The Big Butterfly Count runs i Britain between 16th July to the 8th August, so we are just in time to join in. Every year I do the Big Garden Birdwatch, counting birds that land in the garden in a given hour. It ran this year in January 2021, before I moved to Churton, but I’ll be talking about that next year when it comes around again.
I had not, however, heard of the Big Butterfly Count. It was reported in the latest edition of the magazine New Scientist, so I fired up my web browser to get the details.
The Big Butterfly Count “is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see.” The idea is to sit in a promising spot (for example, in your garden, in a park or along a footpath) for 15 minutes and take note of everything you see in that time.
You will need to register for an account, which is free, after which you can download and print off a butterfly identification chart (which also lists the species in which they are interested), and then send in your results. You can do this via a free smartphone app or via your web browser (computer, tablet, etc).
I am going to spend my 15 minutes in front of my Black Knight buddleia, which is a great butterfly attractor. A tremendously good excuse for abandoning the weeding and mellowing out with the wildlife 🙂 I had to chase out a peacock butterfly from the living room only this morning. On a recent walk there were many types in the hedges flanking the footpath section of Knowl Lane at its western end as it approaches the Dee, and I suspect that I will find that the species that prefer those hedges and the ones gracing my garden will be very different.
Find out the details on the Big Butterfly Count website.