A Father's Day Treat

Collard Hill vista

Collard Hill vista



“OK Dad, it is your day today… you can do anything you want”.


“Yip, anything”

“You can watch the rugby and the football World Cup undisturbed if you like”.

Tempting… very tempting.

But no, my Father’s day treat has been the same for the last few years – to go to the National Trust’s reserve of Collard Hill to the south Street, near Glastonbury, to see the Large Blue Butterfly.

It was a chilly and windy day – not great for butterfly spotting, but we made the effort and were suitably rewarded.

It is just a short walk from the car park to the ridge at Collard Hill, and no matter how often I have been there, I am never quite prepared for the vista that appears. For such a small hill (we don’t do big hills in Somerset) the view is breath-taking. A 180 degree panorama that pans across the south of the county. Even in dull and windy conditions Somerset was looking radiant.

Above our heads a kestrel hung motionless in the strong breeze – how does it do that? - and swifts screeched by as they hawked for insects like a squadron of boomerangs relishing the challenging conditions.

It was so windy, our hopes were not too high at the prospect of sighting our quarry, however within a few minutes of dropping into a sheltered glade out popped one of the little beauties. It was fluttering low to the ground and was rather obliging in that it soon settled long enough for us to get a nice photograph.

The little beauty..

The little beauty..

It is a stunning butterfly, which I think actually looks more attractive with its wings shut rather than open.

A trip to Collard Hill is always worth it just for the view, but for about 4 weeks from early June you may be rewarded by some top butterflies. Well worth the effort.


National Trust Collard Hill

National Trust Collard Hill

Graeme Mitchell