Fields and open ground.

Three broods May-mid June, July-Aug, and mid Sept-Oct.

Foodplant: Common sorrel, Sheep sorrel and other docks.

Photo: Iris Newbery

Below: SMALL COPPER egg on stem of Common sorrel. Oct. 2001

RED ADMIRAL Vanessa atalanta  Any habitat. Migrant.  End May - mid July, early August - mid Oct. or later. Foodplant: Stinging nettle, Hop. 4th Oct 07

PAINTED LADY Vanessa cardui  Rough ground and lanes. Mid May - end June, early Aug - end September or later. Foodplant: Thistles, Stinging nettles



Above: GATEKEEPER  Pyronia tithonus Male

Grassy areas, woodland rides, and along hedgerows. Early July - mid Sept. Foodplant: Various grasses. Photo: Iris Newbery.


Above right: Male Gatekeeper with the scent cells indicated on the forewings.

These cells secrete a scent to which the female is attracted.

Photo: August 1984.


GATEKEEPER males sunning themselves on bramble leaves. August 1984


Small tortoiseshell butterfly Aglais urticae nectaring on bramble flowers. It is found February to October hibernating as an adult in trees and buildings.

Photo Michael Rumble. 24th July 2013



Aglais urticae 

Any habitat.

Mid June - mid August, Sept - end May following year.

Foodplant: Stinging nettle

Photo: Iris Newbery






PEACOCK  Inachis io

Any habitat.

Mid July - end May following year.

Foodplant: Stinging nettle.

Photo: Iris Newbery


PEACOCK Inachis io feeding on Buddleia in the Wildlife garden 20 July 2010  


LARGE SKIPPER Ochlodes venata  Photo: July 2000

Meadows, rough ground, rides and clearings.

Early June - early August. Foodplant: Grasses.

SMALL SKIPPER  Thymelicus sylvestris Grass areas.    Underside of antennae clubs is brown. On knapweed.

 22nd July 2013

SMALL SKIPPER Thymelicus sylvestris  Grassy areas

End June - mid August   Foodplant: Softer grasses such as Yorkshire Fog.

1st July 2005.


Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni Female. First sunny day this year. 16th February 2014. Photo: Michael Rumble

BRIMSTONE Gonepteryx rhamni. Male. Open woodland. Food plants: Purging buckthorn and Alder buckthorn. Both are scarce trees in the forest area.

One of each known.   April 1992

SMALL HEATH Coenonympha pamphilus  Grassy areas.

Mid May - end July and late August - early October. Foodplant: Grasses.

Underside forewing has black spot containing one white dot. June 1993.

MEADOW BROWN pair. Maniola jurtina on bramble.

Photo:   Michael Rumble  17th July 2013

MEADOW BROWN Maniola jurtina Male.

Grassy areas, open areas in woods. Mid June - mid September.

Foodplant: Various grasses  Photo: Iris Newbery

RINGLET PAIR Aphantopus hyperantus    The Common. 13th July 2007.  Grasses for egg laying, bramble foodplant.

Pair of  COMMON BLUES on Common fleabane. August 2000,

COMMON BLUE  Polyommatus icarus

Female on Michaelmas daisy   July 1990

Common Blue male nectaring on bramble July 1976.


COMMON BLUE Polyommatus icarus

Male. Rough ground, downland, heathland.

Beginning Jun - July,

Aug - Sept/Oct.

Foodplant: Bird's foot trefoil.

Photo: Iris Newbery




Celastrina argiolus

Female.  Woods and hedgerows

Beginning April to end MayAugust.

Foodplant: Spring - Holly

                Autumn - Ivy.

Photo: Iris Newbery

PURPLE HAIRSTREAK larva on young oak stem. June 2001

Photo: Iris Newbery

PURPLE HAIRSTREAK  Quercusia quercus  Just emerged.

Oak woods  Beginning July - end August.  Foodplant: Common oak.

August 2001.


Quercusia quercus On bramble Cabin Hill. 30 July 2006


Quercusia quercus Female on bramble Cabin Hill. 1st August 2006

LARGE WHITE PAIR Pieris brassicae. Cabbages, cruciferous plants.

Two generations between May - early September and in good years late September - October.   Photo: 10th September 2007.

WHITE ADMIRAL Limenitis camilla

Roe's Well. 4th September 2006.

Honeysuckle for egg laying, bramble foodplant.

WHITE ADMIRAL Limenitis camilla butterflies Chris and Margaret Gannaway 10th August 2013. The larval foodplant is honeysuckle (often browsed by Muntjac deer in Hainault) so that it is important to retain any honeysuckle lianas hanging from trees and well out of the reach of the Muntjac.


GREEN VEINED WHITE Pieris napi pair 

Woodlands, damp meadows.

Mid April - mid June, and mid July - end August.

Foodplant: Garlic mustard, Water cress.

Photo Iris Newbery





GREEN VEINED WHITE Pieris napi  Male.

June 2001

ORANGE TIP egg in the flower-head of Cuckoo flower. May 1995.




Anthocharis cardamines Male.

Photo: Iris Newbery






Anthocharis cardamines

Wood edges, hedgerows, and damp meadows.

Beginning May  end June.

Foodplant: Cruciferous plants i.e. Garlic mustard, Cuckoo flower.

Photo: Iris Newbery