Idly watching a beautiful butterfly flit across a meadow is one of life’s simple pleasures and now it’s time to perform a health check on these graceful creatures and our environment. This summer, Butterfly Conservation are organising a Big Butterfly Count between July 15th and August 7th , so why not have a wander over Rowley Fields and join in?
The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey that was launched in 2010 and is now one of the biggest in the world. Over 52,000 people took part in 2015, counting over 580,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.
Butterflies react very quickly to adverse changes in their environment and any decline in numbers can be an early warning for other wildlife losses, helping us to understand the effects of climate change. Counting butterflies also helps to identify trends in species which in turn allows us to plan protection for those threatened with extinction.
It’s easy to take part and will only take 15 minutes of your time, preferably on a sunny day. To prepare, go to www.bigbutterflycount.org and download the handy identification chart. Next, just set aside a quarter of an hour, pop into Rowley Fields and start ticking off the number of butterfly species you see using the chart. You can then go back online to register your sightings.
There are more than 50 species of butterfly and over 2,500 types of moth native to Britain, so you’ll have a good chance of spotting plenty. The results will be collated and evaluated by Butterfly Conservation on their website soon and if you ‘do your bit’ you’ll be helping to ‘take the pulse’ of the environment.