Home The Butterflies of Gloucestershire Species Habitats Conservation

Wood White

Leptidea sinapis
17 June 1990 10 June 1990


Wood White is a scarce species nationally. In the area it is found in some parts of the Forest of Dean and nearby woods, where it is usually seen flying along wide tracks bordered by plenty of vetch plants.

A wood in the Forest of Dean with a Wood White colony

Conservation Issues

The Wood White has died out in one group of woods in Gloucestershire during the past 20 years, perhaps because much of the area has matured from young, open plantation to quite dense and tall conifer woodland with much less habitat for the species to breed.

Other colonies are at risk from a similar fate, although in the Forest of Dean there is hopefully enough continuity of management to prevent its loss.

There is also a risk of habitat loss from quarrying.

From some sightings made very far from known colonies, it appears that Wood White has sometimes been bred and released, perhaps in the hope of establishing new colonies.

Flight Period

It is usually seen in May and June. There is a partial second generation in July and August.


The species is restricted mainly to the north-western part of the Forest of Dean, with a few colonies in other woods west of the Severn. It has also been recorded in the Cotswolds, but no colonies are known in that area at present.

No map - species found in less than 20 tetrads