Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The first sightings of butterflies... and planting seeds to bring the wildflowers of the countryside to your doorstep

The first flutterings of spring:

Image result for british butterfly conservation society logo

Welcome to March's ‘all aflutter’.
The weather in March is known to be madly changeable but you are probably starting to see signs of spring. Butterfly sightings are fluttering in to our recording schemes giving us hope that 2017 might bring some good news in the wake of a worrying report revealing the struggle of urban butterflies. The Secret Gardener suggests embracing wildflowers and if you sign up to the Garden Butterfly Survey you can let us know if this brings more species into your garden. To be in with the chance to win a wonderful gift set from Green People, enter our prize draw.
City Butterflies In Crisis
It isn't a huge shock to discover that butterflies are declining faster in our towns and cities than they are in the countryside. But the findings of a new report reveal that the rate at which butterflies are disappearing from urban areas has reached alarming levels.
Scientists from Butterfly Conservation joined forces with the University of Kent and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to compare trends for 28 species in urban and countryside environments. Over a 20-year period urban butterfly numbers plummeted by 69% compared to a 45% decline for butterflies in rural areas.
The report uncovers which species are struggling the most, reveals the differing life cycles of city-dwelling and rural butterflies and indicates the potential impact of climate change.

Butterfly Conservation is committed to raising the profile of butterflies in urban areas and promoting simple steps we can all take to combat the challenges they face.
Dig It: Seeds Of Change
As wildlife-friendly habitat in and around towns and cities shrinks, the green spaces that remain become more valuable than ever.

The flowerbeds in your garden could provide a welcome sanctuary for butterflies and moths. Even if your view is dominated by concrete, shingle or decking there is still something you can do.

In this month's blog the Secret Gardener suggests planting seeds that will bring the wildflowers of the countryside to your doorstep. Many are suitable for containers and can provide nectar for adult butterflies and moths or foodplants for their caterpillars.
Look Out For: Garden Butterflies
The advent of spring and a few mild days have persuaded us back into our gardens. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled while you are out pruning your Buddleia and planting butterfly-friendly summer bulbs because you could already be seeing winged visitors.

If your patch offers some early nectar you may have already spotted a luminous male Brimstone or seen the flash of a Peacock's eyes. Red Admirals are the most frequently reported species in gardens so far this year. Have you seen one yet?

Taking part in the Garden Butterfly Survey, sponsored by B&Q, is a great way to let us know what is fluttering behind your fence.

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