An endangered butterfly that was once extinct in the UK has had its best summer in 150 years.
The large blue butterfly is one of Europe’s most endangered insects but thousands have been recorded this summer in south-west England.
It is the result of a long-term conservation project, led by the Royal Entomological Society.
Scientists said the success story shows how species at risk of extinction can be saved.
Many other rare species also benefitted from the conservation work across around 40 sites in Somerset and in the Cotswolds.
The large blue was declared extinct in the UK in 1979. Four years later caterpillars were brought from Sweden in an attempt to reintroduce the species in England.
Research ecologist David Simcox, one of the duo who reintroduced the butterfly in 1983, said it was “incredibly satisfying” to see them now thriving.