I contributed to The Big Butterfly Count for the first time last year which was a real insight into what was visiting my garden. In walks afterwards I also started to notice species that had not visited my garden, and which clearly preferred hedgerows and fields.
The Count is UK-wide survey that assesses not only the state of butterflies, but also important changes in the environment. It was launched in 2010, and in 2010 over 107,000 people submitted 152,039 butterfly and day-flying moth counts.
The main event of the Big Butterfly Count 2022 main event is between 15th July and 7th August. Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather during this period, which is when most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle and are most likely to be out and about, as instructed on The Big Butterfly Count website:
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.
If you are doing your count on a walk, then simply total up the number of each butterfly species that you see during the 15 minutes.
You can do as many counts as you want to: You can submit separate records for different dates at the same place, and for different places that you visit. And your count is useful even if you do not see any butterflies or moths.
You don’t have to have a garden. If you do have a garden you don’t have to confine yourself to it. Parks, fields, forests, footpaths, anywhere in the UK will help.
Only those on the target butterfly and day-flying moth list need to be counted. Download the handy identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen. This helps to minimise counting errors and provide a clearer view of butterfly numbers. If you have spotted species which are not on the target species list these can be submitted using the iRecord Butterflies App. As participants submit their counts, they can all be viewed on the website’s interactive map. It is also important to note if you have not seen any butterflies because this may indicate a serious problem in particular areas.
You will be able to submit records throughout July and August using the form at the following address: https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/map