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Spotting butterflies

  • by JW

… a little ray of positivity and hope as Spring arrives in our back gardens …


What are the first sightings of butterflies this year?

Find out what butterflies have already been spotted this year |


The Butterfly Conservation charity’s March newsletter is out:


While this is an uncertain and anxious time for everyone, we want to update you on how the Coronavirus Covid-19 is likely to affect our work and assure you that we are adapting and rising to the challenge of continuing our fight for nature.

Spring is on its way

Like all charities and organisations around the world, we don’t yet know what the long-term effect will be on our ability to research, educate and fundraise, but we will continue to adapt and innovate as much as we can during this difficult time.

We are also in the opportune position to be able to share with our supporters and the public, a little ray of positivity and hope as Spring arrives in our back gardens and public spaces. We will be encouraging people who may be isolated in their homes or feeling overwhelmed by the news agenda to take some time out in nature if they can. We’ve already received lots of exciting sightings of butterfly and moth species (such as Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral as well as the Ruby Tiger moth and Purple Thorn) which are newly on the wing and we want to encourage people to get outside and get spotting as more species emerge. 

We are also going to be putting lots of child-friendly resources and activity suggestions on our website next week, stay tuned on our social media channels for short lessons from our Scientists.

Take a break in nature

Use this time to spend some time outdoors butterfly spotting.

  • You can identify the species you spot on our website.
  • We’d love you to share your sightings on Twitter,Instagram and Facebook. We will be sharing interesting facts, updates and images under the hashtag #feelbetterwithbutterflies.
  • You can also contribute your sightings online to the Garden Butterfly Survey scheme which is run by Butterfly Conservation.

Speaking of sightings, have you submitted all your butterfly and moth records? Why not get out your old notebooks and check if all those records from previous years are safely lodged with your county recorder? You can submit even your old butterfly records online or using mobile apps.

Create havens for wildlife

Use this time to make your garden a paradise for pollinators.

  • Plant some wildflower seeds for our summer pollinators. Seeds are easy to buy online, or perhaps there’s a few left over in your shed from last year.
  • Build an Insect A&E. We are encouraging people to help build special areas to support butterflies and bumblebees with the help of Channel 5’s Dr Amir Khan. Your children can get involved and then enjoy seeing all the pollinators that visit. You can find out more on our website and enter a competition to win some garden plants.

We are doing everything we can to continue to fight for the conservation of our butterflies and moths. Thank you for your support.

Images: Red Admiral (Iain H Leach), Brimstone (Steve Maskell), Small Tortoishell and Bumblebee (Cath Walker)