Article & photographs by Rowena Castillo Nicholls
Today, Friday the 13th 2017, we lose a great man, a friend, an artist, the first honorary chairman of Cornwall Butterfly and Moth Society - BARRY OFIELD.
Barry will be greatly missed and his legacy will be remembered always.
Barry had made a huge contribution on the wildlife in Cornwall particularly on butterflies. If not for Barry, the gorgeous butterfly, Heath Fritillary would have been extinct in Cornwall. With Barry's successful breeding and reintroduction of Heath Fritillary in Greenscoombe Wood, we're now enjoying seeing this beautiful butterfly fluttering in Cornwall.
An extract from the 2007 BBC programme "Born to be Wild". This article features Barry Ofield breeding Heath Fritillary butterflies for subsequent release at Blanchdown Woods alongside the Tamar in Devon with Dr Caroline Bulman.
Barry’s involvement began in early 2007 when he was asked if he could take part in a programme, which would include his efforts in breeding for release, the Heath Fritillary (Melicta athalia).
Barry and Tom Sleep has previously released in excess of 1500 imagines into Greenscoombe Wood where it had become extinct due to habitat deterioration over the pass 20 years. Barry’s part in 2006-2007 was to breed more adults for another release at Greenscoombe Wood and in Blanchdown Wood, which is on the Devon side of the Tamar River.
Filming started on 8 May 2007 and took two days to complete including the release at Blanchdown. The filming and interviews took place at Barry’s home in Pendoggett. The weather on the first day was fine. The second day of filming, it was pouring with rain. Not the ideal conditions for releasing butterflies.