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There are few dishes more filling, or expensive, than Exmoor National Park's famous "Butterfly Fancier Pie".  Readers of a delicate disposition need not fear - no real butterflies were injured in the course of preparing this recipe. In fact the word on the moor is that the "endangered" butterflies are coming back of their own accord, no particular thanks to the band of butterfly fanciers who claim all the credit for saving them. For this dish you will require a large pinch of salt,  a tongue firmly planted in each cheek and a strong stomach as several swollen ecological egos are noisily deflated.

Chefs will need to source local ingredients................which means chasing Euphydryas Aurinia(that's the Marsh Fritilliary butterfly) to one of its habitats on Exmoor. Wherever these lovely things flutter a band of keen butterfly fanciers is sure to follow. Butterfly fanciers, working for Butterfly Conservation, tend to graze near the troughs of well-meaning public bodies like the Exmoor National Park Authority. The Park has already spent thousands of our hard-earned pounds in recent years keeping the "Two Moors Threatened Butterfly Project going". Now the fanciers fancy £18000 more to keep them in the manner to which they have grown accustomed. At such times - begging bowl in hand - they at their most vulnerable.....but BEWARE their pride is easily dented:


Dear Mr Liddell-Grainger


I appreciate that you are entitled to your opinions as printed in yesterday's Western Morning News article (10th March 2012) outlined in the 'Moorland can thrive without the career conservationists' article.

However I find your blog representations of me personally to be humourless and offensive and I request that you remove this with immediate effect.


Jenny Plackett



Jenny Plackett

Two Moors Threatened Butterfly Project Officer

Direct Dial Telephone: 0300 060 2405 

 Ms Plackett (or Cost-a-Plackett as we should call her) is perfectly within her rights to complain and I am perfectly within mine to regard her complaints as irrelevant. She represents an outfit (based in Dorset - not Somerset) which is trying to extract more public money for looking after butterflies on Exmoor. This particular species thrives on unnecessary subsidies and they multiply before your eyes:


  ©2003,2004 Ian Liddell-Grainger. All rights reserved.