The Big Butterfly Count

The Big Butterfly Count began yesterday and will run until Sunday August 9th. Join in and help Butterfly Conservation monitor the health of Britain’s Lepidoptera. Spend just 15 minutes in the park, your garden, a field or wood, counting the common butterflies you see.

Sunny spring weather caused many butterfly species to emerge earlier this year than at any time for two decades. Experts are predicting that following the hot summers of 2018 and 2019, butterfly numbers could be larger than they have been since the 1990s.

Butterflies are indicator species, an advance-warning system. A fall in butterfly numbers means that the whole biosphere might be in trouble; the present rising numbers is cause for small cautious optimisms.

The Big Butterfly Count was launched in 2010 and has become the world’s biggest survey of butterflies and one of its largest citizen-scientist projects. Over 113,500 people took part in 2019, submitting 116,009 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the whole UK.

Here’s how to join in and contribute your own findings.

  • You will need to be able to identify the butterflies you see: a book, a chart, an app will do.
  • Find a place in a garden, our park, any old field, and sit and watch for 15mins. Record the butterflies you see. It’s that simple.
  • Submit your record to the Big Butterfly Count’s website.
  • If you have a smartphone, you can count butterflies while you are on the move by downloading a free app that will keep track of where you are and what you see as you see it.

You can submit as many records as you like, from as many different places as you can find, over as many 15 minute periods as you have to spare.

Unfortunately, Butterfly Conservation will not be able to accept records by email or by post. If you don’t have a computer or a smartphone, don’t feel that you can’t join in; you may well have friends or grandchildren who will be able to submit your butterfly records for you.

Get out there and count butterflies!

All the pictures are of butterflies that have been identified in the park.


2 thoughts on “The Big Butterfly Count

    1. Butterfly Conservation has this to say: If you are counting from a fixed position in your garden, count the maximum number of each species that you can see at a single time. For example, if you see three Red Admirals together on a buddleia bush then record it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if you saw one on several occasions) – this is so that you don’t count the same butterfly more than once.
      I am not sure if that helps

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