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The world's biggest butterfly survey has been launched by Chris Packham – and will help conservationists find out which UK butterfly species are under threat

The Big Butterfly Count has begun!


The nationwide survey – run by Butterfly Conservation – was first launched in 2010, and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies.


Last year, more than 100,000 people took part – submitting 97,133 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK.


It's easy to take part. Simply download the identification chart – or the free Big Butterfly Count app – and get spotting!

Butterfly Count

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Big Butterfly Count identification chart

It's best to try to spot butterflies on a still, sunny day. Choose a place to do the count – this could be your garden, a park, a field, a forest, or any other green space where butterflies might be seen. Or you could even look for butterflies during a walk.


Then spend 15 minutes recording all the butterflies you see. Use the identification chart to decide which species you have spotted, then submit your sightings via the website or app.


You can submit separate records for different dates at the same place, and for different places that you visit. Your count is useful even if you don't see any butterflies or moths.


These are some of the species you might see:

Painted lady

Painted lady

Brimstone

Brimstone

Peacock

Peacock

Small tortoiseshell

Small tortoiseshell

Small copper

Small copper

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July and August is a good time of year to spot butterflies, because this is when most species are at the adult stage of their lifecycle and so are more likely to be seen.


Butterflies react very quickly to changes in their environment. This makes them excellent biodiversity indicators, with butterfly declines being an early warning for other wildlife losses.


This makes the survey invaluable as a way of assessing the impact of climate change – not just on butterflies, but on all sorts of wildlife.


The survey also helps to identify trends in species that will help Butterfly Conservation plan how to protect butterflies from extinction.


This year's Big Butterfly Count was launched on Friday 19 July by conservationist and broadcaster Chris Packham, and will take place until Sunday 11 August.


Other celebrities backing the project are Sir David Attenborough, President of Butterfly Conservation; Alan Titchmarsh MBE; Mike Dilger and Nick Baker, Vice Presidents of Butterfly Conservation; and Joanna Lumley, OBE.


For more information visit www.bigbutterflycount.org.

Little Green Space July 2019