Britain Set To Experience "Once In A Decade" Butterfly Phenomenon

30 July 2019, 07:17 | Updated: 30 July 2019, 14:56

Butterfly in a nature park in Kent
Butterfly in a nature park in Kent. Picture: Megan Dobson

Millions of butterflies are expected to start arriving in Britain this summer, in a once in a decade phenomenon.

Chris Packham is urging wildlife lovers to take part in the world’s largest insect citizen science survey to help reveal if the UK is experiencing a once in a decade butterfly phenomenon.

Unusually high numbers of Painted Lady butterflies have been reported across Europe over the spring and early summer with large numbers now spotted crossing over into the UK.

The last mass immigration took place in 2009 when around 11 million Painted Ladies descended widely across the UK.

Chris Packham is urging the public to take part in the Big Butterfly Count
Chris Packham is urging the public to take part in the Big Butterfly Count. Picture: Megan Dobson

Chris said: “The Painted Lady migration is one of the wonders of the natural world. Travelling up to 1km in the sky and at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour these seemingly fragile creatures migrate hundreds of miles to reach our shores each year."

Chris added: “The mental health benefits of spending time outdoors watching nature have been blindingly obvious to me for as long as I can remember. Immersing yourself in nature, even if it’s just for a few short minutes, changes your perspective, it helps you slow down and notice what’s going on around you and it opens a door to the overlooked beauty and drama of our natural world.”

Butterfly Conservation is being supported by mental health charity Mind to champion the benefits of spending time in nature.