On 21st of June, Hugh, Ian and Sarah G walked a regular transect through the park in order to survey the butterfly numbers. They tried to chose a time with the same temperature, sunshine and wind-speed as the day of last year’s 18th June survey. The comparison between yearly surveys is one way to tell how well the park’s butterflies are doing.
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They saw seven species of butterfly: more than 200 individuals. This is the same number of species as was seen last year (not necessarily the same ones, though) but fewer individual butterflies.
There are a number of possible reasons for this difference, including the late start to the spring and the need to spray the ragwort in several fields. It is also possible that last year’s very high count of meadow browns was just an anomaly; it takes several years’ data to identify a trend. In general, we feel the park’s butterflies are doing well.