A butterfly on the brink of extinction in Kent has seen it's population more than treble across the county thanks to a decade of conservation work to turn it's fortunes around.

The Duke of Burgundy has declined by 40 percent across the UK since the 1970s and in 2008 was hanging on at just four sites in Kent, a former stronghold.

But a decade later the number of breeding colonies across the county has risen to 13 and the number of Dukes seen on any one day at these sites has increased from 32 to 140 butterflies.

Chair of Butterfly Conservation’s Kent Branch, Nathan Jones, said: “This amazing turn-around started ten years ago when Butterfly Conservation, in partnership with Forestry Commission England, secured funding for a three-year project to create new butterfly habitat and improve woodland management at several sites.

“When that ended in 2011, the work was kept going thanks to the ‘Duke Guardians’ volunteer network and a Natural England scheme to create new flower-rich grasslands specifically for the Duke of Burgundy.

“Without these efforts, the butterfly would not be here today - certainly not in the numbers we now enjoy across Kent.”