Friday, 25 July 2014

The Big Butterfly Count

The annual Big Butterfly Count takes place from Saturday 19th July until Sunday 10th August. The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey that asks members of the public to become active in looking at the environment and counting butterflies. The reason for this survey is that butterflies are a good early biodiversity indicator, so if there is something wrong with the environment and butterfly numbers decline, scientists will hopefully find the causes and be able to do something about it before the decline spreads to other species. The torrential rains of 2012 were disastrous for the butterfly population here, but there were signs last year that their numbers have started to recover.

President of Butterfly Conservation, Sir David Attenborough says - "By taking part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer you can discover the fantastic butterflies and other wildlife that share your gardens, parks and countryside. Butterflies fought back after a terrible 2012, but despite this butterfly numbers were still below average. Three quarters of the UK's butterflies are in decline and one third are in danger of extinction. Every single person taking part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer can produce a statistic that is of real value as their records help build a picture of how butterflies are faring and how we can best conserve them".

The Big Butterfly Count started in 2010 and has become the world's biggest survey of butterflies with 46,000 people participating in the count last year. Taking part is really easy. All you have to do is count each individual butterfly (or moth), seen over a 15 minute period, in a natural environment such as a garden, park, field or forest etc. This can be done as many times as you want throughout the dates of the Big Butterfly Count (19th July to 10th August). You can only submit records of your sightings online at or by free smartphone apps. You can find more information about The Big Butterfly Count here, and more about butterfly conservation here. Go on then! Get out into this wonderful sunshine and get counting!