Conservation trusts have launched an appeal to save the silver-studded blue butterfly before it disappears from the West Midlands.

Prees Heath Common in Shropshire is home to the last surviving colony of silverstudded blue butterflies in the region. However, its owners have decided to sell it and Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Cheshire Wildlife Trust are trying to raise £45,000 to buy the a third of the site and turn it into a wildlife sanctuary.

Once the sale has gone through, the organisation plans to restore the heath so that butterflies and other wildlife can thrive once again.

Colin Preston, director of Shropshire Wildlife Trust, said: "If we can raise this sum and legal arrangements go to plan, a large part of the common will be restored to glorious wild heathland."

The population of silverstudded blue butterfly has halved in Britain since the 1980s, largely due to habitat loss.