Citizen science: what butterflies to spot in your garden

Send in your butterfly sightings!

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A good suggestion from Butterfly Conservation’s June newsletter:

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During what has been a difficult few months for many of us, one positive outcome is an increased appetite for nature. We’ve had almost double the usual enquiries and identifications to our website and social media channels and large amounts of media coverage in local and national press for citizen scientists and activity ideas for the public.

A few weeks ago we asked the people to keep a look out in their gardens for butterflies so that, while our scientists were unable to carry out their work, we could continue to monitor population numbers, trends and movement. Following that we suggested a similar ‘what to spot’ activity with moths as the weather warmed, resulting in over 200 pieces of coverage in regional publications. In Scotland we asked people to keep a look out for the Small Copper, and immediately Anthony McCluskey, Project Officer, was being interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland with responses coming in from inspired nature lovers.

Send us your butterfly sightings

Perhaps in slowing down more of us have realised that we only have to look out of our window to feel inspired and refreshed. Perhaps more of us have realised that we can learn about ourselves by learning about the natural world on our doorstep. Perhaps nature has given us something back which we were too busy or distracted to look for. In any case, as we look forward excitedly to the launch of this year’s Big Butterfly Count on 17 July, we can hope to mobilise this new group of enthusiasts and bring many more in too. While for so many 2020 has been a very tough year so far, let’s hope we can make it a good one for citizen science and conservation.

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