“Spending time with nature offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life; it enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side-by-side with us.”
The results from last year’s big butterfly count were mixed:
Let’s see how this year’s count goes:
Countryfile magazine looks forward to the big event:
Big Butterfly Count: common species to identify and how to take part
Wildlife lovers are being urged to take part in the annual Big Butterfly Count to help assess the state of nature in UK gardens this summer. Here is our guide on common butterfly species to spot in the UK and how to take part.
The Big Butterfly count will take place from Friday 16 July – Sunday 8 August 2021.
After the record-breaking temperatures experienced in the UK, the chances of the public witnessing a wide range of butterflies is significantly higher. However, as a result of the early summer heatwaves followed by wetter weather, the butterflies could struggle.
“Many of our once common and widespread species like the large white, small copper and gatekeeper have started to struggle, mirroring the declines of rarer species,” said Butterfly Conservation president Sir David Attenborough. “Butterfly Conservation has also revealed that butterflies are declining faster in our towns and cities than in the countryside.”
Sir David has also promoted the importance of butterfly watching for mental health, encouraging the public to take part in The Big Butterfly Count. “Spending time with nature offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life; it enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side-by-side with us.”
Taking part in the Count is easy: find a sunny spot and spend 15 minutes counting the butterflies you see and then submit sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org or via the free Big Butterfly Count app.