Friday, 11 May 2018

Butterflies in May

The latest newsletter from Butterfly Conservation has just arrived:

Welcome to May's ‘all aflutter’.
May Day brought a mini heatwave, the blossom is blooming, the days are getting longer and there's another Bank Holiday on the horizon. This month brings the opportunity to spend more time outdoors, reacquainting ourselves with the nature on our doorsteps. There are 25 butterfly species already 'on the wing'. How many have you seen so far this year? If you're keen to attract more wildlife into your outdoor space, we've got the perfect gardening project for you. Find out more about how we introduce children to the wonderful world of butterflies and moths and why our Vice-president, Alan Titchmarsh, thinks it is so important to inspire the next generation of nature guardians.
Plot For Pollinators
Habitat loss, intensive modern farming methods and climate change are threatening pollinator populations. The butterflies, moths, bees, wasps and beetles we rely on to pollinate crops and wildflowers are struggling.

Gardens can act as important refuges for wildlife seeking out food and shelter and 87% of us have access to one. If we all dedicate an area of our outdoor space to pollinator-friendly plants, we could transform our landscape and stop butterflies and moths disappearing from our neighbourhoods.  

Will you take on our Plots For Pollinators challenge this summer? It might be easier than you think to make space in your garden for butterflies and moths. Just one square metre of nectar plants could feed hundreds of insects.

You could set aside an area of existing flower border, build a new raised bed or fill an empty corner of your patio or decking with a selection of containers. If space is limited, make the most of a wall or fence and create a vertical garden with hanging baskets or pots. 
Dig It: Provide Flying Fuel
Butterflies and moths are particularly struggling in our towns and cities, so it's more important than ever that we share our limited outdoor space with them. 

Most of us use our gardens for parking, drying washing, exercising pets and as children's play areas but not many people have the time, space or expertise required to maintain a landscaped oasis. Fortunately most nectar plants are cheap and easy to grow. You can provide a butterfly with the fuel it needs to fly through built up areas and on to a more suitable place for them to breed and complete their life cycle.

Download our plant lists and get inspiration for transforming even the smallest outdoor space into a pretty, pollinator pit stop.
Look Out For: 
Air Time For Education
Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh told BBC Radio 4 this week how he caught the nature bug as a child, after a first-hand experience with a wriggly caterpillar.

Listen to Alan share his love of nature and explain why he supports our work with children, through our education project, Munching Caterpillars.

The Munching Caterpillars team visits schools, youth groups and public events across the UK, bringing hands-on activities to children in towns, cities and rural areas.

Activities include discovering about life cycles, foodplants, habitats and the important role butterflies and moths play in creating a healthy environment.

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