Paul Selby

Paul has been a passionate enthusiast of nature and the environment all his life. In his early teenage years, this began with birdlife, learning most UK bird calls/songs - this knowledge helping him to identify the last ever breeding Turtle Doves in Cheshire, where he was born.

However, his real passion is butterflies. Starting with seeing all the UK’s butterfly species, he has now moved onto the European butterfly fauna. Over the course of the last six years, he has seen 60% of Europe's 460 species. More important to Paul than simply ticking a list, however, is what can be learned about conservation and habitat along the way. He is proud to have contributed to knowledge about rare species in Cyprus, and finding new Violet Copper Lycaena helle sites in Switzerland, amongst many other personal highlights.

Paul has also been active in conservation work around his Sheffield home. This began with involvement in the Sheffield Street Tree Campaign, where his efforts helped prevent half of Sheffield’s 36,000 street trees from being felled, among them saving a rare 120 year old Dutch Elm Disease-resistant elm tree that is home to an unusual suburban colony of White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album.

The street tree campaign has led to many other practical conservation projects that Paul has led in his local community more recently. These have included planting over 500 Buckthorn whips for the Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni, and nearly 60 new disease-resistant elm trees to help the suburban White-letter Hairstreak population expand.

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