Public urged to count butterflies after fears cold weather has caused numbers to decline

16 July 2021, 10:57

The Big Butterfly Count kicks off today
The Big Butterfly Count kicks off today. Picture: PA

By Emma Clarke

Conservationists have urged the public to count butterflies and moths, after fears climate change has had a devastating impact on their numbers.

Each year, the Big Butterfly Count, run by nature charity Butterfly Conservation, seeks to provide vital research into the impacts of climate change on our wildlife.

The survey, which takes place over a three-week period and commences today (July16), was launched over a decade ago to help monitor the insects and requires the help of the public to record the all-important data.

Despite April being the warmest on record, it was followed by an unseasonably cold snap in May - which conservationists fear has had a detrimental impact on the species.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham has long been associated with the campaign.

Speaking on the issue, Packham said: "Because butterflies and moths make excellent indicators of the impacts of climate change and other human environmental factors, collecting data on their numbers is really important.

"So, something as simple as recording a butterfly spotted in your garden, at your local park or on your window box can play a part in vital research into a global problem.

"It's a really valuable contribution everyone can make."

To take part in the count, all you have to do is spend 15 minutes in an outdoor space and count the number and type of butterflies you see. You are also asked to note if you see any day-flying moths.

Finally, you can log your findings on the Big Butterfly Count website here - or you can download the app.

You can also sign up to their newsletter for updates, and make a donation to help the team protect butterflies and moths for future generations.