Numbers of a rare butterfly which makes its home in Montgomeryshire have showed an increase for the first time in five years.

A project to help save the Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly, which is found on just 11 sites in the whole of Wales, eight of which are in Montgomeryshire, has been declared a success by organisers the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust.

And now new funding from Natural Resources Wales is set to continue the group's good work into 2019.

The group launched a funding appeal in December 2017 to help them to create specific habitats for the fussy butterfly, and they say the work undertaken in conjunction with the warm, dry spring have created perfect conditions for the insect to spread its wings, breed and lay its eggs.

As a result the group say numbers for the butterfly were up at most of their sites, spread over 6 hectares, after five successive years of decline.

The follow-up ‘Precious Pearls’ project is now underway and will run until December 2019. Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust say the new funding will allow them to undertake more habitat improvements, continue the long-term monitoring for the species and search for new sites, as well as involving local communities, schools and volunteers in work to save the butterfly.

Tammy Stretton, MWT Conservation Officer, said: "The Pearl-bordered Fritillary is now found on just eleven sites in the whole of Wales, eight of which are in Montgomeryshire. Without our help, there seems little doubt that we’ll lose it forever. With that in mind, we are delighted to have secured this new funding to help safeguard the species for future generations to enjoy."

Linda Ashton, Senior Partnership, Access and Recreation Officer for Natural Resources Wales said: "Wildlife is an important part of our environment, our heritage and our culture in Wales and it’s vital to support projects like this through our grant aid programme. This funding will help the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust continue their important work to protect the rare Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly so we can see it thrive in years to come."