The big butterfly count

The sunshine has brought with it a fluttering of wings. Butterflies flit around the garden in dizzy flights or bask open-winged on leaf and lawn; prompting me to make sure I spend some time at the weekend joining in with Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count.

Taking part in the count is easy: find a sunny spot in which to sit for 15 minutes, and record the butterflies and moths you see.

Count the maximum number of each type of butterfly or moth you see at a single time.

If you see several of the same type together at once, record the number that you see; but if you see say three tortoiseshells at different times, only record this as one so as not to record the same butterfly many times over.

To help hone your identification skills, Butterfly Conservation has produced an identification chart  which you can download here.

Then visit to submit your sightings.

Or you can use their free smartphone app which lets you carry out your count and submit the results while out and about.

Don’t forget to submit your results even if you don’t see any butterflies. A count of zero still provides the survey with important information.

Taking part in the count will help to assess the health of our environment, using butterflies as indicators.

For further information about Britain’s butterflies and moths, and the important work carried out by Butterfly Conservation visit

The butterflies shown here are all recent visitors to the House at Nab End’s garden.

Will you be taking part?


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